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Nicollette Sheridan Sues "Desperate Housewives" Creator, ABC for $20 Million, Alleges Assault

Nicollette Sheridan (AP Photo, file)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Nicollette Sheridan, the actress who played a divorced real estate agent on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," has filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against the show's creator and producer, Marc Cherry. She alleges he hit her in the face on set and then killed off her character when she complained about the assault.

PICTURES: Nicollette Sheridan Sues "Desperate Housewives"

In the lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Sheridan claims Cherry assaulted her on the Wisteria Lane set in September 2008.

The ladies of Desperate Housewives. (ABC, file) ABC/Andrew Eccles

Sheridan had asked Cherry about a line in the script, and he "took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head," the suit said. After she stormed off to her trailer, he came to "beg forgiveness."

PICTURES: Nicollette Sheridan Sues "Desperate Housewives"

When she reported the incident to ABC, Cherry retaliated by killing off her character, Edie Britt, Sheridan claims.

The lawsuit seeks $20 million in sustained damages.

The lawsuit, which also names ABC, accuses Cherry of creating a hostile work environment on the set and behaving aggressively and abusively toward the cast and the writers.

When Teri Hatcher, who plays Susan Meyer on the show, spoke to ABC executives about Cherry's behavior, Cherry told Sheridan, "I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies," according to the lawsuit.

Sheridan argued that her character was one of the lead characters of the show, and was getting more airtime that season.

Cherry and ABC retaliated against her by killing off her character in a car accident, the court document said.

"It is exceptionally unusual for a popular character to be killed off or written out of a television series unless the actor has requested to be released from his or her contract," is how Sheridan's lawyer sees it.

PICTURES: Nicollette Sheridan Sues "Desperate Housewives"

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