The “Charmed” cast feud is still brewing, decades after the show first premiered.
The turmoil behind the scenes of the hit show, starring actresses Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs, has been overshadowing the success of the series, with Doherty and Milano’s issues coming to a head in recent months.
As a result, Combs and Rose McGowan, who later joined the show, have taken sides.
Doherty and Combs rehashed the drama on Doherty’s podcast in December. Doherty said any narrative that she quit “Charmed” was not her own. Combs said a producer told her Milano threatened to sue the show if Doherty wasn’t fired.
SHANNEN DOHERTY’S RIVALRY WITH ALYSSA MILANO CAUSED ‘CHARMED’ CAST DIVIDE: ‘I CRIED EVERY SINGLE NIGHT’
“[The producer] said, ‘We’ve been backed into this corner,'” Combs recounted. “He said, ‘You know, we’re basically in a position where it’s one or the other. We were told it was ‘her or me,’ and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment.'”
Last week, Milano gave her take when asked about working with McGowan at MegaCon Orlando. McGowan joined the cast after Doherty’s character was killed off in season 3 and has said in the past Milano made the set difficult.
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“So, I’m just gonna address it because I feel like if you can live with a certain amount of honesty and integrity then you all deserve that. But I wanna be thoughtful,” Milano said in a video shared online. “I don’t want to add on to anyone else’s pain, because I don’t think that’s cool either. So, I will just say that I’m sad.
“I’m the most sad that a show that has meant so much to so many people has been tarnished by a toxicity that is still to this day, almost a quarter of a century later, still happening,” she said. “When I think back to that time, it was hard for me. … And I have worked super hard in my life, in the last 25 years, to heal all of my trauma. And that’s not, just, you know, the trauma that I experienced while shooting.
“I understand that hurt people hurt people,” she added. “I think (I’ve) been very upfront and taken accountability for and apologized for whatever part I played in the situation. And I’ve been very forthcoming about that. And so I don’t know how else to fix it.”
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She later doubled down in an Instagram post, writing, “Any retelling of these stories from anyone is just revisionist history.”
Two days later, at the same event, Doherty was on stage with Combs and McGowan and slammed Milano’s assessment.
“Holly and I, we were not mean on the podcast. … In fact, we went in and edited out anything that we thought would cause more drama. We simply told the truth because the truth actually does matter. But we wanted to try to save you, the fans, from heartbreak, as much as humanly possible,” she said, getting emotional in a fan-recorded video.
“There is no revisionist history in the truth that I know we told. … What somebody else may call trauma is an actual trauma for me that I have lived with for an extremely long time. And it is only through my battle with cancer that I decided to address this trauma and be open and honest about it, so I could actually heal from a livelihood that was taken away from me; a livelihood that was taken away from my family because someone else wanted to be No. 1 on the call sheet.”
Days later, Combs decided to clear the air and give the world her perspective.
“In the spirit of not being the quiet one or the middle child anymore, I feel the need to defend myself after the many continuing attacks that have ensued since Alyssa stepped out on the stage and essentially called Shannen and I liars when she was simply asked what it was like to work with Rose,” Combs wrote to Instagram.
“Suffice to say I’m a little shocked and a little disappointed especially by the things she posted the next day while texting me simultaneously words to the contrary. Sadly that’s not surprising anymore.
“First off, this is not revisionist history. This is just the history she didn’t want people to know about. And the history Shannen wasn’t ready to talk about until one month ago. We are all thankfully at the age where people are writing books, memories and telling their life story. No one should have to lie about their own life for the comfort of another. Although I have long wanted the girls to just get along for the sake of something bigger than all of us combined, it was not in the cards. Clearly.
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“I heard that Alyssa said she did not have the power to fire anyone, which is ironic because this was actually all about power,” Combs explained. “There was a case being built, which is now clear. A case Alyssa and Alyssa alone had the power to stop and when the producers said, ‘OK, we will let Shannen go, Alyssa also had the power to say, ’No, I don’t want that.’
“But she did not. She had the power to say no just as Shannen had said, ‘No, I don’t want you to replace Alyssa’ when posed with the same option. Because she was a child actor who supported a family just as Alyssa does and understood the great importance and responsibility of that.”
Combs added the hashtag “#sorrynotsorry,” the title of Milano’s 2021 memoir.
McGowan commented on the post, seeming to agree with Doherty’s explanation.
“I love what the show has meant to people worldwide,” McGowan said. “Sometimes, a mess has to be made for things to be cleaned up. This for me is way bigger than a TV show. It goes to years of continuous behind-the-scenes character assassination and targeted reputation smearing because of narcissistic pathological jealousy.
“I wish none of it had to be this way. I remain proud of everyone involved for the magic we wove and the magic created worldwide. Truth is uncomfortable, but magic never dies.”
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