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'Desperate Housewives' jury says it is deadlocked

March 15, 2012 |  4:39 pm

Nicollette Sheridan and Marc Cherry
The judge in Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination claim against the creator of “Desperate Housewives” sent jurors home Thursday after they said they were deadlocked after a day of deliberations.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White told the jury to spend the evening relaxing and return refreshed Friday morning to look at the case anew.

The foreman did not reveal how jurors are split. Nine of the 12 jurors must agree to render a verdict. Before saying they were split, jurors asked the judge to define a word in jury instructions --  “complaint.”

Sheridan, 48, alleged during the two-week trial that her character was killed off the ABC soap in retaliation for a complaint she made accusing creator Marc Cherry of striking her in the head during a  rehearsal.

Cherry and his co-defendant, Touchstone Television Production, maintain that he only tapped her on the head to demonstrate a stage direction and had decided to eliminate her character months before.

Sheridan, who earned $4 million a year as well as back-end profits, is seeking economic damages of $5.7 million.


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-- Harriet Ryan

Left photo: Nicollette Sheridan

Credit: Valerie Macon / Getty Images

Right photo: Marc Cherry

Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press