“Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry testified Monday in actress Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination case against the show, describing the circumstances under which he hit Sheridan on the head, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Cherry said he thought he had permission to tap Sheridan’s head, but added that the September 2008 incident strained relations between himself and the actress.
Descriptions of the incident vary somewhat between Cherry and Sheridan, the story notes. She says he walloped her, while he says it was a tap for artistic direction.
The story reports: “Much of Cherry’s testimony corroborates Sheridan’s version of events, although the actress has told jurors she never gave permission for the show’s creator to touch her, much less strike her in a way that she said left her stunned. The incident occurred on the show’s set as the actress and Cherry discussed her lines for a scene that Sheridan didn’t feel had enough comedy.”
Cherry testified: "I didn’t need permission. Permission was understood."
According to the story: “He said he wanted the actress to have some physical interaction with her onscreen husband in the scene and acknowledged that during a deposition he testified that he ‘resorted to demonstration to get my point across.’ In the scene, Sheridan’s character hits her husband with a magazine and tickles him, but doesn’t strike his head.”
Cherry also said plans were already under way at that point to kill off Sheridan’s character in the show. Those plans moved ahead after an ABC investigation cleared Cherry of wrongdoing in the incident with Sheridan. The story notes that officials were not brought in to talk with Cherry or Sheridan about the incident.
Cherry said he had told two other actresses on the show, Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman, that he planned to kill off Sheridan’s character, Edie Britt, months before he told Sheridan. Longoria and Huffman are on the list of potential witnesses at the trial.
Sheridan is suing for more than $6 million in damages, as previously reported.