Nicollette Sheridan's 'Desperate Housewives' Lawsuit: Highlights
Producer Marc Cherry and actress Nicollette Sheridan in happier times — 2005 to be specific.
The situation on Wisteria Lane is growing more desperate.
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On April 5, actress Nicollette Sheridan filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against her former boss, "Desperate Housewives" executive producer Marc Cherry alleging assault and battery, gender violence, discrimination based on sex, sexual orientations and age and retaliatory termination. Also named in the suit are Touchstone Television Production, ABC Studios, and the ABC Entertainment group. Sheridan is asking for more than $20 million in damages.
Sheridan, who played the man-hungry character of Edie Britt from from 2004 to 2009, alleges that Cherry frequently treated her in an "abusive and aggressive" manner, a behavior that escalated into physical violence when he allegedly hit her across the head and face on the set of "Desperate Housewives" on September 24, 2008. She further alleged that Cherry failed to change his behavior and killed her character off as retaliation for complaining about him to ABC brass. A jury trail has been requested.
A request for comment to Cherry was forwarded to ABC.
In response to the suit, ABC Studios says: "While we have yet to see the actual complaint, we investigated similar claims made by Ms. Sheridan last year and found them to be without merit."
When asked for comment, Sheridan's lawyer, Mark Baute, said in an email: "Mr. Cherry's behavior towards Nicollette was and is nothing short of abusive and appalling. The lawsuit is not something Nicollette wanted to do, it's something she felt compelled to do. Nicollette asked ABC for help and protection from Mr. Cherry's abusive behavior, and ultimately, ABC was not willing or able to provide that protection."
Some highlights from the 18-page lawsuit:
* Until her agreement was amended, Sheridan was set to make at least 13 episodes per season. Specifically, she was to earn $175,000 per episode during her fifth year with the show; $200,000 per episode during the sixth year; and $250,000 for the seventh year.
* Sheridan alleges that after she was hit, she told Cherry: "You just hit in the head, that is not okay. THAT IS NOT OKAY!" (capitalization theirs).
* Cherry allegedly once told Sheridan, "I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies," after an incident where Hatcher — who plays the character of Susan Mayer — went above Cherry's head to speak to ABC executives. Cherry also allegedly told third parties that he hoped Sheridan "would be distraught as a result of the termination of her employment on the Show."
* Under the lawsuit's fourth cause of action — unlawful discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and age," the lawsuit asserts: "Cherry's treatment of Sheridan, including his physical assault and battery of her, occurred because he is a homosexual man and she is a heterosexual woman."