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Why Nicollette Sheridan is Suing ABC and Desperate Housewives Creator

How much can it cost for slapping someone in the head?  A cool $20 million if that head belongs to Nicollette Sheridan.  According to legal documents, Ms. Sheridan is suing ABC and “Desperate Housewives” creator, Marc Cherry, for a variety of reasons including assault, gender violence, discrimination, emotional distress, and wrongful termination, among others.

The incident in question reportedly occurred during Sheridan’s 5th season on “Desperate Housewives”.  On September 24, 2008, Ms. Sheridan questioned a portion of the script.  Marc Cherry obviously not appreciating the questioning had pulled her aside and then hit Sheridan in the face and head.  Sheridan reported the incident to ABC which she believes led to her character being killed off the show and her being fired.

On the day in question, Ms. Sheridan had yelled at Cherry after being hit and Cherry later went to her asking for forgiveness.  Sheridan reported the assault to ABC executives and she claims Cherry’s behavior only became worse.  It wasn’t until February of 2009 that Sheridan was informed that her character was being written off and that she was terminated.

Nicollette Sheridan played Edie Britt on the hit ABC show “Desperate Housewives” where she received $175,000 for each episode during the 5th season when the incident had occurred.  During her 6th season she would have received $200,000 an episode and later $250,000 an episode in her 7th season.  Her character was killed off in the 5th season.

The suit filed by Nicollette Sheridan claims that her firing resulted in “her losing millions in future earnings.”  Sheridan’s claims also report that Marc Cherry’s abusive behavior did not stop at her and that other cast members including Teri Hatcher dealt with the wrath of Mr. Cherry after Hatcher also went to ABC executives about Cherry.

The lawsuit claims that Marc Cherry had stated “I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies.”  ABC has released a statement which reveals that Sheridan had made complaints such as these in the past but they “found them to be without merit.”  The lawsuit claims that “From the inception of the show, Cherry created a hostile work environment for the cast, crew and writers who work on the show, and Sheridan in particular.”

Although the suit appears to be with merit as ABC is not denying the allegations, it will come down to the courts to decide how much Nicollette Sheridan will receive for the treatment she received while on the show, if any.  Or like many other lawsuits filed by disgruntled actors, it may simply get settled out of court and no one will ever know the truth to the accusations made by Sheridan against her alleged attacker.

References:

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,20358232,00.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=10294033

http://www.tmz.com/2010/04/05/nicolette-sheridan-desperate-housewives-marc-cherry-battery-violence-termination-fired/