‘Desperate Housewives’ trial on Sheridan’s firing begins
Nicollette Sheridan should receive $6 million for her character being killed off “Desperate Housewives” after the show’s creator slapped her, her attorney said Wednesday as a defense lawyer argued that her on-screen demise was a natural part of television.
The dueling characterizations of a dispute between Miss Sheridan and “Housewives” creator and executive producer Marc Cherry were presented to jurors in opening remarks of a case that will offer glimpses into the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of a hit TV show.
Miss Sheridan, 48, was scheduled to be the trial’s first witness on Thursday, Associated Press reports. Her wrongful-termination and battery trial centers on whether her complaints about Mr. Cherry’s slap — described by her attorney as a hard whack and by a defense lawyer as a tap meant to give artistic direction — led to her character, Edie Britt’s, violent demise and the loss of her $175,000-an-episode job.
Mark Baute, Miss Sheridan’s attorney, claims her character was killed off only after ABC, which airs the series, cleared Mr. Cherry of wrongdoing. He told jurors that determination was made after a sham investigation and the plotline was hastily planned.
Mr. Cherry and ABC have denied all wrongdoing. Adam Levin, who represents Mr. Cherry and ABC, said he would present evidence that the decision to kill off Miss Sheridan’s character came months before the on-set dispute and was made after consulting the highest ranks of the network’s management.