- (PHOTO: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader)
The trial involving a former cast member on the popular television series "Desperate Housewives" and the show's creator started today.
Former cast member Nicollette Sheridan's is suing series creator Marc Cherry for wrongful termination and battery.
Sheridan is seeking $4 million in lost wages after her character was killed off from the long-running ABC prime-time show in 2009.
She claims that Cherry hit her in the face following a disagreement over the script and that she was fired after she complained to executives.
Other stars on the show include Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman. They are all expected to testify for the defense, according to reports.
Entertainment website TMZ.com claimed that Sheridan's witness list states that her legal team wants to question Cherry for eight hours, while her former co-stars will only be questioned for a half an hour, although cross-examination could extend that time.
The suit contends that Cherry created "a hostile work environment" from the show's beginning in 2004.
"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 the writers and staff in front of others on the show, including Sheridan," according to the suit.
The suit also states that Sheridan was the subject of abuse during the fifth season when "Cherry consistently behaved in a dismissive, demeaning and unprofessional manner toward Sheridan, not only in front of the other cast and crew on the show, but before the public at large."
This "hostility and aggression toward Sheridan culminated" on the set of the show on Sept. 24, 2008, the suit says.
The suit alleges that "during a rehearsal for the show, when Sheridan questioned Cherry about something that was in the script, Cherry took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head."
The trial is expected to last several weeks.