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Nicollette Sheridan Sues 'Housewives' Creator Marc Cherry

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 6th 2010 11:03AM
nicolette_sheridan_edie_britt_abcPerhaps you've heard that 'Desperate Housewives' exile Nicollette Sheridan has filed a whopper of a lawsuit against ABC and Marc Cherry, the creator of the show. Her claim is that she was not only wrongfully terminated, but that Cherry struck her in September 2008 when she asked him about something in the script.

Officially, the suit covers even more than those two charges. There are seven in all: wrongful termination, assault and battery, gender violence, discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and age, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Sheridan is seeking $20 million in compensation.

Violence against women -- or men for that matter -- is a serious charge, and it would be naive to think that this could not have happened. That said, it does seem like something right out of a 'Desperate Housewives' script. Would Marc Cherry have been so upset with Sheridan to strike her? Wouldn't it have been witnessed by other people on the set? Perhaps that will come out in the case.

ABC was contacted by Entertainment Tonight and a spokesperson responded to the filing of the suit, saying, "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."

There's another oddity in this stew. The court papers from Nicolette Sheridan's lawyers claim that after Cherry hit her, he apologized profusely about his actions, basically admitting he had been wrong. He begged her forgiveness, supposedly. But if that were the case, why would he wrongfully terminate the actress and open himself up to this kind of litigation? It doesn't make sense.

Sheridan's camp said that Cherry purposely arranged to have her dumped from the show. It also reveals that she was making $175,000 an episode when the assault allegedly occurred -- the fifth season -- and in the sixth, she'd be making $200,000 per and then $250,000 for the seventh.

In this day and age, litigation is hardly a surprise, so Nicolette trying to win back the income she believes she lost by being fired is understandable. And if there was an incident like the purported slap from Cherry, she's entitled to some compensation. However, in a show like 'Desperate Housewives,' she can't really make a case for Cherry firing her as a form of punishment.

It's a show with a huge cast and since it's a soap opera, characters come and go all the time. Edie Britt's death was a way to make the show move forward. You can't really prove that Cherry killed off the character just to hurt Sheridan. If she had been dumped and then they recast the role, she'd have a stronger leg to stand on.

There will be much more on this case in the months ahead, so we'll keep an eye on this. In all likelihood, it may never actually get to court. It could be settled by the lawyers.

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"However, in a show like 'Desperate Housewives,' she can't really make a case for Cherry firing her as a form of punishment."

Well, that would depended on whether or not she can prove she was written off the show in retaliation. Granted, difficult to prove, but it could happen.

This will probably be settled out of court. If there is even a kernel of truth to this I can't imagine ABC would want to air their dirty laundry in court. They'll pay Sheridan off and make her sign a confidentiality agreement in order to get the money.

April 06 2010 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Those gay guys are always slapping everyone. It doesn't hurt.
(And didn't most DH fans cheer when Edie was offed?)

April 06 2010 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"This writer, rather than take a contrary view regarding this situation, could have simply revealed the facts and stayed on track."

What are the facts? The words that Ms. Sheridan said?

April 06 2010 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why would a commenter who is admonishing the article, repeatedly show blind bias in supporting Nicollette Sheridan?

"Barbara" do you work for Ms. Sheridan in some capacity or are you just a really big fan?

April 06 2010 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why would an article that is supposed to present the facts, repeatedly doubt Nicolette Sheridan's statements in this lawsuit? She's a successful actress and without a doubt, not interested in ruining a long running career with a frivolous suit. She says she was struck so what makes the writer of this article think that if there were no witnesses, the physical abuse couldn't have happened? When a tree falls in the middle of a forest, does it make a sound?? This writer, rather than take a contrary view regarding this situation, could have simply revealed the facts and stayed on track. With any type of abuse physical or psychological, it seems it would be tough enough to experience it as this actress allegedly has. However to endure the wrath of a writer who has already decided what the reader should believe makes no sense. Allow the actress to present her case and let's see how this case turns out. Our judicial system continues to determine cases based on substantiated evidence and a physical strike may not be enough here. Allow your readers to make a case while writers should consider presenting facts instead of causing undue harm to the facts.

April 06 2010 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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