Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor
Nicollette Sheridan was never one of the stars of Desperate Housewives, the lead defense attorney in her suit against Housewives creator/executive producer Marc Cherry asserted today. Lining up to show that the death of Sheridan’s character Edie Britt was not an unusual occurrence for a network show, defense attorney Adam Levin went to great lengths to show that the actress was not of the same stature as Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher on the hit ABC series. Levin cited pay differences between Sheridan and the other actresses; that Sheridan was not featured in a group shot in the show’s opening sequence; and that Sheridan was only nominated for a best supporting role by the Golden Globes in 2005 and never a best actress Globe or Emmy, as others on the show were.
Just before the court adjourned at noon today, the defense, which had been bedeviled by technical issues throughout its presentation, showed a seven-minute video of all the characters, including Sheridan’s Edie character, who had been killed off of Wisteria Lane during the show’s run. The video elicited frequent laughter from the jury and spectators.
Levity was not the order of the day earlier. “He hit me and he hit me hard, sir!” That’s what a very upset Sheridan told Levin on the stand. The attorney was seeking to drill into apparent contradictions in depositions and signed statements in which the actress referred to Cherry either slapping or hitting her on the head on set on September 24, 2008.
Sheridan claimed she had no idea why the descriptions differed and that such legalities are “all very new to me” in response to a persistent Levin, who played clips from the actress’ December 23, 2011 video deposition. Sheridan called Levin’s questioning “ridiculous” and the actress asserted that she had always maintained that Cherry hit her. “I said it then, it is not OK to hit me”. Sheridan later told the court about talking to Cherry on the day she says he hit her about a line of her dialogue that had been cut out and the trepidation she had about asking him to reinsert or replace it. “It is a touchy subject sometimes approaching Marc.”
The trial resumes at 9:30 AM Monday with Sheridan still on the stand.