Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
December 31, 1969
Currently Known For:
$50 Million (Family)
Mariska Hargitay's Daughter
Television is where big money can be made if you’re patient enough as an actor or actress, and a long-running season can make you one of the richest performers in Hollywood. That’s been the case for Mariska Hargitay, who had appeared in many different television shows and movies early on in her career after being a pageant queen, though many of her roles didn’t allow her to stand out as the lead performer.
That would change in 1999 when Hargitay was selected to be one of the lead actors in the spin-off series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as Olivia Benson. The series has been massively successful since its debut, running for more than 430 episodes and still going strong. Each year, the series nets Hargitay more than $10 million.
While filming the show, Hargitay would meet actor Peter Hermann, who has had guest appearances on many series himself, including more than 30 episodes on “Law & Order: SVU” as Trevor Langan. The two would start a relationship, and were married on August 28, 2004. The next year, Hargitay and Hermann announced that they were expecting a child. On June 28, 2006, they welcomed their first child, a son named August Friedrich Hermann.
At over 40 years old, it wasn’t quite easy for Hargitay to go through pregnancy, saying that she had been overeating and suffered from fatigue that led to gestational diabetes. Hargitay and Hermann knew that they wanted to have more children, but health complications could have made it difficult for the actress that needed an emergency C-section with her first child.
With that, the couple decided to go the adoption route for their next two children. The first was daughter Amaya Josephine, and Hargitay and Hermann were there for her birth, adopting her in an arrangement with the birth parents. Just a few months later, they would also adopt a baby boy named Andrew.
Shortly after the adoptions, Hargitay said that her older son August thought it was “all his idea” to adopt. “He said, ‘I want a baby sister,’ and Amaya came,” Hargitay said. “Then he said, ‘I want a baby brother,’ and Andrew came. August is feeling pretty good and pretty powerful.”
After being in her mid 40s and knowing that having additional children would be difficult, Hargitay went for adoption even knowing that it was “not for the faint of heart.” She said that she and her husband “just had so much love to give. I was really letting the chips fall as they might, because I do think so much is up to God. I always said, ‘I don’t know how this is going to end up. I don’t know if I’m going to get pregnant and have twins…if somebody’s going to leave a baby on my doorstep. But I really think that down the line, Peter and I would adopt a child. That was always part of the plan.”
Hargitay and Hermann had met with several potential adoption parents, but didn’t have much success until they thought they found one young woman that Hargitay gravitated toward. “I thought she was just an incredible person, so smart and bright,” Hargitay said. After meeting Hargitay, the woman that was expecting hadn’t met with any other potential parents thinking that she would be the perfect fit, but decided to keep her child upon the birth to which Hargitay was happy to oblige.
Good news would come just a few months later when Hargitay’s lawyer informed her that there was another potential mother that she would get to meet. Hargitay was moved by the woman, saying that she “was very powerful, soulful and thoughtful.” At first, Hargitay thought that she would be adopting a son, but it turned out that the woman was actually pregnant with a baby girl upon reevaluation, and Amaya was born in what was a joyous day for all parties involved.
“Peter and I held her, and then the birth mother and I hugged for a long time,” Hargitay said. “That was profound. That was one of the most meaningful moments I’ve ever had in my life.” Following the adoption, Hargitay said that “Everything was so dreamy,” and that their lives were filled with joy, prompting them to add another child to the mix.
Hargitay and her new daughter were featured on magazine covers as photos spread of the two together, especially since Hargitay was now part of a multi-racial family as her new daughter is African-American. “We talked a lot about mixed-race adoptions, and we are very excited that we are now a multi-racial family. We’re just so happy she’s here,” she said. “I’m deliriously happy. From the minute she was born, she was just surprisingly alert and so full of love.”
Now seven years old, Hargitay has a complete family with her husband of nearly 15 years, and her three loving children. “Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me,” she said. “Together, we’re just this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I’ve never known anything that was more right.”