'Desperate' Employment Lawsuit Heads to Trial

By Robyn Hagan Cain on February 28, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Jury selection started this week in Nicollette Sheridan's wrongful termination employment lawsuit against Desperate Housewives Creator and Executive Producer Mark Cherry, and it already sounds as though the cast’s real-life drama will be more interesting than the on-screen drama.

For those of you who don't watch Desperate Housewives, and don't understand why this lawsuit is happening, let's recap the high points of Sheridan’s claim.

Sheridan, who played saucy minx Edie Britt on the popular ABC show, says 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. In April 2009, Sheridan's character was killed off the show, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Sheridan is seeking $4 million in damages for battery and wrongful termination claims.

So far, the news in the trial is restricted to jury selection reports that voir dire questions from Sheridan's lawyer focused on potential jurors' favorite television shows, whether a main character of that particular show was killed off, and whether a woman should ever be fired from the workplace if she complained to Human Resources that she was hit, reports E! Online.

The entertainment news network also reports that Sheridan will argue that main characters are never killed off primetime shows, while Cherry will claim a First Amendment right to do what he wants with his characters.

The lucky jurors who make the cut will be treated to a parade of stars during the actual trial: Sheridan will be calling television execs and entertainment insiders as witnesses in the employment lawsuit, while Cherry will call Neal Baer, a seven-time Emmy nominated writer, for his expert opinion on casting decisions in Hollywood. (Best Daubert analysis ever?)

Cherry will also haul the remaining Desperate Housewives -- Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria -- to testify in support of his defense, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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