Shannen Doherty has openly admitted that her personal struggles affected her professional life. While starring on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” she allowed her “growing pains” to seep into her work.
On a recent episode of her podcast, “Let’s Be Clear With Shannen Doherty,” she had a candid conversation with former co-star Jason Priestley. She confessed that her unprofessional behavior on set resulted in her dismissal after the show’s fourth season in 1994.
Doherty explained that during her last season, she was in a tumultuous marriage. The issues within her marriage made it difficult for her to consistently arrive on time for work. She married Ashley Hamilton in 1993, but they split just a year later, largely due to Hamilton’s battle with addiction.
“I know that that became a very big problem for the rest of you,” she said, acknowledging the impact of her tardiness on her co-stars. Her lateness forced them to work longer hours, which she admitted was unfair.
The 52-year-old actress, who is currently battling stage 4 breast cancer, took full responsibility for her actions. “It wasn’t anybody’s responsibility but mine,” she stated. Despite her accountability, Doherty expressed a wish that the show’s producers had addressed her behavior before deciding to write her character, Brenda Walsh, off the show.
She wished they had sat her down and told her, “Listen, the end result is going to be this, you are going to get fired and none of us are willing to put up with it anymore.” She felt they should have acknowledged her personal issues but also made it clear that they couldn’t affect her work.
Doherty also admitted that she should have been more transparent about her personal life. She revealed that her father was seriously ill and her husband was struggling with a severe drug problem. This situation was “all-consuming” for her and made her reluctant to leave the house for fear that Hamilton would go and get drugs.
Priestley, who Doherty referred to as the “quarterback” of the cast, noted the difficulty of understanding and accepting Doherty’s behavior without her opening up about her personal struggles. He wished he had known more about what was happening in her life at the time so he could have managed it with more compassion.
Priestley, who played Doherty’s sibling Brandon Walsh on the show, found it particularly hard to deal with Doherty’s firing. Their characters were closely linked, and he worried about the impact on the show and how they would move forward.
Before moving on to the next topic, Doherty clarified that she doesn’t blame any of her former castmates for not knowing what was going on in her life at the time. She blamed herself for not having her personal life more together and for not leaving her relationship earlier.
She admitted being affected by the attention she received and found it alluring and seductive. She fell into the trap of nightlife, and her personal issues compounded the situation. She felt she should have been more transparent about what she was going through.
Doherty has been married three times. After her marriage to Hamilton, she was married to Rick Salomon from 2002 until 2003. She then wed Kurt Iswarienko in 2011 but filed for divorce in April 2023 amid allegations of infidelity, which he has denied.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 800-662-4357.