Nicollette Sheridan, the 50-year-old English actress and former star of the long-running ABC TV drama Desperate Housewives, will get her day in court — again.
A judge reinstated her lawsuit against the network, in which Sheridan claims that she was fired from Desperate Housewives for complaining about abusive behavior on the set by the show’s creator and executive producer, Marc Cherry, Deadline Hollywood reports.
The decision allows the possibility that Nicollette Sheridan could get another trial on her claims against ABC. Desperate Housewives ran for eight seasons, ending in 2012.
The reversal comes slightly less than two full years after a jury in the lawsuit’s first trial could not come to a verdict, getting stuck on an 8-4 vote in favor of the Nicollette Sheridan claims.
Sheridan alleged that Cherry hit her in the head during an argument on set over a scene in Desperate Housewives. Cherry admitted “tapping” Sheridan, but said that he was simply demonstrating how the scene should be played, according to E! Online. He denied striking Nicollette Sheridan in an abusive fashion.
Cherry was dismissed from the lawsuit by a court in the earlier proceedings.
The character of Edie Britt, Sheridan’s role, died on the show. In her initial lawsuit, Nicollete Sheridan alleged that her character was written out of Desperate Housewives as retaliation because the actress, who previously starred in another soap-opera style drama, Knots Landing on CBS, was outspoken about working conditions on the set, and went over Cherry’s head to complain.
The California Supreme Court rejected an earlier appeal by Sheridan, saying that she was not actually fired by the Desperate Housewives creator and ABC, but she was simply not rehired when the term of her contract ran out.
The decision to allow the Nicollette Sheridan lawsuit to go forward was a surprising reversal for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern, who in October had denied the actress’s request to continue the suit because she had waited more than six months to bring her grievance over the alleged attack by Cherry to the state Labor Commission.
In her initial lawsuit, Nicollette Sheridan made a series of claims against the Desperate Housewives network and creator, including gender and age discrimination. The claims have since been stripped down to a simple wrongful termination case.