April 20th, 2012 by faye
“Desperate Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan has been granted a retrial for her wrongful termination case in the show, after the previous trial ended with a hung jury.
According to reports, the “Desperate Housewives” makers, ABC Entertainment and Disney, asked the judge to dismiss the case based on evidence that surfaced during a trial earlier this year, but a judge has ruled in favour of a retrial for Nicollette Sheridan.
The judge has set the retrial on September 10, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White urged both sides to settle the case privately. White said: “I very, very strongly urge you to continue settlement discussions.”
Nicollette Sheridan is seeking $5.7 million in damages and $35,000 in sanctions from ABC Entertainment for her treatment on the “Desperate Housewives,” which saw her character, Edie Britt, killed off in season five by being electrocuted.
The series continues without Sheridan, but show actress Eva Longoria, feels the case has put a huge “stain” on its legacy, saying: “I was surprised that there was even a trial and it went that far. I love Nicollette and I love Marc Cherry, and I love our work environment. It’s a stain on our legacy as a hit show. It was just unfortunate, the whole thing.”
During the first trial, Nicollette Sheridan claimed that Cherry “hit” her on the head during a rehearsal for a “Desperate Housewives” scene in 2008. But Cherry insisted that it was a mere “tap” for direction as they worked on her character’s responses. Marc Cherry was released as a defendant in the case, but the issue of whether ABC and Cherry killed the character of Nicollette Sheridan because of the complaint still remained.
Much of the testimony focused on the timing of Cherry’s decision to kill off Edie in “Desperate Housewives.”
March 15th, 2012 by faye
“Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry has been cleared of the battery case filed by former ‘Housewives’ actress Nicollette Sheridan.
According to reports, the judge handling the case dismissed the charges against Marc Cherry after Nicollette Sheridan claimed that he struck her in the head during a rehearsal in 2008, which was at the centre of the legal battle as the actress attempts to sue her former bosses for $6 million. Apparently, the claims that Nicollette Sheridan made did not meet the standard of proof for battery, which means Marc Cherry, who admitted to giving Sheridan a ‘tap’ in the head, has been cleared.
While the trial will continue as Nicollette Sheridan attempts to seek damages for being terminated, the judge’s dismissal of the most important part of her case does not bode well after it was believed the fate of the overall outcome rested on whether or not the incident with Marc Cherry was the catalyst for her termination.
It comes after a new witness surfaced in the trial who claims to have seen an evidence of a “cover up.” The lawyers of Nicollette Sheridan told the judge on Tuesday that they have a witness who was a low-level employee on the set of Desperate Housewives. The unnamed witness has made a statement contesting that he was mistakenly added to an ABC email which said it was using the network’s IT department to wipe everyone’s hard drives of all communications relating to the demise of Nicollette’s character, Edie Britt. ABC lawyers were clearly stunned, and responded that they had did not know of such a witness or an email. Sheridan’s lawyers told the judge that the email indicates there was “definitely a conspiracy to cover up correspondence.”
Marc Cherry, on the other hand, maintained that he was planning to kill Nicollette’s character Edie Britt months before they had an altercation during a rehearsal.
March 14th, 2012 by faye
A new witness has surfaced for the trial of Nicollette Sheridan who claims seeing evidence of a “cover up.”
According to TMZ reports, the lawyers of Nicollette Sheridan told the judge on Tuesday that they have a new witness who was a low-level employee on the set of “Desperate Housewives.” The unnamed witness has made a statement arguing that he was mistakenly added to an ABC email which said it was using the network’s IT department to wipe everyone’s hard drives of all communications relating to the death of Edie Britt, the character of Nicollette Sheridan on the show. ABC lawyers were clearly stunned, and responded that they had no knowledge of such a witness or an alleged email. Nicollette’s lawyers told the judge that the email indicates there was “definitely a conspiracy to cover up correspondence.”
“Housewives” creator Marc Cherry has said that he was planning to kill the character of Nicollette Sheridan even months before they had an altercation on the set of the show. Marc Cherry admits to “tapping” her on the head to explain the scene further, while Sheridan insists it was a wallop.
The new report adds that it is unclear if the judge will let the new witness testify in front of the jury.
On Friday, former ABC Chief Stephen McPherson testified that he approved a plan to kill off the character of Nicollette Sheridan on “Desperate Housewives” four months before she was allegedly struck over the head by Marc Cherry. The fate of her $6-million wrongful termination case hinges on whether the alleged altercation, which Sheridan claims was battery, was the catalyst for the decision to kill off serial seductress Edie Britt.
During court proceedings on Friday, Mr McPherson said Marc Cherry asked for his blessing on the death of Britt during a pitch meeting in May 2008. McPherson said, “He presented information he wanted to kill the character off. This was the time he wanted to let us know in confidentiality that he wanted to end Edie’s arc.” He added that he recalled telling Marc Cherry he wanted to make the season five death “promotable.” McPherson said, “I gave them my approval. We were actually excited about the possibilities.”
Nicollette Sheridan is claiming she was fired from the show in February 2009 as vengeance for her complaint that an angry and frustrated Marc Cherry hit her ‘hard’ in September 2008.
