Shannen Doherty left ‘Charmed’ after three seasons.
In a shocking revelation, actress Holly Marie Combs has alleged that her former co-star, Alyssa Milano, played a pivotal role in the ousting of Shannen Doherty from the hit series Charmed in the early 2000s.
Combs made the claim during a recent episode of Doherty’s podcast, Let’s Be Clear With Shannen Doherty, where she detailed a meeting with show producer Jonathan Levin.
According to Combs, Levin explained that they were forced to choose between Milano and Doherty due to a hostile workplace environment claim filed by Milano against Doherty.
“We were told [by Alyssa] that it’s her or [Shannen], and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment,” Combs revealed on the podcast. She suggested that Milano allegedly documented every instance she felt uncomfortable on set.
Combs, who starred in all eight seasons of Charmed from 1998 to 2006, expressed her surprise, claiming that she never witnessed any overt conflicts or hostility on set. She mentioned that the tension was behind the scenes and not evident to the crew or special guest stars.
At the time, Combs was prepared to leave the show if Doherty was let go. However, Levin’s response, which Combs described as feeling like blackmail, resulted in Doherty’s departure from the series.
According to Combs, after Doherty departed from the show, it ceased to be the project she desired. She claimed discussions with Levin escalated to the extent that she was warned of legal consequences if she decided to depart the series, and her earnings would be reduced if she pursued employment elsewhere, even if it involved bagging groceries in Arizona.
“They forced me to go back to a show I wanted nothing to do with,” said Combs. “I ended up doing the most hours for the least pay because I just didn’t ask for raises, I didn’t want to be more taken out of the budget, I didn’t want to have no money for guest stars.”
Doherty’s character, Prue Halliwell, was killed off in the season 3 finale in 2001, and she was later replaced by Rose McGowan’s character, Paige.
Doherty, 52, shared her feelings of pain and confusion after being fired, stating that she spent a year replaying events in her mind to find moments of alleged bad behavior but couldn’t find any. She expressed regret that she wasn’t “older and wiser” at the time to handle the situation differently.
This revelation follows Doherty’s previous disclosures about a strained relationship with Milano, including claims that she was prevented from visiting Combs in the hospital by Milano and her mother in the late 1990s.
Milano has since admitted regret over her past actions and acknowledged the guilt she feels for contributing to the tension between the co-stars.
Milano told ET in 2021 that she and Doherty are now “cordial.”
“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,” she said. “And I have some guilt about my part in that.”