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Shannen Doherty Admits She Lied About Her Exit From 'Charmed'—And She Really Regrets It

On her 'Let's Be Clear' podcast, Shannen Doherty came clean about her firing from 'Charmed' after years of claiming she left voluntarily.

The cast of "Charmed"
Getty Images / Handout

Actor Shannen Doherty admitted she was fired from the popular WB fantasy drama TV series Charmed.

Doherty had previously said she quit the show after its third season.

Charmed centered on the lives of a trio of sisters known as "The Charmed Ones" who used their good powers to protect innocent lives from evil.

When it premiered in 1998, the show starred Doherty as Prue, Holly Marie Combs as Piper, and Alyssa Milano as Phoebe.

Doherty's character Prue was killed off in the third season and was replaced with the trio's long-lost half-sister Paige Matthews, played by Rose McGowan.

Doherty came clean about her exit from the show in a recent episode from her Let’s Be Clear with Shannen Dohertypodcast.

Speaking with her former Charmed co-star Combs on the recent podcast, Doherty recalled how her reps strategized to protect her from exacerbating her "bad-girl" reputation.

"My representatives, I remember them looking at me at the time and said, 'No, no, no, your career won’t survive another firing, so we’re just going to say that you chose to leave,'" said Doherty.

"I remember I started laughing, going, 'Who is going to believe that I’m crazy enough to leave a hit show?'”

Doherty explained why she decided to open up about the real reason she left the show over 20 years later.

"At every convention that we do, every single, you know, fan that I run into on the streets always asked me 'Why did you quit? Why did you quit? Why did you quit?'"
"And the narrative that I quit was assigned to me by other people ... I didn't assign it to myself."
"And I think I'm just at that point in my life where I don't want to keep lying about something, and I don't want to keep lying about something that meant the absolute world to me, something that I went to and loved doing."

She added that even though she loved her job and the people she worked with, there was a breaking point after perpetuating the lie became too much.

Said Doherty:

“One can’t keep telling the same story over and over and over again, when it’s not the truth.”

Combs later mentioned having a conversation with the show's producer, Jonathan Levin, who allegedly told Combs that co-star Alyssa Milano threatened to sue if Doherty wasn't fired from the show, citing a toxic work environment.

Said Combs of her conversation with Levin:

“He said, you know, ‘We’re basically in a position where it’s one or the other."
"We were told [by Alyssa] that it’s [Shannen] or me, and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment."

Combs added that Milano "built a case for herself where she was documenting every time she felt uncomfortable on set and for whatever reason."

She also noted that Milano's legal threat "wouldn't f**king fly" by today's standards, given there were no on-set brawls, and any altercations or confrontations took place "behind the scenes, it was all in the trailer."

"It was nothing that anybody or any of our guest stars ever noticed."

Combs also pointed out how there weren't any directors at the time who didn't want to work with Doherty, nor were there any crew members who didn't have a great time working with her.

In retrospect, Doherty said she wished she handled her exit differently.

“I wish that I had been older and wiser because I definitely would’ve sued, and I would’ve been honest about the situation because the rumors followed me regardless."

The Let's Be Clear with Shannen Doherty podcast is the actor's live memoir in which she will "cover everything from her TV and film credits, to her Stage IV cancer battle, friendships, divorces and more."

In a previous episode, Doherty opened up about her cancer diagnosis and how she found out about her ex-husband's infidelity before she had her brain surgery.

According to her podcast's description, Doherty's outlook on life is reflected by her mantra, which is:

"It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it’s about how you get back up."