"It was pure torture." What we now know about the long-running secret Desperate Housewives feud.

It’s no secret that there was a massive rift within the cast of Desperate Housewives. But now, seven years after the show finished airing, some of the juiciest details are finally coming out, thanks to Felicity Huffman’s court case.

Huffman, who starred as Lynette on the long-running show, is about to be sentenced for paying to boost her daughter’s college admission score. Her former co-star Eva Longoria, who played Gabrielle, and the show’s creator Marc Cherry have both submitted letters of support to the court.

Longoria’s letter reveals she was bullied by a co-worker on the show, which ran from 2004 to 2012 and also starred Teri Hatcher as Susan and Marcia Cross as Bree.

“I dreaded the days I had to go to work with that person because it was pure torture,” Longoria writes. “Until one day, Felicity told the bully ‘enough’ and it all stopped. Felicity could feel that I was riddled with anxiety even though I never complained or mentioned the abuse to anyone.”

Longoria also explains that she was “by far” the lowest paid cast member, because she was the least experienced. When it came time to renegotiate contracts, Huffman suggested all the stars should do it together, so they would all make the same amount of money.

“Well, needless to say, that did not go over too well with the others,” Longoria adds. “But Felicity stood up for me, saying it was fair because the success of the show depended on all of us, not one of us.”

Cherry’s letter, meanwhile, talks about the “problematic cast member” on the show.


“Everyone tried their darnedest to get along with this woman over the course of the show,” he writes. “It was impossible. Things went from bad to worse.”

Cherry says at some point during season seven, this woman decided she would no longer speak to her fellow cast members.

“She would only communicate with the directors, who were then forced to pass her thoughts to her co-stars. This was alternately maddening and hilarious.”

Cherry found out that Huffman insisted on saying “good morning” to this actress, even though she knew she wouldn’t get a response, and he asked her why.

Mamamia’s daily entertainment podcast The Spill discuss TV’s biggest behind the scenes feud. Post continues after audio.

“She smiled and said, ‘Just because that woman’s determined to be rude, doesn’t mean she can keep me from being polite.'”

Rumours dating back to the time the show was on air have pointed the finger at Hatcher as being the one who didn’t get along with the others. In 2005, the four women, plus series regular Nicollette Sheridan, did a cover shoot for Vanity Fair, and the magazine gleefully lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes drama.

“You wouldn’t believe what it took just to get this photo!” the cover declared.

The article inside explained that a representative from the ABC network told the Vanity Fair team at the shoot that Hatcher was not to be allowed to select her wardrobe first or to appear in the centre of the photo. However, Hatcher did go into wardrobe first, and the rep complained about it.

“I’m getting text messages from Eva,” he said. “Everything is not fine.”

Later, Hatcher was placed next to Cross, in the middle of the photo, Cross reportedly stormed off the set, screaming at the ABC rep, “Do your [expletive deleted] job!”

The photo that ended up appearing on the cover shows Sheridan standing in the middle of the women, with Hatcher on one side of her and Cross on the other.

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The Desperate Housewives cast on the cover of Vanity Fair.

More claims were made about Hatcher when Sheridan sued Cherry after her character Edie was killed off in season five. Sheridan claimed she was assaulted by Cherry on set and then fired when she reported the alleged assault to the network.

She told the court that the incident happened when she approached Cherry to ask why a funny line had been cut from the script.

"Mr Cherry approached, he took his right hand, and he hit me upside the head," she said. "I was stunned. I couldn’t believe he just hit me."

However, Cherry told the court that the alleged assault was a tap to the head, done during rehearsals when showing Sheridan how to play a scene.

He said the decision to kill off Edie had already been made at that point, and it was done for three reasons: to save money, as a "great way to shock the audience", and because Sheridan’s behaviour had been unprofessional.

Cherry claimed Sheridan had "made insulting comments about her dialogue" during script readings, and on more than one occasion, hadn’t learnt her lines before turning up to shoot a scene.

"She only had five or six lines, and she had come to the set and didn’t know any of them," he added.

Cherry also said he was called to set during the first season of the show because "there was a problem" with Sheridan and Hatcher, who were supposed to be shooting a scene together.

"They were furious with each other," Cherry said. "Nicollette pulled me aside and told me that Teri Hatcher was the meanest woman in the world because of how she was acting."

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The cast of Desperate Housewives. Image: IMDB.

Sheridan’s lawsuit against Cherry was ultimately dismissed.

As for the feud between Hatcher and the other three stars, that simmered on until the end of the show, and beyond. When the final season wrapped, the crew members were each presented with a gift of luggage, with a card reading, "Thank you for a magical eight years. Love, Eva, Marcia, Felicity and Vanessa." Vanessa Williams, the newest cast member, was named on the card, but not Hatcher.

Last year, on the Desperate Housewives anniversary, Huffman posted sweet, funny memories on Instagram about Longoria, Sheridan and Cross. She said nothing sweet and funny about Hatcher.

Also last year, when Longoria appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she talked about how she was still "very good friends" with her former co-stars Huffman and Cross. When Kimmel asked if they were "all" very good friends, Longoria laughed.

"No, but 99 per cent of us are."

So what does Hatcher have to say about all this? In a 2012 TV Guide article, which claimed "something went down" two seasons before the end of the show that caused Hatcher to "physically separate" herself from the rest of the cast during breaks in filming, Hatcher gave a comment via email.

"I will never disclose the true and complicated journey of us all," she wrote, "but I wish everyone on this show well."

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