Nicollette Sheridan, who plays Edie Britt Williams in the hit television series Desperate Housewives, will soon receive her opportunity to prove that the creator of the hit television series killed off her character after Sheridan openly voiced her opinions of Marc Cherry’s allegedly abusive treatment of the actress.
The initial lawsuit filed by Nicollette Sheridan alleged wrongful termination in addition to a laundry list of additional allegations including, but, not limited to the following: assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress, and gender/sexual harassment.
After the judge presiding over the lawsuit decided to throw some claims out and Sheridan decided to drop some others, the lawsuit was left with only two charges which included battery in addition to wrongful termination.
Nicollette Sheridan’s initial lawsuit alleged $20 million worth of damages, however, the judge ruled Sheridan would only be eligible to reclaim one year’s worth of her salary which equates to roughly $4 million. Not exactly the $20 million in compensation for the show’s full run that she was hoping for, but, a pretty penny nonetheless.
The actress will attempt to prove Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during a rehearsal back in September of 2008 after the two had an argument regarding a cut line of dialogue. After which point, Sheridan conveyed her complaints to ABC only to have her Desperate Housewives character, Edie Britt, killed in April of 2009. Sheridan claims that the killing of her character was retaliation for the incident in which Marc Cherry allegedly struck her.
As both Cherry and Sheridan intend on calling witnesses, some of which include executives and stars of the show, the trial could last as long as 11 days. The witnesses who will be called to the stand to testify in the trial include a number of current and former high level ABC executives including Steve McPherson, the former president of ABC who resigned while under investigation for sexual harassment. Nicollette’s list of witnesses includes one of the former producers from Desperate Housewives, Lori Kirkland Baker, who has supported her lawsuit in backing her claims as to how the events unfolded leading up to the point at which her character was killed.
Lawyers Mark Baute, Patrick Maloney, and Sean Andrade have scheduled roughly 8 hours for Sheridan on the witness stand as it’s quite likely she will provide her own testimony.
To counter Nicollette Sheridan and her star-studded lineup of witnesses, the defense who is represented by Aaron Wais and Adam Levin, have called in their own celebrity witnesses including former fellow cast members Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Neal Baer, Marcia Cross, and over 20 more individuals.
ABC is hoping they’re able to portray the dismissal of Nicollette Sheridan and her character as just another day in Hollywood and simply part of the normal show business routine. The defense states in court papers:
“Death is as much a part of scripted television as it is a part of life. Of course, whenever a character dies, an actor loses a job. That is what happened here.”
Unfortunately, the judge ruling over Nicollette Sheridan’s lawsuit decided that it would be “too disruptive” to videotape the case as was the reply to a request by NBC News.