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Discrimination claim filed by 'Desperate Housewife'

Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan has filed a claim of wrongful termination against the show's producer and the studio, in the Los Angeles, California Superior Court. She has also claimed that she was battered by director Marc Cherry, and that her contract had been breached. Sheridan further alleges that discrimination took place because she was a woman and she criticized the script at times.

The charge of battery has not been denied outright by the studio, although they claim it was only a "light tap". This incident occurred during a disagreement about the script when Cherry, who is the show's creator and script writer, allegedly delivered a blow to her head. She states that the blow was severe and caused her head to jerk. She had initially claimed emotional distress but dropped these charges in December.

Sheridan reported the incident to the studio management. They conducted an internal investigation. Cherry claimed it nothing more than a verbal disagreement. Nevertheless, the studio dismissed the incident as a tap to the side of her head and took no further action.

Four months after the incident, Sheridan was informed that her character was being written out of the show and that her contract was being terminated. It is from this that her wrongful termination claims arise. If it can be shown that this was indeed a retaliatory discharge then her lawsuit may be successful.

In any incident where a person has grounds to feel that they have been wrongfully dismissed, where there is a case for discrimination or sexual harassment they may wish to consult a lawyer. In California, there are law firms which specialize in sexual harassment and discrimination. They may be able to offer advice and assistance to those who are suffering discriminatory and hostile treatment in the workplace.

Source: The Daily Mail, "'Sacked for being a woman': Nicollette Sheridan files new lawsuit papers against Desperate Housewives director Marc Cherry," Mike Larkin, 15 July 2011

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