A former executive producer of Desperate Housewives has entered testimony that supports Nicollette Sheridan's timeline of events in her wrongful termination lawsuit against ABC and creator Marc Cherry, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lori Kirkland Baker, who worked on the ABC dramedy from May 2007 through May 2009, submitted a sworn declaration on April 9 that backs up Sheridan's claims about the order of events that lead up to her exit.
Sheridan, 47, filed a $20 million lawsuit in April 2010 claiming that Cherry hit her in the face and that she was fired from Desperate Housewives after she tried to complain to ABC, and because she is a woman.
"In fall of 2008, Mr. Cherry began talking with the writing staff, myself included, about killing off the Edie Britt character," Kirkland Baker said in her declaration, obtained by THR. "I have no recollection of any decision to kill off the Edie Britt character prior to fall of 2008."
Around the time of the alleged slap, said Kirkland Baker, "Mr. Cherry had expressed to the writers, in my presence, increasing frustration with Ms. Sheridan." Cherry later told the writing staff he had decided to kill off Sheridan's character at the end of Season 5, according to the declaration.
Sheridan's lawyers argue in court papers that the testimony of Kirkland Baker and another writer-producer, Jeffrey Greenstein, "show that Cherry decided to kill off Edie after the September 24, 2008 assault and after she complained to Touchstone."
According to THR, ABC has countered that Kirkland Baker was not privy to Cherry's series plans. "Sheridan was obviously unhappy to lose her job as a highly-compensated star of Desperate Housewives," ABC lawyers argued. "However, she cannot state a legal claim based on the creative decisions and actions challenged in her lawsuit."
A key summary judgment hearing in the case is set for May 3.