March 9th, 2012 by faye
“Desperate Housewives” writer Lori Kirkland Baker claims that ‘Housewives’ creator Marc Cherry did not originally plan to kill the character of Nicollette Sheridan, Edie Britt, in the Emmy-winning TV series – until after Cherry allegedly hit Sheridan.
Baker testified that she knew absolutely nothing about the death of Nicollette Sheridan’s character, Edie Britt until December 2008 – seven months after Marc Cherry claims he made the decision. Additionally, writer Lori Kirkland Baker said Marc Cherry brought up killing Edie after he sparred with Nicollette Sheridan on the set of “Desperate Housewives,” though Baker admits she was not present for all plot discussions.
Baker was employed by the ABC show for its 4th and 5th seasons. The writer’s contract, however, was not renewed.
March 9th, 2012 by faye
Marc Cherry, creator of ‘Desperate Housewives’ testified on Wednesday that Nicollette Sheridan, who filed a lawsuit against him and the network of ABC for wrongful termination and assault, was already a negative presence on the set for years before plans were made to kill Sheridan’s character, Edie Britt.
During the trial, Marc Cherry recalled intervening in a fight between Nicollette Sheridan and Teri Hatcher during the hit series’ first season. Cherry claims Sheridan told him that Hatcher was the “meanest woman in the world.”
The defense countered that Marc Cherry planned ahead to eliminate Edie Britt in season five, then have the aftermath of her death be a key plot point. The documents show an outline supposedly made during a May 2008 writers retreat in which Cherry has Edie being murdered by her husband, Dave, who is played by Neal McDonough.
“The purpose of the character was going to be over,” Marc Cherry said. He was looking ahead to the end of season five to plan an “interesting way to end the character’s time on the show in a shocking way for fans.”
On the other hand, Nicollette Sheridan maintains that Cherry had assured her that her job was safe when scripts came in for season five, and that he and ABC didn’t conspire to remove her until after the accusation hit tabloids that Marc Cherry hit Nicollette Sheridan. An internal investigation by ABC cleared the “Desperate Housewives” creator of wrongdoing.
Marc Cherry, however, insists that isn’t the case, that another writer pitched the idea of killing Sheridan’s character as early as the third season, but network executives felt that more could be done with the character.
The idea of killing Edie “hit me like a ton of bricks,” Cherry said, continuing “because I had never considered killing off a bigger character before.” It was “shocking, but fascinating” as far as the ramifications it would have for the characters still alive and well on Wisteria Lane. However, Mark Pedowitz and Steve McPherson, then president of ABC Entertainment, didn’t go for it.
“The scene was in my head that at some point we could kill the character,” Marc Cherry said. “I am always looking for new ways to garner publicity for the show.”
Pedowitz said during the trial that he approved the demise of Edie in May 2008, his signing having been necessary because Edie Britt was a major character. But Cherry said that he considered Edie to be a “series regular” rather than “one of the main characters,” one whose absence would do more to drive the plot than her continued presence.
The “primary reason I killed off the character was I thought creatively it was the best thing for my show,” Marc Cherry added, saying that it also saved the show money and made for a better environment on the set.Cherry testified that Nicollette Sheridan would come to work not knowing her lines and make “insulting comments” during table reads.
March 8th, 2012 by faye
It looks like the fate of the character of former “Desperate Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan has long been decided even before the dispute between Sheridan and Marc Cherry broke out.
“The belief was, the storytelling of Edie had pretty much finished. Her character had run its course,” former ABC Studios executive and current CW president Mark Pedowitz testified Tuesday on behalf of series creator Marc Cherry.
Four months before Marc Cherry allegedly hit Nicollette Sheridan on the head during a heated argument on set, Pedowitz said that he already signed off on Edie Britt’s death during a meeting with Marc Cherry and then-president of ABC Entertainment, Steve McPherson, on May 22, 2008.
“Who ultimately was the one who killed off Edie Britt from ABC Studios?” asked Cherry’s attorney, Adam Levin, to which Pedowitz replied, “I did.”
“[Edie] was a main series regular and it required the network studio to sign off” on her character’s exit, Mark Pedowitz explained. Pedowitz also added that he was the one who told Marc Cherry, when he approached the exec about killing Edie Britt in season three, that “there was more storytelling left” for the character of Nicollette Sheridan.
While Marc Cherry testified that the character of Nicollette Sheridan was killed off for creative, financial and H.R.-related reasons (Pedowitz claims the behavior of Nicollette Sheridan had become increasingly unprofessional), Pedowitz testified that he only signed off on the move for “creative” purposes and Cherry never brought up the other two.
‘Desperate Housewives’ creator Marc Cherry wanted Edie Britt to be gone “sooner rather than later,” Pedowitz claims, but he and other ABC suits wanted Cherry to wait until May sweeps in 2009 to do it.
According to the documents Cherry outlined several plot points, which includes Edie’s death at the hands of her husband for the coming fifth season in May 2008. The attorney of Nicollette Sheridan has questioned the validity of Cherry’s notes.
