Lawyers: Teri Hatcher Didn't Promote Rival Lip Product

Attorneys for "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher say there's no way to gloss over it — the allegations that she promoted a rival lip plumping product are false.

Hatcher and her production company, ISBE Productions, entered into an agreement in 2005 with the skin products company Hydroderm for the actress to exclusively promote its products.

The company filed suit Tuesday, alleging Hatcher violated the agreement by promoting City Lips, which competes with Hydroderm's lip plumping product.

In his motion, Hydroderm attorney Robert Heller wrote that Hatcher's name or image has been used to promote 22 other cosmetic products.

In his response, filed Thursday, Hatcher's attorney, Joseph Taylor, wrote that the actress did not make deals with other cosmetic companies, did "absolutely nothing wrong and has been ready, willing, able and eager" to work for Hydroderm, having participated in an all-day photo shoot and having made herself available for TV appearances.

Taylor blamed management upheaval at Hydroderm for causing "corporate paralysis" and called the lawsuit and a related press release a "destructive publicity scheme" designed to prevent Hatcher from claiming the full value of the agreement.

Hydroderm wants to recover the $2.4 million in payments to Hatcher since November 2005, plus about $400,000 in expenses.

Taylor said the agreement contains a binding arbitration clause and the matter should not have ended up in court.

Hydroderm is "trying to hound" Hatcher into taking less than the company agreed to, her lawyer said.

In a related action Thursday, Superior Court Judge Helen I. Bendix denied a request to speed up the discovery process in the case.