Nicollette Sheridan is taking steps to pursue a new trial to decide her wrongful termination lawsuit regarding her exit from the ABC show "Desperate Housewives" after a judge declared a mistrial.
On Monday, eight out of 12 jurors had behind closed doors voted to in favor of the actress, but nine were needed to reach a verdict. The Los Angeles jury discussed the case for 10 and a half hours but its foreperson declared it was deadlocked. The judge declared a mistrial on Monday.
Sheridan's attorney, Mark Baute, told OnTheRedCarpet.com that the actress wants a new trial, which could take place as early as the end of 2012. A hearing about the matter has been scheduled for April 13. The same judge is set to preside, but a new jury will be picked.
Sheridan had claimed that her character, Edie Britt, was killed off in retaliation for complaining about a confrontation with show creator Marc Cherry. She had demanded $6 million in damages for alleged battery and wrongful termination. The judge had dismissed her battery complaint, which had served as a key part of the case.
The battery claim could be returned if Sheridan's attorney appeals its dismissal. He has not commented about this. If no appeal is made, the new trial would concentrate solely on her claim that she was terminated from the show wrongfully in retaliation for complaining about the confrontation and the defendant would remain the program's studio, Touchstone Television, not Cherry himself.
The actress, who appeared on the show from its 2004 debut to 2009, had claimed Cherry struck her on the set on Sept. 24, 2008. He had said that while he never asked permission to touch her, he gave her a "tap" on the side of her head as a demonstration, while trying to explain a scene.
Sheridan's attorney has said the actress was fired 60 days after her complaint and that the decision to kill off her character was made in December 2008, after she complained about the confrontation with Cherry. The show's attorney says her fate was sealed in May, before the incident.
Sheridan would have made $200,000 per episode had she starred in all 23 of the sixth season, her last. The show is now on its eighth and final season.