Anne Gillette (Sarah Paulson) is the main villainess of "Shadow", episode 11.12 of Law & Order: SVU (airdate January 13, 2010).
Anne is the daughter of Bert and Elaine Gillette, growing up wealthy and privileged thanks to her parents’ money and connections. Even in her youth, Anne was a sociopath who refused to abide by any rules she didn’t agree with. She was revealed to have been kicked out of three prep schools before finally graduating from a girl’s finishing school in Switzerland, only receiving credit for flower arrangement. Anne also tried and failed three times to earn a spot on the Olympic equestrian team.
She was also revealed to have a long history of extortion, having previously run an art gallery for five years while evading taxes, and also briefly becoming an interior designer before receiving six lawsuits, all of which were settled privately. She was eventually given a seat on the board of a charity known as the Prestwick Foundation since her father paid said foundation $10 million to do so, and after that, she began embezzling money from said charity, managing to steal $3.5 million by the time of the episode’s events. Aiding her in her greedy plot was her family’s business manager, Nate Hartman, who helped Anne in her criminal endeavor due to being in love with her.
When her funds began to run low and she learned that Elaine was planning to write her out of her father’s will, Anne decided to kill her parents so that she would gain access to their estate, which was worth over $200 million. After breaking into her parents’ home, the sinister villainess hacked Elaine to death with a hatchet before shooting Bert in his head with a gun, intending to stage the crime scene as a murder–suicide (but this was quickly disproven with forensics). After the SVU detectives began investigating the case, Anne put on the act of a distraught daughter and claimed that she believed her parents’ murderer had been the man who was “stalking” her.
Detectives Benson and Stabler were able to catch the man in question while going undercover—and were shocked to learn that Anne’s “stalker” was really Detective Ashok “Ash” Ramsey from the Special Frauds Unit, who was investigating Anne for both her extortion scheme with the Prestwick Foundation and her suspected involvement in her parents’ murders. However, soon after Ramsey informed Benson and Stabler about his investigation into Anne’s criminal activities, Chief Muldrew and Nigel Prestwick arrived and stated that an anonymous donator—most likely Anne herself—was covering the foundation’s losses and that they wanted the investigation closed.
In order to prove Anne’s guilt in her parents’ murders, Stabler and Ramsey went to Nate offering him a deal, with Anne calling Nate and asking him to lie about seeing Ramsey outside her parents’ house to the police. Anne was soon after arrested outside Bert and Elaine’s funeral for witness tampering, with the sociopath becoming irate at learning that she had been set up. When she was interrogated, Anne refused to speak to anyone but Ramsey, whom she tried to convince would understand her due to coming from a similar background to his. She additionally made a derogatory comment about Ramsey’s mother, causing him to storm out.
After Benson and Ramsey blackmailed Nigel Prestwick into filing charges against Anne for embezzling from his foundation, Stabler went to transport Anne to prison, and as he handcuffed her, the callous and psychotic villainess made a threat against Stabler’s family. She additionally put out a hit on Benson and Ramsey from within prison, promising to pay their would-be murderer $100,000 if they successfully killed the pair. To finally expose Anne as the cold-blooded murderer that she truly was, the detectives decided to set up a sting operation in order to finally get a confession from the sociopathic criminal.
As part of the aforementioned operation, Benson and Ramsey acted as though they were transporting Anne between prisons when they were stopped by what appeared to be hitmen Anne had contacted, who shot at and appeared to kill the two detectives. As the “murders” occurred, Anne appeared to grin with satisfaction at her “handiwork.” One of the “shooters” then escorted Anne to a hotel, where his identity was revealed to be Detective Tutuola. After changing out of her prison uniform, Anne openly confessed to Tutuola how she had murdered her parents, claiming that her mother had always been judgmental of her and had turned her father against her. As the villainess tried to convince Tutuola to come with her to Rio de Janeiro, the other three detectives knocked on the door and then came in, causing Anne to realize that she had been tricked into giving a confession. As she was placed under arrest, the evil and spoiled woman angrily proclaimed that she would kill all of them.
- Sarah Paulson also played serial killer Janice in "True Romance, Pt. 1" and "True Romance, Pt. 2", the first two episodes of the first and only season of the U.S. version of Cracker.
- “You have no idea what I’m capable of, Detective! (Stabler: “I saw your mom's body.”) If you really believe I could do something like that to someone I love... what do you think I could do to someone you love?” (Anne’s threat against the Stabler family)
- “You didn't know my mother: the constant judgment, the carping. And then, the bitch tried to tell my Daddy to cut me out of the will. I had him wrapped around my finger for years, but Mother was out to get me, always whispering nasty things in his ear. I didn’t want him dead, but... (Tutuola: “Collateral damage?”) Exactly.” (Anne confessing to murdering her parents)
- “You bastard!” (Anne to Tutuola just before she is handcuffed)
- “Get off of me! Get off of me! I will kill you! I WILL KILL YOU ALL! GET OFF OF ME! GET OFF!” (Anne’s last words in the episode)