Differing opinions on what went down between actress Nicollette Sheridan and show creator and executive producer Marc Cherry were presented in court as a high-profile trial over the hit ABC show “Desperate Housewives” got under way this week.
Sheridan is suing for about $6 million in damages after being fired from the show, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports. The story says Sheridan was in tears as her attorney, Mark Baute, described a September 2008 incident in which Cherry allegedly “struck Sheridan hard on the head,” with the actress subsequently being fired from the show after ABC cleared Cherry of wrongdoing.
Listed as potential witnesses in the case are a number of the show’s stars, including Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross, the Daily Mail reports.
The story adds: “Baute said Cherry acknowledges touching Sheridan, but claims he was tapping her head to give her artistic direction. ‘This is a man hitting a woman in the head — hard — without her consent,’ Baute said.”
In opening statements on Wednesday, defense attorney Adam Levin said Edie Britt, Sheridan’s character in the show, was already set to be killed off on the series months before the alleged slapping incident, Deadline.com reports.
Deadline reports: “Levin claims that the former ABC Entertainment president gave ‘Desperate Housewives’ creator/executive producer Cherry the OK to kill off Nicollette Sheridan’s character on the series — months before an alleged head-slapping incident between the actress and Cherry. Levin told jurors that on May 22, 2008, Cherry along with fellow ‘Housewives’ exec producer Bob Daily went to then-ABC Studios boss [Mark] Pedowitz and asked him if they could kill off Sheridan’s character in a “tentpole” Season 5 story arc. Pedowitz agreed, and that same day the group went to McPherson with the idea.”
The Deadline report adds: “Levin also all but claimed that Sheridan’s assertion that Cherry hit her on set in September 2008 was the actress attempting to generate buzz and revenue for herself. Sheridan ‘suffered no injury’ when Cherry ‘lightly tapped’ her on the head while giving her on-set direction that day. ‘She didn’t even have a red mark; she didn’t even take an aspirin,’ Levin told the jury, dismissing the plaintiff’s contention that the actress was ‘hit hard,’ as her lawyer claimed earlier.”