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Sat Dec 03 04:24:08 SAST 2016

'Too close for Trump's comfort'

GABI MBELE | 2016-10-19 06:51:25.0
HOMESICK: Bianca Amato

South African actress Bianca Amato's episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unithas been placed on the back burner as it "hits too close to home" for Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The actress, known locally for her role in the SABC3 soapie Isidingo as Phillipa de Villiers, stars in the 18th season of the show in an episode titled Unstoppable. She plays a lawyer to a billionaire Donald Trump-like character - played by Gary Cole - whose election campaign is ruined after several women surface, accusing him of sexual assault.

The seven-months pregnant Amato, who returned to South Africa three weeks ago, said she learnt the news yesterday and was "amazed at the coincidence of the episode" which was shot six weeks ago.

"I can't comment on behalf of the network but the show was shot way before the Access Hollywood and Trump tapes of him making the comments about women were leaked. It clearly must have hit home but the story is completely fictional," said Amato.

Reports said the NBC episode featuring other guests stars, including Peter Gallagher, Currie Graham and Meredith Travers, was scheduled to air on October 26 but has since been moved to November 9, a day after the US elections.

Amato, who has lived abroad for 15 years, has mostly featured in big theatre roles. She was cast in the Sex in the City movie and landed roles in Blue Bloods and The Good Wife.

She is back "to give birth in South Africa" and will work on local productions.

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