Jurors Reveal Thinking Behind ‘Desperate Housewives’ Deadlock; What’s Next for the Case?

March 20, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A juror in the "Desperate Housewives" case, which ended in a mistrial this week after the panel said it was deadlocked, said, "There was no smoking gun" to prove either side’s case with certainty, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The juror, Beverly Crosby, didn’t disclose how she voted during deliberations, although she noted that the jurors found many of the witnesses "not credible," according to the story. Another juror, Johnny Huynh, also gave interviews after the mistrial was announced, but he also didn’t reveal how he had voted.

Crosby noted she was skeptical about how ABC had handled the investigation into Nicollette Sheridan’s claim of abuse. "In my estimation,” ABC’s inquiry “wasn’t handled correctly. … I won’t say there was a cover-up. That’s a strong word, but it wasn’t handled right,” she said, according to the piece.

The jury didn’t waver from its initial vote of 8-4 at the start of its three days of deliberations, according to Huynh. Both jurors said the jury focused its discussions on the testimony of George Perkins, an executive producer on the show who was tapped to handle complaints from employees and whom Sheridan contacted after creator Marc Cherry struck her in September 2008, the story says.

Perkins testified that the decision to bring Sheridan back for the final episode of the fifth season, after she had been told to leave, was a move to embarrass her and to prompt her to violate her contract by not showing up, the story notes.

Retaliation is “very subtle. It’s something that may be hard to prove," Crosby noted, according to the story.

Attorneys on both sides appear to be readying for the trial to return to the courtroom. If that happens, some experts say Sheridan is in a strong position, according to an E! Online report.

E! reports: “Assuming there will be a second trial featuring Sheridan vs. ABC Entertainment, Sheridan’s case still looks good, despite the fact that she didn’t all-out win the first time around, says Travis Gemoets, partner at Jeffer Mangels. After all, he points out, ‘We know that the jury was split 8 to 4 in favor of Nicollette,’ which gives her confidence moving forward, if nothing else. Another bonus: Sheridan now knows all of the defense’s bombshells and tricks — and the defense relied more on that element of surprise than Sheridan’s team did.”

Says Gemoets: "So she’s going to be in a pretty strong position."

However, the story says there’s a good chance for a settlement. Goemets adds: "The jury count indicates that some money needs to be paid to Nicollette to make this go away."

Sheridan has said she wants about $5 million, the story notes, with Goemets saying, “Something in the $2 million to $3.5 million range wouldn’t shock me."

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