A former producer for the series backs up the actress’ claims about the timing of her firing
Nicollette Sheridan's situation in her lawsuit against ABC and Marc Cherry just got a bit less desperate.
The former "Desperate Housewives" actress, who is suing the network and series creator Cherry for sex discrimination and wrongful termination, might have caught a lucky break, thanks to former "Housewives" producer Lori Kirkland Baker, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Kirkland Baker, who worked on the series from May 2007 to May 2009, has submitted a sworn declaration in the case that backs up Sheridan's version of events — and refutes that of ABC and Cherry.
Sheridan is suing Cherry and ABC for $20 million, claiming that she was fired for complaining that Cherry had slapped her during an alleged September 2008 altercation.
Cherry and ABC, meanwhile, contend that the decision to kill off Sheridan's character, Edie Britt, was made in May 2008, following a meeting with writers and producers, which would make Sheridan's claim that her firing was retaliatory invalid.
However, in her sworn declaration, Kirkland Baker says that she wasn't made aware of the decision to kill off Britt until at least September 2008 — and that Cherry decided to expedite the character's demise as he experienced "increasing frustration" with Sheridan.
Baker's declaration — which was filed on April 9 — notes: "In fall of 2008, Mr. Cherry began talking with the writing staff, myself included, about killing off the Edie Britt character. I have no recollection of any decision to kill off the Edie Britt character prior to fall of 2008."
The statement recalls that, at approximately the time of the alleged slapping incident, "Mr. Cherry had expressed to the writers, in my presence, increasing frustration with Ms. Sheridan."
According to Kirkland Baker, Cherry initially told staff that the Britt character would be offed at the end of season five, but decided to speed up the process after returning from the inaugural celebration of President Barack Obama in January 2009.
Kirkland Baker says in the declaration: "Mr. Cherry advised the writing staff that he'd changed his mind about the timing of Edie Britt's death … Rather than waiting for the end of the season, he wanted to change course and, instead, have Edie Britt killed off much sooner."
Kirkland Baker says that Cherry then told staff that Sheridan "was going to be killed off in one of the next episodes to be written and filmed."
The actress claims that she wasn't informed that her character was being killed off until February 2009.
The suit, which is being heard by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White, will have a hearing on May 3, with a trial tentatively scheduled for June 8.