Nicollette Sheridan is pressing charges against Marc Cherry Creator of Desperate Housewives

ABC and series creator Marc Cherry for $20 million because he allegedly hit her.

46-year-old actress Nicollette Sheridan, whose "Desperate Housewives" character was killed off in early 2009, is suing the show's creator for more than $20 million, alleging assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination, TMZ and others report.

Mark Baute from L.A. law firm Baute & Tidus tells in a statement:

 “Mr. Cherry’s behavior towards Nicollette was and is nothing short of abusive and appalling. The lawsuit is not something Nicollette wanted to do, it’s something she felt compelled to do. Nicollette asked ABC for help and protection from Mr. Cherry’s abusive behavior, and ultimately, ABC was not willing or able to provide that protection. Sometimes the only way that a safe and normal work environment can be created is when a hard-working person like Nicollette stands up for herself and her rights, and in doing so help protect others who have had to work in a hostile environment. We expect the case to be hard fought, and it will not be a surprise if ABC and Mr. Cherry try to depict Nicollette to be something other than a team player and long-standing industry professional. She put her heart and soul into the role of the Edie character, a character that she truly enjoyed playing.”

“On September 24, 2008, during a rehearsal for the show, when Sheridan questioned Cherry about something that was in the script, Cherry took her aside and forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head,” Nicollette says in her complaint via THR. “[I was] physically and emotionally injured, humiliated and stunned by Cherry’s sudden physical violence and stated, ‘you just hit me in the head, that is not okay. THAT IS NOT OKAY!’ ”

Nicollette continued, “After an incident where Sheridan’s co-star on the show Teri Hatcher went above Cherry’s head to speak to ABC executives, Cherry told Sheridan, ‘I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies.’ ”

She says she'd gone to ABC about the incident but that no action was taken.

“While we have yet to see the actual complaint, we investigated similar claims made by Ms. Sheridan last year and found them to be without merit," ABC Studios said Monday.

The suit paints a picture of Cherry as someone who'd turn hostile of his authority when questioned, reports -- and it also may shine a different light on quotes from Sheridan and Cherry that were highlighted on our Show Tracker blog in April 2009.

 A Los Angeles Times interview with Sheridan around the time of her character's sudden and violent death fell through without explanation, according to writer Denise Martin. Edie Britt died in the Cherry-penned episode "Look Into Their Eyes and See What They Know."

The suit paints a picture of Cherry as someone who'd turn hostile of his authority when questioned, reports

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