Episode 11x02 - “Sugar"
Original Airdate: September 30th, 2009
Leann Hunley as Joyce Shepard
Director: Peter Leto
Cast: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Christine Lahti, Eric McCormack,
Runtime: 60 min
Synopsis [taken from imdb.com and tv.com]:
The body of an online call girl is found in a suitcase, and the prime suspect for her murder
is an Internet entrepreneur who was one of her "sugar daddies."
Emily Keefe's body is found stuffed inside a suitcase. The police believe that she was a train passenger on her way to Tampa when she was murdered. Detectives Benson and Stabler turn to Keefe's boyfriend Owen Cassidy but he was on his yacht during the time of the murder. After further searching, the detectives discover Keefe belonged to an online dating website.
The CEO of the website, Vance Shepard, finally confesses he loved Emily but - after a fight - broke up with her on the same day she was killed. His ex-wife Joyce and daughter Chantel get interviewed. But video evidence proves Emily was alive and well shen she left Vance's apartment. His secretary though says Vance had dinner with her that night but arrived late - out of breath, distracted and with a bloody shirt. Vance gets arrested. In interrogation he confesses. SVU combines through the video footage at Grand Central that there is evidence of Emily at the station, but no evidence of Vance. However, there's something strange about the images of Emily, because in one shot, it doesn't look like Emily.... it's Vance's daughter Chantel!
Chantel killed Emily because she was jealous that Emily got Vance's attention while she was ignored by him. Vance found Emily's body and decided to take the blame for her murder - and to finally show Chantel that he loves her. He believes he made Chantel into a cold-blooded killer. Vance asks to see his daughter one more time. When he hugs her she ends up stabbing him in the neck with a pair of scissors, saying that he'll never break another promise to her again.
Leann portrays Vance Shepard's (played by Eric McCormack) ex-wife. She is a hypochondriac who even "faked" having breast cancer for attention, going so far as getting a double mastectomy. She is the mother of Chantel who also starves for attention and isn't getting it from her dad.
Joyce tells the detectives Vance is immature and combative when he doesn't get his way. He was never physically abusive but was mentally abusive.
Here is the casting call:
Female; Caucasian; Early-Mid 40’s; pretty and put together in a tightly-wound kind of way. Ex-wife of Vance Shepard – and still bitter about the 20 years she wasted on him. A hypochondriac (had a double mastectomy she didn’t need) and now committed to showing the world that her ex is not the easy-going good guy he portrays himself to be. Part harpy/part eternal victim.
(TWO SCENES; 8 LINES)
Joyce: Are you happy now? Tossing us aside for some young girl?!
Trivia & Facts:
"SVU" is filmed in New York City, NY.
Neal Bear, executive producer of "SVU", broke the news when he posted this on his twitter:
"Leann Hunley is coming in episode 2 to play Eric McCormack's NUTTY ex."
He also tweeted about "Days of our Lives":
"I haven't watched since 1985 when I was in graduate school and everyone watched during lunch. I liked this actress and cast her."
On July 18th he posted a promo picture of Leann and on-screen daughter Melissa Farman which showed Joyce, Leann's role on the show, in tears.
A Diva citation: "I don't care if it's in a show...
I will punch whoever made her cry." :o)
A promo clip (without Leann though):
A montage made with screencaps:
And here are Leann's scenes: