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You are nothing! I built this family. I kept it strong. You never loved Drew like I did. I made him a man!
~ Candace verbally abusing her son and rationalizing turning Drew into a rapist.

Candace Lamerly is the secondary antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Privilege". She is the matriarch of the wealthy Lamerly family, who raises her grandson Drew to be a violent, abusive misogynist and tries to cover for him when he murders his ex-girlfriend.

She was portrayed by Michael Learned.

Biography

Early life

Candace's father made the Lamerly fortune in real estate, and raised her to believe that one has to take what one wants by any means necessary, including brute force. She grew up believing that "real men" forced women to do their bidding and service them sexually.

She considered her son, Douglas, a disappointment because he did not dominate the women in his life, so she took over raising her grandson Drew and taught him to rape and abuse women. When Drew was 13, Candace took him to a brothel, and tells him to lose his virginity by raping a prostitute. She regularly bought him women, and sent him to Europe, out of the reach of U.S. authorities, after he was expelled from high school for sexually assaulting Jenny White, the prostitute he took to his senior prom.

"Privilege"

When Drew murders his ex-girlfriend, Carmen Trancoso, when she threatens to sue him for raping her, Candace tries to make her death look like a suicide. Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler of the NYPD's Special Victims Unit suspect foul play, however, from the bruising on Trancoso's genitals. Drew claims that Trancoso stalked him after he broke up with her and must have committed suicide. When Benson and Stabler find out about Drew raping White, Candace claims to have sent him to Europe to undergo psychiatric counseling.

Benson and Stabler find evidence proving that Drew killed Trancoso and arrest him, so Candace hires high-priced defense attorney Lorna Scarry to defend him. Scarry enters an insanity plea on Drew's behalf, claiming that Douglas abused him and taught him to abuse women. Candace testifies that Douglas beat Drew and his wife Grace regularly, and forced Drew to rape prostitutes.

When Benson and Stabler persuade White to testify against Drew, and she reveals that Candace, not Douglas, took Drew to brothels and told him to rape the women he bought. Candace pretends to faint, provoking a violent outburst from Drew. Later that day, Douglas, feeling responsible for allowing his mother to turn Drew into a monster, tells Benson and Stabler everything about the way she raised him and what she taught him do, and they arrest her for perjury, conspiracy, and being an accessory to rape and murder. As they take her away, Candace curses her son as a "nothing" and claims that she made Drew a man.

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