As the judge considered an evidence dispute, opening statements in the trial of actress Nicollette Sheridan’s claim that her “Desperate Housewives” character was killed off because she protested mistreatment by the TV show’s creator were postponed Wednesday morning.
Once lawyers provide their opening statements to the jury, Sheridan is expected to testify about her unfair termination lawsuit against creator/producer/writer Marc Cherry as well as ABC.
Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, James Denton, Felicity Huffman and Neal McDonough, Sheridan’s former cast mates, are on the list of witnesses expected to defend Cherry.
The suit alleges that Cherry took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head when she questioned him about something that was in the script. Sheridan made a complaint to ABC executives in September of 2008, but the abusive and aggressive behavior continued.
In March 2009–eleven episodes later–her character was electrocuted after a car crash, ending Sheridan’s employment on the series.
Lawyers estimate the trial could last more than two weeks.