Diane Neal (born November 17, 1976[1]) is an American actress best known for her role as New York Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak in the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which she played from 2003 to 2008, and 2011 to 2012. She is also known for portraying Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent Abigail Borin in the NCIS franchise.

Diane Neal
Diane Neal - Monte-Carlo Television Festival.JPG
Born (1976-11-17) November 17, 1976 (age 46)
EducationHarvard University (ALB)
OccupationActress, Comedian, Podcast Host
Years active2001–present
Notable creditsCasey Novak on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Abigail Borin on NCIS
Marcus O. Fitzgerald
(m. 2005; div. 2014)

Early lifeEdit

Neal in 2008

Neal was born in Alexandria, Virginia,[1] the youngest of three daughters to Colleen Neal, a math teacher, and Christopher Neal, a federal attorney. She was raised in Littleton, Douglas County, Colorado,[2] and Ohio.[3] After Neal graduated from Littleton's Heritage High School, she moved to Hawaii to attend college, but later left school to become a model and travel. Neal started modeling for Shiseido and Pond's skin-care ads. After deciding to resume her education, Neal began attending Harvard University's Extension School in 2009, and graduated with an associate degree in May 2018.[4][5]



Neal first appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a guest star, playing a rapist in the Season 3 episode "Ridicule". Neal first appeared as Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak in the show's fifth season, replacing Stephanie March, who played Alexandra Cabot.

Neal portrayed Novak through the end of Season 9, when the character exited the series after being censured by the New York State Bar. In 2011, Neal reprised her role as Novak in the Season 12 episode "Reparations", when Novak returned to SVU as their temporary ADA. After that appearance, she became a recurring character in Season 13. She was last seen in the episode "Valentine's Day". Neal said of her return to the series in Season 13 to TV Guide, "It's back on track to what the original SVU was intended to be, which is about sex crimes and crimes against children, it's got more of a nitty-gritty feel." She says that March's and her return to the fictional universe of the series provided a familiarity for viewers following original cast member Chris Meloni's departure. "I think they should put us in the court room together!" she says about March.[6]

In 2021 Neal starred as Peggy Sue Thomas in the Lifetime movie Circle of Deception.[7]

Congressional runEdit

On February 6, 2018, Neal announced that she would run for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 19th congressional district as an independent.[8] She described her political views as "a little libertarian, I'm a lot liberal, mostly progressive, but I have this amazing ability to be able to take really complicated policy and break it down into edible sound bites, which is something most progressive liberals cannot do."[8] Neal finished with 1% of the vote.[9]


On January 14, 2022, Neal announced that she would be the host of a new comedy and talk podcast named "Hear Say with Diane Neal".[10] The podcast is intended to "amuse and enlighten".[11]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2005, Neal married Irish model Marcus O. Fitzgerald in a ceremony in the Dominican Republic.[12] Neal and Fitzgerald divorced in 2014.[13]

Neal was later involved in a relationship with magician JB Benn.[14] It ended acrimoniously, and in November 2019 Neal became the plaintiff in a lawsuit in which she made allegations against Benn including fraud and identity theft, and she claimed Benn had subjected her to physical and sexual abuse.[14] Benn denied the allegations and released audio recordings in which Neal can be heard berating Benn and making threats including promising to kill Benn's dog in retaliation for slitting her poodle’s throat.[15] Benn has allegedly stalked Neal for several years and violated the criminal protective order against him.

In 2013, Neal was involved in a car accident which fractured her spine.[14] In announcing her 2018 Congressional candidacy, Neal indicated that the long recuperation from her injuries had caused her to place her acting career on hold.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra Cleopatra (voice) English version
2003 Dracula II: Ascension Elizabeth Blaine Video
2003 Second Born Natasha
2005 Dracula III: Legacy Elizabeth Blaine Video
2007 BelzerVizion Dr. Ryan Short film
2011 Dirty Movie Nancy
2013 Newlyweeds Manny
2013 Mr. Jones The Scholar
2013 Santorini Blue Florist—"Flowers of the World"
2014 After Kat
2014 A Warden's Ransom Warden Samantha Brandt
2015 The Emissary Christine Short film
2021 Circle of Deception Peggy Sue Thomas


