Desperate Housewives Trial Twist: Nicollette Sheridan's Battery Claim Against Marc Cherry Thrown Out!

Judge tosses a major portion of actress' case against Desperate Housewives creator

By Natalie Finn, Baker Machado Mar 13, 2012 7:30 PMTags

Marc Cherry has drawn first blood...so to speak.

After two weeks of testimony, Nicollette Sheridan's claim of battery against the Desperate Housewives creator has been thrown out, the judge citing lack of evidence.

Her accusation that Cherry hit her "upside the head" on Sept. 28, 2008, was supposedly what set in motion the decision that led to her character being killed off the show in the spring of 2009.

So, what of the rest of her case?

The centerpiece of Sheridan's case, an allegation of wrongful termination against ABC Studios, is still pending.

"Obviously I am thrilled with the decision, but I am going to reserve further commentary until this matter is completely resolved," Cherry told E! News outside the courtroom.

Meanwhile, after initially saying that there was an "85 percent chance" of getting to closing arguments this afternoon, Sheridan's attorney, Mark Baute, tells us that the chance of that happening is now about "30 percent.

Earlier today, Desperate Housewives construction coordinator Michael Reinhart testified that he believes he accidentally was on the receiving end of an email detailing a cover-up surrounding Sheridan's firing. When pressed by the judge, howeve, Reinhart admitted that he isn't sure that he didn't see a note telling employees to keep all of their electronic correspondence pertaining to the case instead of delete it.

An independent forensic investigator has been tasked with examining Reinhart's hard drive.

L.A. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White, who through the course of pretrial proceedings knocked Sheridan's original claim to damages of $20 million down by 75 percent, stated today that the actress can now only claim punitive damages for alleged retaliation. If she wins the remainder of her case, Sheridan could be entitled to $5.7 million.

UPDATE: Each side rested its case today and closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. To rebut Reinhart's testimony, ABC in-house counsel Jean Zoeller testified that she sent out four preservation memos to employees to remind them not to delete emails pertaining to the demise of Sheridan's Edie Britt.