Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Former 'Housewives' Star Nicollette Sheridan Sues Series Creator Over Firing, Alleged Assault | There is Life After 40!

Nicollette Sheridan (Ron Tom/ABC)

Why was Desperate Housewives' sexy Realtor Edie Britt killed off the show? Most believe it was a wage dispute. Not in Nicolette Sheridan's case.

TMZ first reported the lawsuit in which Sheridan alleges the show's creator Marc Cherry hit her in the face on the set and that she was then fired in retaliation for complaining about him, "resulting in her losing millions in future earnings," says the suit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Marc Cherry, January 13, 2007
Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Cherry began his career at Designing Women as Dixie Carter's personal assistant. In 1990 he became a writer and producer for the longrunning hit sitcom, The Golden Girls. Afterwards he created a short-lived sitcom also centering around four strong, diverse women, The Five Mrs. Buchanans (1994)) and other series such as The Crew (1995) and Some of My Best Friends.

Sheridan, whose character was killed off the show last year, is suing for $20 million, alleging assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination. She claims series creator , created a hostile work environment, "behaving in an extremely abusive and aggressive manner."

Sheridan, a Golden Globe nominee who played sexy Realtor Edie Britt, claims that Cherry directed his abuse at other cast and crew members, even at star Teri Hatcher after she went above his head to ABC executives.

"I hope , gets hit by a car and dies," Cherry told Sheridan, according to the lawsuit.

ABC Studios says in a statement: "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."

Sheridan, whose contract called for her to earn $175,000 an episode going up to $250,000 in later years, claimed that in the summer of 2008 she tried to meet privately with Cherry "in an effort to discuss his negative demeanor toward her and to discuss whether he had a problem with her work," the lawsuit says.

Cherry told her he didn't have a problem with her and apologized, only to lash out at her again, behaving in a "rude and degrading manner," leading up to a clash on the set during a Sept. 24, 2008, rehearsal, the lawsuit claims.

"When Sheridan questioned Cherry about something that was in the script, Cherry took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head," the lawsuit says.

A humiliated Sheridan yelled back, "You just hit me in the head. That is not okay. THAT IS NOT OKAY!" according to the lawsuit.

Cherry went to her trailer to "beg forgiveness," the lawsuit says, but after Sheridan reported him to ABC, his behavior allegedly worsened. She was informed in February 2009 that her character was being written off the show and she was being fired, according to the lawsuit.

"The decision to kill off Sheridan's character demonstrates that Cherry and ABC intended to and did retaliate against Sheridan for her complaints about Cherry," the lawsuit says. The lawsuit notes that although some of the male characters were killed off the show, "none of the female characters had ever before been killed off or written out of the show."

There is Life After 40 for Women in Hollywood

It is inspiring to see actresses like Nicollette Sheridan (46), Teri Hatcher (40), Marcia Cross (48), Felicity Huffman (47), and Dana Delany (54) actively employed on a hit tv series.
LinkDana Delany, 2-part Castle episode "Tick, Tick, Tick...Boom!"

Delany recently guest starred on ABC's Castle the Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic mystery-comedy which has just been renewed for a 22-episode third season. Dana Delany plays FBI Special Agent Jordan Shaw in a two-part event which attracted the show's largest audience to date (14.5 million viewers) and gave ABC its best scripted performance in the time-slot in 14 years. She talks about her guest appearance on Castle in the ET clip below.

Delany is also headlining the new ABC pilot Body of Evidence. Korbi TV asked Delany what would happen to her role on DH. Delany replied "the minute Marc Cherry heard that I was going to be doing this pilot, he said, that's fine, we'll just send you off to Paris, and if the show gets picked up, good for you, and if it doesn't, we can bring you back. So everything is sort of up in the air." Katherine (Dana Delany) finally comes out of the closet to the rest of the housewives about her romance with Robin (Julie Benz) and they take off on a trip to Paris.

There is life for Hollywood women over 40. Just don't question the script or you might get bitch-slapped and fired!

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