NEW YORK (AP) - "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" often seems to echo real life, and the season opener of this NBC crime drama is no different.
NBC says the episode will deal with an Italian dignitary accused of rape. Franco Nero, who appeared last year in the film "Letters to Juliet," stars as the official.
The network routinely insists "SVU" is fiction. But this episode appears to mirror the case of ex-International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a front-runner for the French presidency until his arrest in May on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper in Manhattan. He has pleaded not guilty.
The woman has since filed a civil lawsuit against him.
"Law & Order: SVU" begins its 13th season on Sept. 21.
NBC is owned by NBC Universal.
(This version CORRECTS overlines to note that he is not charged with rape but with attempted rape. )