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"Desperate Housewives" star sues ABC for wrongful termination

Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan is currently in the midst of a firing suit against ABC and creator and executive producer Marc Cherry.

The wrongful termination suit, which will go to trial in early June, arises from an incident in 2008 in which Sheridan claims that Cherry, creator struck her during a fight and subjected her to sexual harassment. She said that when she complained about the incident to ABC, they didn't take it seriously and then afterward fired her in retaliation.

In Sheridan's original complaint filed in April 2010, in which she sought $20 million, she also accused ABC of discrimination based on sexual orientation and age, but she later dropped those parts of the suit.

The judge in charge of her case later threw out her claims of assault and sexual harassment, but indicated that the accusations of wrongful termination needed to go to the jury. The jury will now how to determine whether Sheridan's character was unfairly written out of the script of Desperate Housewives.

According to Cherry's attorney, the decision to kill off Sheridan's character was made back in May 2008 and kept hidden from others on the show in order to avoid spoiling the surprise. Sheridan's attorney said that the explanation didn't add up since Sheridan's character was killed off during a time when she was still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars on her contract.

Source: Associated Press, "Judge clears 'Housewives' firing lawsuit for trial," Anthony McCartney, 3 May 2011.

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