Nicolette Sheridan, the actress who played Edie Britt on the hit television series Desperate Housewives, has filed a lawsuit against the show’s creator, Marc Cherry. Sheridan alleges that she was fired from Desperate Housewives in retaliation for reporting to ABC about being physically attacked by Cherry.
Sheridan alleges that on September 24, 2008, Cherry “forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head” after she asked a question about something in the script. After immediately reporting Cherry’s assault to ABC, Sheridan claims that Cherry’s abusive behavior became even more unbearable.
In February 2009, Sheridan was informed that her employment on Desperate Housewives was being terminated and that her character, Edie Britt, was being killed off the show. Sheridan alleges that she was terminated in retaliation for having complained about Cherry’s workplace bullying.
In addition, the lawsuit document states that “From the inception of the Show, Cherry created a hostile work environment for the cast, crew and writers who work for the Show, and Sheridan in particular. Cherry has a reputation for behaving in an extremely abusive and aggressive manner toward the individuals who work on the show, and is known for regularly demeaning writers and staff in front of others on the Show, including Sheridan.”
Sheridan’s attorney released the following statement:
“Nicollette worked very hard on the show and was a model employee. Mr. Cherry’s behavior towards Nicollette was and is nothing short of abusive and appalling. The lawsuit is not something Nicollette wanted to do, it’s something she felt compelled to do. Nicollette asked ABC for help and protection from Mr. Cherry’s abusive behavior, and ultimately, ABC was not willing or able to provide that protection. Sometimes the only way that a safe and normal work environment can be created is when a hard-working person like Nicollette stands up for herself and her rights, and in doing so help protect others who have had to work in a hostile environment.
“We expect the case to be hard fought, and it will not be a surprise if ABC and Mr. Cherry try to depict Nicollette to be something other than a team player and long-standing industry professional. She put her heart and soul into the role of the Edie character, a character that she truly enjoyed playing.”