Former ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress sues show’s creator, ABC

A former cast member of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” is suing the show’s creator and producer, Marc Cherry, alleging he physically assaulted her, then killed off her character in the series in retaliation after she reported the assault to the network.

Sheridan lawsuit: An article in Tuesday’s LATExtra section on a lawsuit filed by actress Nicollette Sheridan against the creator and producer of “Desperate Housewives,” as well as against ABC and Touchstone Television Productions, attributed a statement to ABC. The statement came from ABC Studios. —

Nicollette Sheridan, who played Edie Britt until her character was written off the series in early 2009, alleged in the suit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court that Cherry was dismissive and demeaning to her during filming. In September 2008, Cherry “took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head” during rehearsal after she asked him a question about the script, the suit alleged.

The subsequent decision to kill Sheridan’s character and fire her despite her character’s popularity was retaliation for her reporting Cherry’s assault to ABC, she alleged in the lawsuit. Sheridan said she suffered damages of more than $20 million. The suit also named ABC and Touchstone Television Productions as defendants.

Sheridan claimed in the suit that Cherry was abusive and hostile toward other actors and writers on the show. After one of the lead actresses on the show spoke to ABC executives, Cherry told Sheridan, “I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies,” the suit alleges.

“While we have yet to see the actual complaint, we investigated similar claims made by Ms. Sheridan last year and found them to be without merit,” an ABC Studios spokeswoman said. Cherry did not immediately return requests for comment late Monday.