Inside The Rampant Feud Rumors From The Desperate Housewives Set

In November 2023, Eva Longoria responded to long-running rumors of a "Desperate Housewives" feud. The actor, who appeared on an episode of Dax Shepard's podcast, "Armchair Expert," attributed the unending gossip surrounding the show to sensationalized sexism. "It was a narrative about women," she said. "Because there were all these shows with men on the air and nobody was like 'They're fighting!'"

There's likely a lot of truth to Longoria's words, as the media has long focused on rumored feuds between high-status celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton as well as alleged behind-the-scenes drama on women-centered shows like "Sex and the City." Even so, Longoria's dismissal of the rumors doesn't align with past statements about and allusions to on-set tension from cast and crew alike. Longoria herself has even made comments suggesting some sort of conflict between the show's leading ladies.

As a refresher, "Desperate Housewives" ran from 2004 to 2012, with the show coming to an end after Season 8. The ABC series centered on the lives of middle-aged, suburban-living women and starred Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Nicolette Sheridan. Hatcher, who was the unofficial star of the show, largely seemed to be at the center of the drama. 

A Vanity Fair cover ignited feud rumors

While speculation about a feud between the stars of "Desperate Housewives" began during the show's early seasons, it was a revealing Vanity Fair cover story that really blew up the gossip. The 2005 piece was intended to be a behind-the-scenes look at a thriving television show but ended up being a telling glimpse into the simmering tension between its castmates.

The outlet dished that the photoshoot came with a host of stipulations intended to keep things cordial between the stars. While there were fairly common parameters, like each actor having their own make-up team and trailer, the network also specified that Teri Hatcher should at no point be centered in any of the magazine's group shots. A publicity shoot coordinator, whom the outlet ominously refers to as "the Enabler," additionally stipulated that Hatcher should not be the first to wardrobe as doing so allegedly allowed her to commandeer the best outfits.

Unfortunately, these conditions were haphazardly violated, causing friction between the stars. At one point, when Hatcher ended up at the center of one of the arrangements, Marcia Cross, who played Bree Van der Camp, allegedly threatened to walk off the photo shoot. Hatcher was also noted as conducting a tearful phone call at one point, while the Enabler alleged that each of his clients spent the day miserable. This was just the fiery start of long-running "Desperate Housewives" rumors. 

Court statements allude to issues among the cast

While the alleged "Desperate Housewives" feud was captured through the media, it was also put on display through the legal trials of its leading ladies. Nicolette Sheridan entered a legal battle with Touchstone and "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry in 2010, alleging that her character, Edie Britt, was killed off the show as retaliation for filing an assault complaint against Cherry. The entire ordeal lasted for several years and spanned many trials, motions, and filings, only for the case to be conclusively thrown out in 2017.

However, during one of the trials, Cherry's testimony revealed a major conflict between Sheridan and one of her co-stars. "There was a problem going on between Nicolette Sheridan and Teri Hatcher," he said, noting that they were "furious with each other" (per The Hollywood Reporter). He went on to explain that Sheridan pulled him aside to discuss the issue, telling him "that Teri Hatcher was the meanest woman in the world because of how she was acting." Though Cherry didn't go into any more details, the testimony further centers Hatcher at the center of the "Desperate Housewives" drama.

While Hatcher was explicitly mentioned in Sheridan's court case, fans speculate that this wasn't the only time that the "Tomorrow Never Dies" actor came up in a legal setting. During the College Admissions Scandal, Eva Longoria wrote a character letter on behalf of Felicity Huffman. The address stated that Huffman had defended Longoria when she was faced with on-set bullying from a co-star. The colleague in question isn't specifically named, but many fans believe that the statement references Hatcher.

Teri Hatcher reportedly had tensions with the crew

Another indication of Teri Hatcher's strained relationship with the cast of "Desperate Housewives" came during the show's end. According to Celebuzz, the main stars of the show, with Vanessa Williams joining the cast after Nicolette Sheridan's departure, came together to gift luggage sets to the crew as a parting gesture. "Just know that on all your future adventures you are carrying a little piece of our love and gratitude," the accompanying card read. "Thank you for a magical 8 years. Love, Eva, Marcia, Felicity and Vanessa" (per The Hollywood Reporter).

Notably, Hatcher's name wasn't included in the note, with a source telling Celebuzz that the other stars hadn't included her in the gift due to their strained relationship. However, this tension seemed to extend beyond the dynamic of the "Desperate Housewives" stars, as crew member Patty Lin provided a glimpse into Hatcher's relationship with the show's cast. "Usually, we'd see the cast only at table reads where we'd sit quietly at the back and try not to make eye contact with Teri Hatcher," she wrote in her memoir (per The Independent).

For her part, Hatcher has denied having a strained relationship with the "Desperate Housewives" crew. "That crew knows I'd have jumped in front of a bus for them at any moment," she told the Daily Mail in 2013. "I was beyond generous throughout those eight years and any crew member will tell you that." We might never know the truth about what happened behind the scenes of "Desperate Housewives," but the series stars sure have left fans with a lot to chew on.