Do celebrities bring on their own dramatic woes and tragedies by living like the characters they play?

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(PEOPLE.com) -- It's a lawsuit worthy of a juicy "Desperate Housewives" storyline.

Nicollette Sheridan alleges the show's creator hit her in the face on the set and that she was then fired in retaliation for complaining about him, "resulting in her losing millions in future earnings," says the suit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Sheridan, whose character was killed off the show last year, is suing for $20 million, alleging assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination. She claims series creator Marc Cherry created a hostile work environment, "behaving in an extremely abusive and aggressive manner."

Sheridan, a Golden Globe nominee who played sexy realtor Edie Britt, claims that Cherry directed his abuse at other cast and crew members, even at star Teri Hatcher after she went above his head to ABC executives.

"I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies," Cherry told Sheridan, according to the lawsuit.