Steve McPherson was called to corroborate Marc Cherry's contention that Sheridan was not written out of the series in retaliation for a 2008 scuffle in which Sheridan says she was slapped by Cherry.
Daily Variety said McPherson, former head of ABC Entertainment, told the Los Angeles County Superior Court jury that Cherry had asked him months before the confrontation for permission to eliminate Sheridan's character and had not told Sheridan. "We wanted to keep it confidential," McPherson testified in Sheridan's lawsuit trial. "We would do that for any character on any show."
Sheridan is suing ABC for wrongful termination. She contends she was targeted by Cherry after she complained about the alleged slap.
Executive producer George Perkins testified Friday that the Sheridan was making $175,000 per episode when she was let go and that her replacement character was budgeted at $60,000. "We were constantly under pressure to bring the budget down," Perkins said.