Nicollette Sheridan was slapped by Marc Cherry - but only as he showed her how to stage a scene.

The actress - who has filed a lawsuit against the 'Desperate Housewives' creator, alleging he hit her and she was sacked from the show after complaining - has had her allegations corroborated by an unnamed member of the cast, though the insider insists the incident "didn't merit" legal action.

The source said: "Marc did slap Nicollette; I was there and I saw it. Nicollette was trying to slap somebody for a scene, and she couldn't get it right."

Marc intervened to show the actress what to do, demonstrating "a slap" on her.

However, the source added to E! Online: "But I have to say it was his hand barely on her head; it sure didn't seem to me to merit the suit she has filed."

Last week, 'Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria Parker admitted she is "confused" by the legal action being taken by 46-year-old Nicollette, who is seeking $20 million in damages.

Eva - who was not on set at the time of the alleged incident in September 2008 - said: "Marc is funny and sweet and probably couldn't harm a fly. He's just so sweet. I do know they had a thing on set. I guess it was a couple of years ago.

"Nicollette's a sweet girl, too. I'm really confused about this whole thing."

Nicollette - who portrayed maneater Edie Britt in 'Desperate Housewives' - filed a lawsuit against Marc at Los Angeles Superior Court last Monday (05.04.10) which alleged assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination.

The 46-year-old actress' departure was announced in February 2009, and she was killed-off from the show in series five, when her alter-ego died in a car accident.