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Dozens of ‘Desperate Housewives’ deaths shown to jury

Nicollette Sheridan is suing Desperate Housewives creator for wrongful termination
The deaths that unfolded on a projection screen Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court were as varied as they were fake. There were suicides and strangulations, neck-breaking stumbles and even a plane crash.

The demises occurred on "Desperate Housewives," the ABC program whose backstage drama is now the subject of a lawsuit by one of its former stars, Nicollette Sheridan.

On the third day of trial, a lawyer for the show's creator and production company played a seven-minute montage of the black comedy's blackest moments to suggest that killing off Sheridan's character was show business as usual -- not an act of retaliation.

Sheridan, 48, is suing show creator Marc Cherry and Touchstone Television Productions for wrongful termination and battery. She has testified that Cherry hit her in the head when she repeatedly questioned script changes and then wrote her off the show and out of her $175,000 per episode salary after she complained about the alleged assault.

With the video -- titled "Deaths on Wisteria Lane" -- the defense positioned the fatal electrocution of Edie Britt, Sheridan's character, as just one of more than 40 deaths in the show's eight seasons.

Under cross-examination, Sheridan sparred with defense attorney Adam Levin over how she characterized the blow to her head. She acknowledged calling it a "slap" in a complaint with a state employment authorities and a "hit" in a deposition, but bristled when the attorney accused her of changing her story.

"It's just ridiculous to me," she snapped. Judge Elizabeth White later told her to "calm down and answer the questions."

The trial continues Monday.

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-- Harriet Ryan

Photo: Nicollette Sheridan, second from right, is shown with 'Desperate Housewives' co-stars Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria, from left. Credit: Ron Tom / ABC

 
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