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In addition, Levin noted that two of Sheridan’s key witnesses, both former writers on the show, disagreed on when discussions began about ditching the character. Jeff Greenstein said the talks began a month or two before Sheridan and Cherry had their dispute in September 2008, while Lori Kirkland Baker said no discussion occurred until December 2008.

During that same month, a human resources investigation cleared Cherry of wrongdoing in his dispute with Sheridan.

Baute said Baker’s testimony was a key to showing a conspiracy existed.

“One or two quality witnesses (are) better than five or 10 people who are spinning, finessing or lying,” Baute said.

Sheridan’s case initially included a battery claim, but the judge ruled Tuesday that jurors will no longer be asked to consider that allegation.

“Desperate Housewives” was a ratings powerhouse in its early years, but has seen its audience dwindle. The show is in its eighth and final season.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at