Nicollette Sheridan And Mistrial
March 20, 2012 by staff
Nicollette Sheridan And Mistrial, A judge declared a mistrial Monday in Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination trial after the jury deadlocked, leaving an unresolved finale to a trial that focused on the behind-the-scenes intrigue and personalities of TV’s “Desperate Housewives.”
Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White excused the panel after it deadlocked 8-4 in favor of the claim by Sheridan. Sheridan strolled out of the courthouse without speaking to reporters. Her attorney Mark Baute said he would retry the case.
The jury first reported problems in deliberations on Thursday then resumed discussions Monday. It later reported no change and said they didn’t expect any additional time or attorneys’ arguments would help break the impasse. Two jurors who sided with Sheridan said after being released that the deliberations hinged on witness credibility, but wouldn’t specify whom they found to be more trustworthy.
Sheridan had been seeking roughly $6 million from her former employers. Sheridan claimed her role as Edie Britt was eliminated because she complained that series creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during a September 2008 on-set dispute.
ABC attorneys denied all wrongdoing and presented witnesses who said Cherry received permission from top studio and network officials to kill Britt four months before his dispute with Sheridan. The veteran TV writer was not in court during the mistrial declaration. Cherry denied hitting the actress, claiming he tapped her on the head for artistic direction.
The jury of nine women and three men was presented conflicting evidence and testimony throughout the two-week trial. A vote of at least 9-3 was required to reach a verdict.
Defense attorney Adam Levin said Sheridan’s account of Cherry striking her had grown “progressively more exaggerated” over the years, and pointed to the testimony of numerous witnesses who supported Cherry’s testimony that he killed off the actress’ role for creative reasons. He said Monday that the case would be more streamlined during a retrial. “We’re anxious to move forward with that trial,” he said.
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