Mystery surrounds actor CHRISTOPHER MELONI's shock announcement he's leaving hit cop drama LAW & ORDER: SVU after show producer NEAL BAER dismissed the story.
His denial comes as Australia’s Courier-Mail newspaper pulls the article, featuring Meloni's statement, from its website.
Meloni reportedly told the publication he'd be stepping down as Det. Eliot Stabler in 2011, stating, "12 years is enough".
But, asked if the story was for real, Baer says, "No".
Meloni has been a part of the drama since it launched in 1999.