Nicolette Sheridan’s Desperate Housewives lawsuit is in the jury’s hands now.
Sheridan, who was one of the stars of the ABC hit from 2004 through 2009, has been embroiled in a trial with Housewives Creator Mark Cherry and ABC over battery and wrongful termination claims. She claims that Cherry struck her across the head with his open hand during a September 2008 rehearsal after an argument about the script. Sheridan allegedly complained to ABC execs about the altercation.
The following year, her character was killed off the show. Sheridan sued Cherry and ABC, seeking $4 million in damages.
To support her wrongful termination claim, Sheridan argues that major characters are never killed off primetime shows. (That argument was less convincing after Executive Producer George Perkins revealed in court last week that Mike Delfino, another major character in the show, would die in this week's episode.)
On Tuesday, L.A. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White issued a directed verdict dismissing the battery claim, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Since battery was no longer an issue in the case, Cherry was dismissed as a defendant.
In a late development in the case, Sheridan's team presented a surprise witness on Tuesday. The witness, a construction coordinator for all eight seasons of the show, claimed that he saw an email in 2010 that said ABC and Disney planned to delete all emails relating to Sheridan and the killing of her character from the computer hard drives of show producers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The witness testified that he deleted the email, but eventually came forward "to possibly equalize an inequity I felt because of what I perceived was in the email."
Sheridan's employment lawsuit went to the jury Wednesday. On Thursday, the jury informed the judge that it was having trouble reaching a verdict on the remaining wrongful termination claim, reports The Associated Press.
- 'Desperate' Employment Lawsuit Heads to Trial (FindLaw's California Case Law Blog)
- Court Strikes Binding Arbitration Due to Lack of Mutuality (FindLaw's California Case Law Blog)
- 'Desperate Housewives' Trial; Jury Enters Second Day Of Deliberations (FindLaw's California Case Law Blog)