Nicollette Sheridan gets her 'Desperate Housewives' retrial
Nicollette Sheridan has been granted a retrial in her wrongful termination lawsuit regarding her exit from the ABC show "Desperate Housewives," after a judge declared a mistrial last month.
A judge denied ABC's motion to dismiss the sole remaining count of wrongful termination and scheduled a conference hearing for the case on September 5. The trial is scheduled to begin on September 10, 2012.
Sheridan's attorney Mark Baute accused ABC's attorney Adam Levin of playing the case in the media and requested the judge to sanction him in $35,000. The judge denied the sanctions.
The judge urged both sides to seriously try to reach a settlement before the retrial, keeping in mind that a vast majority of the jury members sided with Sheridan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baute told reporters that ABC/Disney will never settle and he doesn't imagine that will change before the retrial.
Sheridan's attorneys have said that they want to bring additional witnesses to the stand for the new trial. The same judge is set to preside, but a new jury will be picked.
On April 16, eight out of 12 jurors voted in favor of the actress in the original trial, but nine were needed to reach a verdict. The Los Angeles jury discussed the case for 10 and a half hours but its foreperson declared it was deadlocked. The judge declared a mistrial.
Sheridan had claimed that her character, Edie Britt, was killed off in retaliation for complaining about a confrontation with show creator Marc Cherry. She had demanded $6 million in damages for alleged battery and wrongful termination. The judge had dismissed her battery complaint, which had served as a key part of the case.
The battery claim could be returned if Sheridan's attorney appeals its dismissal. He has not commented about this. If no appeal is made, the new trial would concentrate solely on her claim that she was terminated from the show wrongfully in retaliation for complaining about the confrontation and the defendant would remain the program's studio, Touchstone Television, not Cherry himself.
The actress, who appeared on the show from its 2004 debut to 2009, had claimed Cherry struck her on the set on Sept. 24, 2008. He had said that while he never asked permission to touch her, he gave her a "tap" on the side of her head as a demonstration, while trying to explain a scene.
Sheridan's attorney has said the actress was fired 60 days after her complaint and that the decision to kill off her character was made in December 2008, after she complained about the confrontation with Cherry. The show's attorney says her fate was sealed in May, before the incident.
Sheridan would have made $200,000 per episode had she starred in all 23 of the sixth season, her last. The show is now on its eighth and final season.