She means business: Former Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan arrives to court to take stand in wrongful dismissal trial
Nicollete Sheridan looked like she meant business as she arrived to a Los Angeles court today to take the stand in her wrongful dismissal lawsuit against Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry.
The 48-year-old actress, who alleges Cherry struck her across the head and then fired her for standing up to him, has been called as the first witness as the trial gets underway following opening statements and jury selection.
Nicollette cut a business-like figure in a pencil skirt and jacket, wearing her blonde hair tied back and completing her look with shades.
Opening statements: Nicollette Sheridan's lawyer made opening statements yesterday in her wrongful dismissal trial against Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, Sheridan pictured today and Cherry seen on Tuesday
Don't mess: The actress looked like she meant business in a pencil skirt and jacket as she headed to court today
Sheridan's lawyer told the hearing
yesterday the actress – who played Edie Britt in the hit ABC – should
receive $6m (3.7m) for being killed off.
The duelling characterisations of a
dispute between Sheridan and Housewives creator and executive producer
Cherry were presented to jurors in opening remarks of a case that will
offer glimpses into behind-the-scenes manoeuvres of a hit TV show.
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's violent demise and the
loss of her $175,000 (110,000)-an-episode job.
Written out: Sheridan's character Edie Britt was killed off in 2009 when her character was electrocuted following a car crash
Sheridan's lawyer Mark Baute claims
her character was killed off only after ABC, which airs the series,
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.
Fired: Sheridan was fired from the hit show in 2009 with her lawyer telling the court yesterday how Cherry 'struck her in the head' for standing up to him
Hard at work: Eva Longoria was spotted filming scenes for the show in Los Angeles yesterday
He noted that Sheridan did not suffer
any 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 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.
Giving evidence: Court papers show the names of stars from Desperate Housewives who will be called for the defence
The series, which stars, Eva Longoria,
Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross, could provide some
star power to the trial because all are listed as potential witnesses.
Mr Baute said two of the show's
writers would say that no decision about eliminating Sheridan's
character was made until after ABC concluded its inquiry into the
'People die all the time in
television,' Mr Levin argued, noting that if the plot was done right, it
could boost a show's ratings.
Witnesses: Cherry is calling the members of the cast as his witnesses in the trial, seen here Housewives Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria
Heading to court: Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher are also being called as witnesses for Cherry
Sheridan's character died in the
show's fifth season after being nearly strangled, involved in a car
crash and finally, electrocuted.
Cherry appeared pained as Mr Baute
described Britt's demise as a 'triple homicide' and her reappearance a
few episodes later in 'a ridiculous ghost scene'.
Jurors will be shown clips from the
show, writer's notes and diagrams of sets, as well as Sheridan's
contracts and emails from studio personnel, lawyers said.
Desperate Housewives made a
pop-culture and ratings splash when it premiered in 2004 but has seen
its audience dwindle. It is in its last season.
Axe to grind: Nicollette – who played maneater Edie Britt – seen here with her co-stars in 2006 at the Golden Globe Awards