12:17pm PT by Alex Ben Block
'Housewives' Trial: ABC Lawyer Calls Sheridan 'Desperate' in Closing Argument
ABC's lead lawyer hammered away at Nicollette Sheridan on Wednesday in his closing argument to the jury in the Desperate Housewives wrongful-termination trial.
"A word has been on my mind, and that word is 'desperate,' " ABC lead lawyer Adam Levin told the jury of Sheridan's case. "Desperate is claiming that 10 good citizens of California conspired to get their story straight. And they took the stand, looked you in the eye and then committed perjury. That is desperate."
Levin was referencing the litany of ABC witnesses presented during the two-week trial who claimed that the decision to fire Sheridan from the hit series was made in May 2008, months before a September 2008 altercation between series creator/executive producer Marc Cherry and Sheridan. The actress claims she was fired as retaliation for her complaints about the incident.
Levin, whose closing presentation was interrupted by a lunch break, showed the jury a timeline of what he said was overwhelming evidence that the firing decision was made in May 2008. He said that among the witnesses who backed that series of events were several -- including former ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson and ABC Studios boss Mark Pedowitz -- who no longer work for ABC and thus have no reason to support a bogus story to protect the network.
"The decision was made May 22 to kill off the character," Levin said, quoting testimony that was presented to the jury on large PowerPoint slides.
Levin said Sheridan's case hinges on two witnesses -- writer Lori Baker and director Jeff Greenstein -- both of whom suggested in testimony that Cherry did not make up his mind to kill off Sheridan's Edie Britt character until December 2008 or later. Greenstein is a close friend of Sheridan's, and Levin suggested that the testimony of Baker and Greenstein conflicts.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White stopped Levin's presentation for a lunch break, after which the attorney is expected to resume his argument.
More coming from the courthouse.