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Alyssa Milano says Charmed has been ‘tarnished by toxicity’ amid cast claims

Alyssa Milano says Charmed has been ‘tarnished by toxicity’ amid cast claims

Alyssa Milano has claimed that her hit TV series Charmed has been “tarnished by toxicity” following claims made by her former co-stars Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs.

In December, Combs appeared on Doherty’s podcast Let’s Be Clear to address long-standing rumours about Doherty’s exit from the series, which revolved around sister witches.

Combs, Milano and Doherty starred on the show for three seasons between 1998 and 2001, until Doherty’s character was abruptly killed off and replaced by a long-lost sister played by Rose McGowan. It would continue to run for five more seasons, finally ending in 2006.

During Let’s Be Clear, Combs claimed that tension between the three women had reached a fever pitch during the show’s third season, and that a producer had told her that they’d been “backed into this corner” by Milano. Combs said that the producer had claimed that Milano had demanded that either Doherty be fired from the show or that she would leave.

Doherty used the podcast to deny ever creating hostility on set, adding: “I lived a year after that sort of replaying everything in my brain and really trying to find those moments – and I couldn’t find them. I don’t ever remember being mean to [Milano] on set.”

Milano did not comment on the claims in December, but finally broke her silence during a convention appearance in Orlando, Florida, this week.

“I knew this was going to come up in one way or another, and I want to be very thoughtful in how I respond to any of this, and I will just say that I’m sad,” she said. “I don’t think it’s really that I’m sad for me or my life or how it does or does not affect my life – I’m the most sad for the fans.”

She continued: “I am 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. I’m sad that people can’t move past it. I’m sad that we all can’t just celebrate the success of a show that meant so much to all of us.

“I have worked super hard in my life in the last 25 years to heal all of my trauma, and that’s not just all the trauma that I experienced while shooting but all of my trauma. I’ve worked really hard to heal the bits because I understand that hurt people hurt people and my intention is to be a healed person that helps heal people.”

Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs in ‘Charmed’ (Shutterstock)
Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs in ‘Charmed’ (Shutterstock)

Milano did not address Combs and Doherty’s specific allegations, but did in 2017 say that she “could take responsibility for a lot of our tension that we had” on the series.

She added, during an appearance on the E! talk show Daily Pop, that “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”.

Doherty’s podcast sees her diving into her life and career, and discussing her experiences living with stage four cancer.

In an episode released last month, she revealed she’d received “a new cancer infusion” that felt like a “miracle”.

In another episode of the podcast, she discussed her short-lived movie career in the years following her breakout role on the teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 and before her return to television with Charmed. She jokingly said that working with Kevin Smith on the comedy Mallrats “killed” any shot of film stardom for her.