Nicollette Sheridan's Desperate Housewives character was a real tramp—and she couldn't be prouder.
"That was embarrassing," the actress quipped on the stand Thursday after her attorney showed the jury a five-minute montage of a number of Edie Britt's more salacious scenes throughout her five seasons on the ABC series—before she was unceremoniously fired by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and ABC in 2009, as Sheridan is alleging.
"She was a colorful character," Sheridan said of Edie. "She was a singular voice on the show. She was sexy, audacious, honest and overt. She had a heart and people loved to hate her."
Sheridan testified about her earlier days on the job in the morning, but her afternoon testimony kicked off with her describing a fight with Cherry on Sept. 28, 2008, that allegedly turned violent.
Upset about her character not having a funny line to close out a particular scene in episode No. 507, Sheridan asked Cherry if he would write her a good exit line, she told the court.
"He got agitated and annoyed and didn't respond," Sheridan said. When she approached him again, after rehearsal, he "got agitated" again and, when she led him away from the group, he responded testily, "What is it you want?"
Sheridan said that, when she offered to explain herself again, Cherry "stepped toward me and with his right hand he hit me upside the head."
According to the actress, she then told Cherry, "You hit me in the head! That is not OK. That is not OK."
"Neal said if I saw him I would have hit him back," she added, referring to costar Neal McDonough, who was playing her nutty husband Dave at the time. McDonough stayed with her in her trailer until he was called back to the set, after which Cherry showed up, she said.
"On the doorstep, he said, 'I am on bended knee begging your forgiveness,'" she testified. "I said, 'Why would you do that? He wrapped his arms around me and apologized again. Then he changed the subject."
He even wrote her new dialogue, Sheridan said, and she went back to work after the incident. "I pride myself on being a professional," she added. "I wasn't going to let everybody else down."
Earlier in the day, Sheridan testified that Cherry had assured her at the beginning of the series' fourth season that her character—who was left hanging, literally, at the end of season three—was not going to die.
"We know one character that we won't be killing off and that is Edie Britt," Cherry said, according to Sheridan.
She continued, saying on the stand that Cherry had told her before season five began that he would be bringing in a husband for Edie and was digging their chemistry. Cherry reassured her in late August 2008 that her character was safe.
Sheridan said that she received a script for episode No. 507 on Sept. 18, 2008, that did not have any lines for Edie—and she complained about it to line producer George Perkins, who assured her he would talk to Cherry about it. A second version of the script was released that featured Edie kissing her hubby's forehead while he penned a song with James Denton's character.
A third draft contained the same scene, Sheridan said. Draft four, however, had Edie whacking her husband in the head with a magazine. Sheridan recalled complaining during rehearsal on Sept. 24 that her funny line had been excised.
"Edie always leaves a scene making a statement and now there was nothing," she said.