'Desperate Housewives' creator admits 'tapping' actress on the head

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Creator of "Desperate Housewives" Marc Cherry and actresses Brenda Strong, Dana Delany and Teri Hatcher accept the award ofr Best Comedy Series onstage at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

"Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry went to court Monday, defending himself against allegations that he smacked an actress on his show on the back of the head.

Cherry says he felt "awkward" and "cautious" around Nicollette Sheridan after a dispute in which the actress claims he struck her. He told jurors in Sheridan's wrongful termination civil trial that after the argument he went out of his way to watch his words around her.

He also kept tabs on a human resources investigation of the incident through a key confidante.

Cherry claims he merely "tapped" the actress for artistic direction during their heated discussion in September 2008, but the actress says she was hit hard and the blow left her stunned and humiliated.

After Cherry was cleared by ABC executives, he informed series stars Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman that Sheridan's role would be cut.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Cherry let the actress go because of her “unprofessional behavior.” But, the creator added, “It wasn’t the primary reason for my decision."

He told jurors on Monday that the decision had been made in May, months before his spat with the actress.

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