TV Housewife 'killed off after row'
Nicollette Sheridan should receive six million dollars (£3.7m) for being killed off in Desperate Housewives after the show's creator slapped her, her lawyer told a Los Angeles court.
The dispute between Sheridan, 48, and Housewives creator and executive producer Marc Cherry was presented to jurors in the opening remarks of a case that will offer glimpses into the behind-the-scenes manoeuvres of a hit TV show.
Sheridan, 48, will be the trial's first witness. Her wrongful termination and battery trial centres on whether her complaints about Cherry's slap - described by her lawyer as a hard whack, and a defence lawyer as a tap meant to give artistic direction - led to her character Edie Britt's violent demise and the loss of her 175,000 dollar-an-episode job.
Sheridan's lawyer Mark Baute claims her character was killed off only after ABC, which airs the series in the US, cleared Cherry of wrongdoing.
He told jurors that determination was made after a sham investigation and the plotline was hastily planned. Cherry and ABC have denied all wrongdoing.
Adam Levin, who represents Cherry and ABC, said he would present evidence that the decision to kill off Sheridan's character came months before the on-set dispute and was made after consulting the highest ranks of the network's management.
He noted Sheridan didn't suffer physical injuries and denied Mr Baute's accusations that Cherry or other show employees tried to cover up the row between the producer and Sheridan.
Sheridan dabbed her eyes and hugged Mr Baute after his opening statements, which described her as waging a battle against Cherry and ABC virtually alone.
"This is a man hitting a woman in the head - hard - without her consent," Mr Baute said.
Co-stars Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross are all listed as potential witnesses.