Shannen Doherty recalls ‘horrible marriage’ that led to ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ firing: ‘It was all-consuming’

Shannen Doherty admits that she let some of her personal “growing pains” seep into her work life while starring on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

On Monday’s episode of her “Let’s Be Clear With Shannen Doherty” podcast, the actress sat down with former co-star Jason Priestley and acknowledged that her unprofessionalism on set led to her firing after the fourth season in 1994.

“Towards my last season, I was in a really horrible marriage, and there were things that were transpiring in that marriage that made it really hard for me to consistently be on time for work,” Doherty explained.

Doherty married Ashley Hamilton in 1993 yet they split just one year later largely in part to Hamilton’s battle with addiction.

“I know that that became a very big problem for the rest of you, as it should be because if everyone else is on time and you are waiting for one person it sucks,” she continued, noting that her tardiness forced her co-stars to “work longer hours.”

Former “Beverly Hills, 90210” co-stars Shannen Doherty and Jason Priestley discussed the actress’ firing from the show on her podcast.

“It wasn’t anybody’s responsibility but mine,” the 52-year-old, who is currently battling stage 4 breast cancer, added.

Despite taking accountability, Doherty wished that producers had a serious talk with her about her behavior before deciding to write her character, Brenda Walsh, off the show.

“I sort of wish I would have been sat down and sort of looked at and said, ‘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 and I understand that you have an issue in your personal life, but that also can’t bleed into work. You have to get your s—t together!’”

Doherty admitted that her marital issues contributed to her unprofessionalism on set. Getty Images
She was married to Ashley Hamilton from 1993 until 1994. Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

However, she also admitted that she should have been more “transparent” with the cast and crew about the fact that her “father was super sick” and that her husband was battling a very scary drug problem, which became “all-consuming” for her.

“I didn’t even want to leave the house because I was scared that [Hamilton] would go and get drugs,” she explained, calling it “the most bizarre” experience.

Priestley, who Doherty referred to as the “quarterback” of the cast, noted that it was “incredibly difficult” for their castmates to understand and accept Doherty’s behavior without her opening up.

Priestley and Doherty played siblings on the hit show.
However, Doherty’s character was written off after the fourth season.

“I wish that I would have known more about what was happening in your personal life at the time because I could have hopefully managed it with more compassion and more caring, but we only knew what we knew,” he said.

Priestley, who played Doherty’s sibling Brandon Walsh on the show, added that it was especially hard for him to deal with Doherty’s firing because their characters were so closely linked.

“Of course, the hardest thing for me was the show was about Brandon and Brenda, it’s about the Walsh family and ‘How is that going to impact the show?’ and ‘How would we find a path to move forward with the show?’”

Doherty wishes she would have been more “transparent” about what she was going through at the time. Courtesy Everett Collection

Before jumping into the next topic, Doherty made it clear that she doesn’t “blame” any of her former castmates for not knowing what was going on in her life at the time.


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“I do blame myself because I should have had my personal life more together, I should have left a relationship earlier, I shouldn’t have been going out,” she explained.

The actress has been married three times. Getty Images for Hallmark Channel

She continued, “I got definitely affected by the attention, and all of a sudden I could go into a nightclub and it didn’t matter how old I was. I found it all very alluring and seductive. And I fell into that trap, then you add the personal issues and I should have been transparent.”

Doherty was also married to Rick Salomon from 2002 until 2003. She 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.