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Ed Vanessa "Loyalties"
2001 Fling Prudence Fisher "At the End of the Day"
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Amelia Chase "Ridicule"
2002 The American Embassy Molly "Pilot"
2002 Hack Patricia Bennet "Husbands and Wives"
2003 Future Tense TV film
2003–2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit A.D.A. Casey Novak Main cast 2003-2008, recurring role 2011-2012
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury A.D.A. Casey Novak "Day"
2008 30 Rock Erin "Reunion"
2009 My Fake Fiancé Bonnie TV film
2010 White Collar Kimberly Rice "Front Man"
2010–2014 NCIS CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin
  • Recurring role Seasons 7–12;
  • "Jurisdiction",
  • "Ships in the Night",
  • "Safe Harbor",
  • "Lost at Sea",
  • "The Namesake",
  • "Oil & Water",
  • "The San Dominick"
2012 A Gifted Man Attorney Kim Fletcher "In Case of Complications"
2012–2014 Suits Allison Holt
  • "Break Point",
  • "Blood in the Water",
  • "Rewind"
  • "No Way Out"
2013 Captain Blackout Daphne TV film
2013 This Magic Moment Helena Harris TV film
2014 Power Cynthia Sheridan Recurring role
2015 NCIS: New Orleans CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin
  • "The Abyss",
  • "The Walking Dead",
  • "Rock-a-Bye Baby"
2015 The Following Lisa Campbell
  • "Demons",
  • "A Simple Trade",
  • "Dead or Alive",
  • "The Reckoning"
2015 Blue Bloods Kelly Blake "Hold Outs"


  1. ^ a b "Big D". DianeNeal.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ @DianeNeal (February 2, 2014). "I'm from Littleton, Colorado..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. '^ "Law & Order: SVUs Diane Neal". People. Archived from the original on 2017-09-02. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Kemble, William J. (February 5, 2018). "Actress Diane Neal, a Hurley resident, launches independent bid for 19th Congressional District seat". The Daily Freeman. Kingston, NY. Archived from the original on September 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Walsh, Colleen (May 22, 2018). "Diane Neal moves from 'Law & Order' to take aim at making laws in Congress". The Harvard Gazette. Cambridge, MA.
  6. ^ Ross, Robyn (August 9, 2011). "VIDEO: Law & Order: SVU's Diane Neal Says Season 13 Has a Nitty-Gritty Feel". TV Guide. Retrieved February 7, 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Mlnarik, Carson (March 4, 2021). "The One Circle Of Deception Scene That Made Diane Neal Uncomfortable - Exclusive". NickiSwift.com.
  8. ^ a b Costantino, George (7 February 2018). "'Law & Order: SVU' star Diane Neal running for Congress in NY". ABC News. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  9. ^ "New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia.org. Middleton, Wisconsin: Lucy Burns Institute. November 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Neal, Diane (22 January 2022). "'Hear Say with Diane Neal' Announcement". Twitter. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  11. ^ Candelaria, Daniel (22 January 2022). "Introducing Hear Say, with Diane Neal". Westbury Media. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Law & Order Star Diane Neal Marries". People. New York City: Time, Inc. July 14, 2005.
  13. ^ Lim, Gene Paul (September 3, 2019). "The Female Stars of NCIS". Herald Weekly. Ramat Hasharon, Israel.
  14. ^ a b c Hitt, Tarpley; Briquelet, Kate (November 16, 2019). "'Law & Order SVU' Actress Threatens Ex on Leaked Tape". The Daily Beast.
  15. ^ Bitsky, Leah (November 21, 2019). "'Law & Order: SVU' star Diane Neal allegedly threatened to kill magician ex and his dog". New York Post.
  16. ^ Esch, Mary (May 2, 2018). "Law and Order' actress Diane Neal seeks House seat". APNews.com.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit