LOS ANGELES – Nicollette Sheridan, the actress who played a divorced real estate agent in ABC's "Desperate Housewives," filed suit against the show's creator and producer alleging assault and wrongful termination.
In the lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Sheridan claims producer Marc Cherry hit her in the face on the Wisteria Lane set in September 2008.
Sheridan had asked Cherry about a line in the script, and he "took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head," the suit said. After she stormed off to her trailer, he came to "beg forgiveness."
When she reported the incident to ABC, Cherry retaliated by killing off her character, Edie Britt, in the popular series, Sheridan claims.
The lawsuit seeks $20 million in sustained damages.
Calls to Cherry's company, Cherry Alley Productions, and to ABC Studios were not immediately returned Monday night.
The lawsuit, which also names ABC, accuses Cherry of creating a hostile work environment on the set and behaving aggressively and abusively toward the cast and the writers.
When Teri Hatcher, who plays Susan Meyer on the show, spoke to ABC executives about Cherry's behavior, Cherry told Sheridan, "I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies."
Sheridan argued that her character was one of the lead characters of the show, and was getting more airtime that season. Edie Britt is not featured in the show's opening credits.
Cherry and ABC retaliated against her by killing off her character in a car accident, the court document said.
"It is exceptionally unusual for a popular character to be killed off or written out of a television series unless the actor has requested to be released from his or her contract," is how Sheridan's lawyer sees it.