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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • FOX411 EXCLUSIVE: 'Desperate Housewives' stars will stand behind Marc Cherry because they value their jobs, source says

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    As the stars of “Desperate Housewives” align publicly behind series creator Marc Cherry in his legal fight with former star Nicolette Sheridan, one show insider tells Fox 411.com what’s really going on behind the scenes on the show.

    Sheridan, who played overtly sexy Edie Britt for four-plus seasons, is suing Cherry for $20 million with a laundry list of claims including assault and battery. The actress’ court filing says Cherry slapped her across the face during one afternoon of filming.

    Our highly-placed set source tells Fox411.com that rumors of an incident between the two had been circling for some time before Sheridan filed her lawsuit.

    “I heard there was an incident or disagreement with Nicollette and Marc almost two years ago, but it was a specific scene that did not include all the women, so the other actresses only heard rumors about something going wrong,” the source told Fox411.com. “No one knew if anything happened or if it was just a rumor.”

    The insider said that Sheridan was a model employee.

    “Nicollette is a lovely person. She’s one of the nicest people you could ever meet, so to totally doubt her is difficult,” said the insider. “She was always a professional at work and she is actually shy and quiet. People always say nice things about working with her, so hearing that people on the set of the show thought she was unprofessional is surprising.”

    While Nicollette was quiet onset, the source said Cherry was the opposite, and enjoyed teasing the actresses.

    “Marc is a powerful man. He’s very insecure, but has a huge ego. Every now and then he does say things that are outrageously inappropriate to the women, but they will never go against him,” the source said. “Marc is a Hollywood player. They like their jobs and everyone has the occasional odd comment or difficult moment they have to let slide. He makes jokes about their weight or something very personal that is awkward, but they let it go.”

    The source said the other “Housewives” like having jobs and are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

    “Eva Longoria Parker, Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross are staying out of the rumor mill on this one and letting it play out for the most part,” said the insider. “They will not bite the hand that feeds them, and Marc is the man with all the power on set. He has absolute power with the story and the ladies will stand behind him.”

    Calls to ABC for comment on this article were not returned.

    - Kelly Will

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