'Beverly Hills, 90210: Behind Closed Doors': How Shannen Doherty's personal woes led to her exit from the show
For many viewers who grew up with 'Beverly Hills, 90210', Brenda Walsh's exit from the show after its fourth season left a sour taste. Played by Shannen Doherty, Brenda's last scene was with Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), a pair that many still believe were destined to be together. How did a central character get written off at the height of the show's popularity?
It all stems down to Doherty's personal life and her struggles, though, at the time, these were not known. Doherty was known for her bad-girl reputation in the '90s and often got into trouble with fellow cast members. Her heated feud with co-star Jennie Garth -- who played Brenda's arch-rival, Kelly Taylor -- dominated tabloid headlines over allegations of fights. Garth has admitted that the two of them "often wanted to claw each other's eyes out," and at one point it escalated into physical violence
Even the crew lamented her, remarking upon her tardiness and her unprofessional behavior. Executive producers Darren Star and Charles Rosin both told Entertainment Weekly that Doherty was difficult on-set with Rosin saying that "she had habitual lateness. Her lateness was appalling, and she had a callous attitude and an indifference."
Reelz's special, 'Beverly Hills, 90210: Behind Closed Doors' addresses Doherty's departure and everything that went down. Of course, hindsight is always better and the other cast members and crew seem to have forgiven Doherty for all that went down. In the years since Doherty's departure, a lot has been said about her leaving the show and what led to it. Doherty spoke to People magazine last year to explain that her life behind the scenes had a lot to do with what happened on the set.
She said, "Somebody had a problem with me being late, but perhaps they didn’t know I was late because my dad was in the hospital, or maybe because I was in a horrible marriage. I didn’t share, or I wasn’t asked. I’m not saying it was all a misunderstanding, but a large portion of it was a misunderstanding."
However, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2000, Doherty admitted that many of the claims against her were "bullsh*t." She said, "There are things that I would call bullsh*t, and [the lateness charge] is probably one of them. I was late maybe four times in four years. A bunch of times [other cast members] were extremely late. I don’t think that lateness had anything to do with it…. There were a lot of petty jealousies on that show, and I had never dealt with that before."
However, another co-star may have had a big part in getting Doherty out of the show. Tori Spelling, who played Donna Martin, was also the daughter of the executive producer, Aaron Spelling. When Spelling appeared in 'Tori Spelling: Celebrity Lie Detector on Lifetime in 2015', she admitted to calling her father to get rid of Doherty, something she came to regret later on.
Of course, now everything is in the past and Garth and Doherty are friends. Doherty told People magazine recently, "I have felt misunderstood my whole life. The only difference is that now I’m okay with it. But there have been moments where we’ve been able to talk about things." Doherty had also told Entertainment Weekly, “I think when you’re 18, your personalities conflict, and then you meet up 10 or 15 years later and the playing ground is totally different and you’re fine.”