/Shannen Doherty Explains How Her Beef With ‘Charmed’ Co-Star Alyssa Milano Began

Shannen Doherty Explains How Her Beef With ‘Charmed’ Co-Star Alyssa Milano Began

Prue Halliwell doesn’t just spill the tea, she picks up the pot using telekinesis and splashes Earl Grey all over the room.

In the second episode of Shannen Doherty’s new podcast, “Let’s Be Clear,” the actor got candid about her yearslong feud with her former “Charmed” co-star, Alyssa Milano.

About 45 minutes into an interview with her other “Charmed” co-star and longtime friend, Holly Marie Combs, Doherty admits that she was used heavily in the promotion of the show’s first season even though it was “three women on a show … that’s supposed to be an ensemble.”

“I was cast first, the show was originally sold to the WB based on me,” Doherty said. “But once those magazine covers started happening, and one person is being asked and the other one isn’t … I felt like .. the competitiveness was kicking in. And I’m not saying with you, I’m saying with Alyssa and myself. There was a lack of female support.”

“Oh yeah,” Combs agreed.

Alyssa Milano (as Phoebe Halliwell), Shannen Doherty (as Prue Halliwell) and Holly Marie Combs (as Piper Halliwell) in a 1999 promo for “Charmed.”
Alyssa Milano (as Phoebe Halliwell), Shannen Doherty (as Prue Halliwell) and Holly Marie Combs (as Piper Halliwell) in a 1999 promo for “Charmed.”

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“And then there was competitiveness about you, which was really interesting,” Doherty said to Combs, “of trying to pull you away from me.”

Earlier in the episode, Doherty and Combs explained that they had been close friends way before they were cast on “Charmed.” Combs had made a habit of doing small handyman repairs in Doherty’s apartment, they had traveled together to Ireland with Doherty’s family, and Doherty had pushed for Combs to get hired on “Charmed.”

But Doherty claims that Milano tried to create a rift in their friendship when Combs developed a uterine tumor “the size of a baseball” that caused the series to stop filming for two weeks during Season 1 while Combs underwent surgery.

When Doherty tried to visit Combs in the hospital post-surgery, she says Milano and her mother made it difficult for her to see Combs.

“I waited 24 hours after your surgery to go, and then it wasn’t even easy for me to get in. I was like, being told I couldn’t even get in by Alyssa and her mom,” Doherty recalled. “They were blocking people from seeing you, and at the time, you didn’t know.”

Doherty explained that her heart sank when Combs finally confronted her about not visiting her in the hospital.

“I remembered you texted me and were like, ‘Dude, are you going to come to see me?’ And I can feel your pain of feeling like I’d abandoned you,” Doherty told Combs.

“But I also felt like my anger at the situation of not being allowed to come see you, and how sort of family had like swooped in and caused this sort of weird divide between the two of us, that then continued throughout Season 2, where I think I cried every single night of Season 2,” she continued.

Combs admitted that the set during Season 2 was tense, and that she did embrace Milano and her mom as a surrogate family because she was “raised by teenage parents, [and] I didn’t have a big family.”

“So, you’re right when a family swooped in and tried to basically adopt me, it was very seductive,” Combs admitted.

“And I also wanted everybody to get along, I wanted the show to be successful and that was part of that,” Combs added. “There were no angels, there were no demons, we all had bad days, we all had bad good days, we all could have behaved better at certain points.”

Doherty left “Charmed” three seasons into the show’s eight-year run. After she left the show, she told Entertainment Tonight in 2001 that she left the show because of “drama.”

“There was too much drama on the set and not enough passion for the work,” she said at the time. “You know, I’m 30 years old, and I don’t have time for drama in my life anymore.”

Milano took a more diplomatic approach when speaking to Entertainment Weekly about Doherty’s exit that same year.

“I think it’s hard when you put two very different people together. I’m very laid-back and passive. I have my Buddha. I come in here and meditate. [Shannen’s] got a lot of energy, she’s very headstrong, she wants to get the job done.”

In 2021, Milano told ET while promoting her book, “Sorry Not Sorry,” that she and Doherty had squashed their beef and were now “cordial.”

“I would say we are cordial,” Milano told the outlet at the time. “You know, I could take responsibility for a lot of our tension that we had. I think a lot of our struggle came from feeling that I was in competition rather than it being that sisterhood that the show was so much about. And I have some guilt about my part in that.”

Doherty made it clear on her podcast that she and Milano are anything but cordial.

“I heard she addressed [her competitiveness with me] in her book. Obviously I’m never reading her book, because it’s ‘Sorry Not Sorry,’ so right there it tells me you’re not frickin’ sorry!”

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