The first time Mark Pedowitz heard about the allegedly violent altercation between Marc Cherry and Nicollette Sheridan was more than a month after the incident happened – after which, he immediately called the publicity department of ABC Studios to launch an internal investigation, Pedowitz testified.
“We did not want this issue to play out like it is right now in court,” Pedowitz said.
Outside the courthouse, Mark Baute, attorney of Nicollette Sheridan speculated that Mark Pedowitz “could have been offered a severance package” when he left ABC in 2010. His contract was not renewed, but, as Sheridan attorney Patrick Maloney said in court, he signed on as an advisor to the network before being named president of the CW in April 2011.
“We feel good about the testimony from Mr. Pedowitz,” Levin said outside the courtroom.
Additionally, longtime attorney of Nicollette Sheridan, Neil Meyer, testified that the actress never filed a complaint with the H.R of ABC because she “was concerned about retribution” from Marc Cherry and was willing to “put her head down and go back to work.”
March 2nd, 2012 by faye
Former ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Nicollette Sheridan got emotional and burst into tears during the court hearing of the lawsuit she filed against Marc Cherry, creator and executive producer of their show. But that was before Cherry’s attorney recalled how Sheridan’s character had simply “run its course” on ‘Desperate Housewives’ and “it was time for Edie to die.”
“There were only so many husbands she could sleep with,” attorney Adam Levin said in his opening statement on behalf of ABC and Marc Cherry, who Nicollette Sheridan is suing for unjust termination and battery, claiming Marc Cherry removed her from the show after being verbally and physically abusive on set. However, it was during her own attorney’s opening remarks that actress Nicollette Sheridan broke into fits of tears.
“Ms. Sheridan is taking this on alone in a town where nobody takes on a television network,” her lawyer, Mark Baute, told the jury.
Baute went on saying Marc Cherry “hit Ms. Sheridan hard” during a heated argument back in September 24, 2008, – an action that stunned Nicollette Sheridan and left her asking Marc Cherry repeatedly why he had become violent.
Mark Baute alleges that ABC learned of the incident when the ‘National Enquirer’ printed an article detailing the alleged assault and undertook an investigation that would dismiss the “money machine known as Desperate Housewives.”
The alliance of Marc Cherry and ABC against Nicollette Sheridan, Baute continued, caused her to lose “the most lucrative job of her career.” For instance, he said, 47 minor characters have been killed off from ‘Desperate Housewives’ over seven seasons, but not one of the original cast, other than Sheridan, have gone on the same road. And in a “poorly written episode” at that, Marc Baute alleged.
“Bottom line, this was retaliatory termination by someone who knew what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it,” Baute concluded.
Adam Levin, attorney of Marc Cherry, countered that the ‘Desperate Housewives’ creator merely decided to kill off Edie Brit once her storyline had run its course. “For a television show to last more than a few episodes, writers must continue to shock and surprise the audience who is wanting more,” Levin argued at the court. “People die a lot on TV, which can lead to water-cooler talk and media exposure.”
“Ms. Sheridan worked on ‘Desperate Housewives’ for five seasons and then her character was killed off,” Levin continued, also noting that Marc Cherry considered getting rid of Edie during season three but ultimately envisioned more action for her character. “Ms. Sheridan is obviously unhappy. But she was not wrongfully terminated, nor was she battered.”
Attorney Adam Levin said that the alleged assault on Nicollette Sheridan back in September 24, 2008 “left no injury and no mark and she took no aspirin. In fact, her first call after the incident was to check her voicemail.”
While the attorney of Nicollette Sheridan said that a number of the series’ former writers will be testifying for her, Levin’s witness roster includes Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman and James Denton.
Nicollette Sheridan is scheduled to testify on Thursday morning. In reference to her breaking down in court, Baute told E! News, “She was not acting. She clearly was shaken up.”
March 1st, 2012 by faye
The lawsuit of former “Desperate Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan against the creator of the show, Marc Cherry, will finally be presented in court this week. As previous reports have stated, the actress filed a lawsuit against Cherry due to allegedly smacking her in the face and then firing her from the show.
Nicollette Sheridan may take the stand, in connection with her unjust termination from “Desperate Housewives” and battery lawsuit in which she alleges she was fired from the show after going to executives claiming that Marc Cherry hit her. The 48-year-old actress, who played the character of Edie Britt on the hit ABC show, says that Marc Cherry hit her with an open hand during rehearsals in 2008 after a heated argument about the script.
‘Housewives’ creator, Marc Cherry vehemently denies the allegations from Nicollette Sheridan. In an issued statement, he said, ”I did not tap, hit, or otherwise touch Sheridan because she is a woman. I also never made any rude or disparaging remarks about her gender. I have never treated Sheridan any differently than any other individual associated with the show because she is a woman.”
Other cast members of the show are on ABC and Cherry’s witness list, including Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman. Marc Cherry is also expected to take the stand in his own defense. Nicollette Sheridan, on the other hand, also has planned witnesses including former ABC president, a former ABC studio executive, and several former producers of the show.
After jury selection is completed on Tuesday, both parties will present their opening statements. The judge has already ruled Nicollette Sheridan will only be able to attempt to recover one year’s worth of salary, $4 million, and not compensation for the “Desperate Housewives” full run.