Was There a 'Desperate Housewives' Conspiracy?

by Raphael Chestang 4:21 PM PDT, March 14, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

During the closing arguments of the Desperate Housewives trial on Wednesday, Nicollette Sheridan pleaded with jurors to believe her claims of wrongful termination, alleging that producers of the ABC drama conspired to kill her character off the show.

While Sheridan claims that it's no coincidence that her character was axed after accusing show creator Marc Cherry of striking her, Adam Levin, Cherry's lead attorney, focused on 10 witnesses who testified that the decision was made before the September 24, 2008 altercation.

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Mark Baute, Sheridan's attorney, argued that if Sheridan's former bosses had intended to kill off her character, they wouldn't have renewed the actress' contract for the final season, which guaranteed her a full season's pay and a share of profits for the entire series.

Baute also based his closing arguments on writers' assistant notes dated January 13, 2009 that indicated Sheridan's character was still alive for episode 524, the last episode of Season 5.

Levin countered that the prosecution was resorting to "desperate theories" in an attempt to win over the jury.

In December 2008, ABC's human resources concluded an investigation that cleared Cherry of wrongdoing in Sheridan's assault accusation.

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According to the Associated Press, Sheridan is asking to be awarded roughly $6 million for the alleged wrongful termination.

Jury deliberations are expected to begin Thursday.