“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… happening.”
By Emlyn Travis
Alyssa Milano has broken her silence on her Charmed costar Holly Marie Combs’ recent claim that she had Shannen Doherty fired from the hit 1990s fantasy series.
The actress, who starred as Phoebe Halliwell on the show, acknowledged that she “knew this was going to come up in one way or another” while speaking at a Charmed panel at MegaCon Orlando without Combs and Doherty this week.
“I want to be very thoughtful in how I respond to any of this,” Milano prefaced. “I think we all know I’m talking about Shannen’s podcast, and Holly and Shannen doing it together, [and] things… in the past, so I’m just gonna address it… But I wanna be thoughtful because I don’t wanna add on to anyone else’s pain because I don’t think that’s cool either, so I will just say that I’m sad.”
But, she clarified, she’s bummed more for the fans than for herself. “I don’t think it’s really that I’m sad for me, or for my life, or how it does or does not affect my life,” she said. “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.”
Milano added that she’s also sad that “people can’t move past” what went down between them, saying, “I’m sad that we all can’t just celebrate the success of a show that meant so much to all of us.”
She also explained that the years she spent filming the series were “hard” for her personally. “I have worked super hard in my life in the last 25 years to heal all of my trauma,” Milano said, “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… and my intention is to be a healed person that helps heal people.”
Still, Milano admitted that she’s not sure how to mend the burned bridges between her and her castmates.
“Do I wish that we could all sit on a stage? Yeah, because, again, this was almost a quarter of a century ago,” she continued. “How is it possible to continue to hold on to that? And I’ve been very upfront and taken accountability and apologized for whatever part I played in the situation. And I’ve been very forthcoming about that, and so I don’t know how else to fix it.”
She concluded, “I even don’t know if I can put myself out there anymore than I already have to fix it. But yeah, it’s heartbreaking. It’s hard. This is the uncomfortable part that I wish was different. So apologies to all of you who love us anyway.”
Last December, Combs alleged that Milano had Shannen Doherty fired from the series after its third season. Recalling a conversation she had with producer Jonathan Levin on Doherty’s Let’s Be Clear podcast, Combs claimed, “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 continued, “Which, because she went to the therapist or the mediator or the corporate mediator, whatever the heck his title is, she built a case for herself where she was documenting every time she felt uncomfortable on set and for whatever reason, whereas you and I refused to speak to him. So that’s where the deck was stacked.”
Doherty added at the time that she couldn’t recall exactly what happened between them that angered Milano. “I lived a year after that, sort of replaying everything in my brain and really like trying to find those moments… I couldn’t find them,” she said. “We never had it out, not privately or publicly.”