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Former 'Desperate Housewives' Star Nicollette Sheridan Granted Retrial

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  • Nicollette Sheridan
    (PHOTO: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader)
    U.S. actress Nicollette Sheridan speaks during a news conference in Vienna, Feb. 18, 2009.
By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
April 20, 2012|12:11 pm

Nicollette Sheridan has been granted a retrial in her wrongful dismissal lawsuit against ABC after a Los Angeles judge declared a mistrial.

Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White denied ABC's motion to dismiss the case after a jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of Sheridan's claim, and scheduled a new trial date of Sept. 10, according to the Washington Post.

Sheridan is suing ABC/Disney for a reported $6 million claiming that her "Desperate Housewives" character, Edie Britt, was unexpectedly killed off in 2008 after she complained about an incident involving the show's creator Marc Cherry.

The 48-year-old actress had initially slapped Cherry with a $20 million lawsuit in April 2010 alleging that he had physically assaulted her while she was working on the set of "Desperate Housewives."

Cherry claims that he lightly tapped Sheridan on the head for artistic direction and that her character's death was the result of a creative decision; Sheridan withdrew her claim shortly after filing but maintains that she was wrongfully terminated.

Sheridan's attorney Mark Baute argued that his client was fired 60 days after she made a formal complaint against Cherry, and that the decision to kill off her character was made in December 2008, after she complained about the confrontation with Cherry.

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Adam Levin, who is the lead attorney for ABC/Disney, maintains that discussions about killing off Sheridan's character began in May before any complaint was filed, which prompted Baute to counter that, saying having a discussion is not the same as making a decision.

Baute also argued that ABC's attorney Adam Levin was playing the case in the media and requested that Judge White sanction him in $35,000, which she denied.

Judge White urged both parties to seriously engage in settlement talks prior to scheduling the next court hearing.

On April 16 eight out of 12 jurors voted in favor of Sheridan in the original trial, however nine were needed to reach a verdict and the case was ultimately declare a mistrial.

 

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