Doherty, 52, speaking on her podcast Let’s Be Clear with her former Charmed costar Combs, 50, who played Piper Halliwell on all 179 episodes of the series from 1998-2006.
Doherty played the role of Prue Halliwell on 67 episodes of the WB show Charmed from 1998–2001, leaving after the third of the show’s eight seasons.
Doherty told Combs of Milano, 50, ‘It was really interesting of [her] trying to pull you away from me,’ as she had known Combs prior to the series, and Combs had stayed with her following her separation from ex-husband Bryan Travis Smith.
Doherty said that Milano and her mother Lin Milano sought to turn Combs against her during production of the show’s second season.
Shannen Doherty, 52, said that Alyssa Milano, 50, and her family sparked ‘a weird divide’ between her and Holly Marie Combs, 50, on the set of the series Charmed
Milano, Combs and Doherty seen in a promotional pic for the series, which debuted in 1998
At the time, both were dealing with exacerbating off-screen issues: Doherty said that her late John Thomas Doherty (who died in 2010 at 66) had been ‘in and out of the hospital nonstop.’
Combs had to undergo surgery on her uterus to remove a tumor amid cancer concerns, which led to production on the series to be suspended.
Doherty said Milano and her mother had tried to restrict her access to Combs in the wake of the medical procedure.
‘I waited 24 hours after your surgery to go and then it wasn’t even easy for me to get in,’ said Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990–1994. ‘I was like being told I couldn’t even get in.
‘Alyssa and her mom were blocking people from seeing you and at the time you didn’t know – I remember you texted me, “Dude are you going to come and see me?”‘
Doherty said she was upset over the scenario, which she added ’caused a weird divide between the two of us that continued throughout season two.
‘I also felt my anger at the situation of not being allowed to come see you and how a sort of family had swooped in,’ she said, adding that she ‘cried every single night’ during production on the show’s second season.
Combs said that growing up amid adverse circumstances drew her to Milano’s family at the time.
Doherty said there was ‘a weird divide between’ her and Combs, pictured in 2016, amid production of the show’s second season
Doherty played the role of Prue Halliwell on 67 episodes of the WB show Charmed from 1998–2001, leaving after the third of the show’s eight seasons
‘I think it was pretty obvious I was raised by teenage parents and I didn’t have a big family,’ Combs said. ‘So you’re right, when a family swooped in and tried to basically adopt me it was very seductive for me.
‘I also wanted everybody to get along, I wanted the show to be successful. There were no angels, there were no demons.’
Combs added: We all had bad days, we all had good days. We all could have behaved better at certain points but there was a lack of awareness of a bigger broader picture.’
Doherty hinted at tensions on the set of the fantasy drama in 2001, when she told Entertainment Tonight of her departure from the series, ‘I want to work with actors who really, really care and that want to be there every single day.
‘I don’t want to work with people who bitch about their job and complain about it and say that they hate it or anything else.’
Rose McGowan went on to appear on the show in the ensuing seasons, saying in her 2018 book Brave, ‘I wasn’t going to be playing Shannen’s role, but it was still someone new for the fans to bond with … I knew that I had a slim chance at success here.’
She said that the show ‘at times a very stressful environment’ and she ‘started to have panic attacks because of everything [she] was pushing down.’
Rose McGowan went on to star in a leading role on the show after Doherty left the cast in 2001
McGowan said that the show ‘at times a very stressful environment’ and she ‘started to have panic attacks because of everything [she] was pushing down’
Doherty and Combs have stayed on good terms, as they co-starred on the 2015 travel series Off the Map With Shannen & Holly.
Milano in 2021 told Entertainment Tonight that she and Doherty – who she called ‘a great actress’ – are on cordial terms these days.
‘You know, I could take responsibility for a lot of our tension that we had,’ she told the outlet. ‘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.’