Mistrial Declared in Nicollette Sheridan's Wrongful Termination Case

The former "Desperate Housewives" actress claimed her Edie Britt character was written off in retaliation

A mistrial was declared Monday afternoon in the wrongful termination case involving former "Desperate Housewives" actress Nicollete Sheridan, who claimed her character was killed off in retaliation for complaints against the series creator.

Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White released the panel Monday after they reported they were deadlocked 8-4, in favor of the plaintiff. In civil court, nine jurors must agree on a verdict.

Sheridan did not answer reporters' questions when she walked out of the downtown Los Angeles courthouse after the judge announced the mistrial. Her attorney told reporters outside the courthouse that there will be a re-trial.

"That split is very encouraging," said attorney Mark Baute. "You'd think we'd be disappointed but we're not. We got the story out, we told the truth."

A date for the re-trial is expected to be set at a hearing next month.

The panel deliberated for more than two days on Sheridan's claim that her character -- Edie Britt -- was killed off in retaliation for her complaints that series creator Marc Cherry struck her on the show's set in September 2008.

Two jurors spoke to reporters outside the courthouse about their delibrations.

"Most of the debate centered on the credibility of the witnesses," a juror who identified herself as Ms. Crosby said. "There was a lot of fruitful discussion. There were a lot of witnesses that some of the jurors found not credible."

Cherry and ABC, which airs "Desperate Housewives,'' denied wrongdoing. The veteran TV writer testified he had authority to kill off Sheridan's role four months before their dustup.

Last week, the battery charge against Cherry was dropped from the case. That was just one of the suprises in the case, which included testimony from Sheridan and Cherry.

She told the court that Cherry sturck her "hard" on the side of her head, but Cherry's attorneys described it as a "light tap." Cherry testified that plans to write Sheridan's character out of the show had been made before the on-set encounter.

Sheridan was seeking roughly $6 million in damages.  

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