Eight years after initially suing Desperate Housewives, Nicollette Sheridan's legal battle is not over

By Brianne Tracy
March 08, 2018 11:56 AM

Nicollette Sheridan’s drama behind the scenes of Desperate Housewives isn’t over.

After the actress’ character, Edie Britt, was killed off the showin 2009, she led a lawsuit — which is still ongoing — against Disney, ABC, production studio Touchstone and show creator Marc Cherry. Sheridan claimed that Cherry struck her in the head and decided to write her off the show after she complained about the altercation.

“I was the victim of assault and battery on the set of Desperate Housewives by the creator of the show, my boss,” Sheridan, 54, told Entertainment Weekly. “I reported him and was retaliated against for doing so and fired off the show. That is against the law.”

Eight years after the initial lawsuit, Sheridan’s legal battle is not over. Though a judge threw out her case last year, Sheridan is appealing.

“I was vilified for standing up for my rights, not only as a woman but as a human being,” she said. “And I was punished for it. But that wasn’t going to stop me because I had to get my dignity back, and if I’d let it slide, I couldn’t have looked myself in the mirror.”

Grab Cut Insert Cut F:PHOTOMediaFactory ActionsRequests DropBox13712#abc100268_6656_ful.jpg
Credit: Peter Stone/ABC

Cherry’s reps said in a statement to EW,Nicolette Sheridan was not a victim at the hands of Marc Cherry — a court has already ruled to that effect after hearing the testimony of multiple witnesses. We are disappointed that the judicial determination continues to be ignored.”

Following her exit from the show, Sheridan retreated to her farm in Hidden Hills, California, to contemplate whether she wanted to leave the industry she’d been part of for decades.

F:PHOTOMediaFactory ActionsRequests DropBox48859#GETTYCHATTErGettyImages-596423896.jpg
Nicollette Sheridan
| Credit: Todd Williamson/Getty

“What happened at the end of Desperate Housewives was degrading and demoralizing,” Sheridan said. “It sent me under a rock. I really grappled with what happened, losing faith in people and really not trusting the business at all. I didn’t know that I wanted anything to do with the business for some time.”

While spending some time away from the business, Sheridan wrote and produced a few of her own projects with Hallmark. It wasn’t until The CW offered her the role of Dynasty’s notorious matriarch Alexis Carrington that she thought about making a return to series TV.

“When Edie Britt died on Desperate Housewives, I feel like the audience felt like Nicollette died with her,” she said. “And I thought [Dynasty] was such a splashy, fun, strong comeback. It was just the right thing at the right time.”