A FORMER writer on the TV show Desperate Housewives has contradicted testimony by the show's creator Marc Cherry that he decided to kill off Nicollette Sheridan's character months before the pair had an on-set fight.
Lori Kirkland Baker told jurors in Sheridan's wrongful termination trial that she first heard the actress' role was being eliminated in December 2008, not in May of that year as creator Marc Cherry had earlier testified.
Ms Baker was a writer and co-executive producer on the show's fourth and fifth seasons. Her contract was not renewed after that.
Ms Baker insisted that discussions of killing Sheridan's role did not occur until after Sheridan and Cherry fought.
Cherry and Baker told jurors how plots are discussed months in advance using index cards, brainstorming sessions and assistants taking notes.
Cherry testified that he announced at a writers' retreat in May 2008 that he had received authorisation from top studio and network executives to kill off Sheridan's character Edie Britt. He said a photograph of note cards from the sessions that included the coded message "Steven drinks OJ" signalled that Britt's days were numbered. OJ is a reference to OJ Simpson, who was acquitted of killing his wife. Steven was the name of Edie's husband in early planning, until it was changed to Dave.
Hours later, Baker testified that the first time she heard about the decision to kill Britt was in December 2008, the same month ABC cleared Cherry of wrongdoing in his dispute with Sheridan in September 2008. She acknowledged that she was not present for all discussions about plot points.
Sheridan, who is seeking $6 million in damages, claims Cherry struck her during an argument in September 2008, and he killed off her character after ABC officials cleared him of wrongdoing.
The case continues.