The Real Reason Shannen Doherty Left 'Charmed,' According to Costar Holly Marie Combs

Doherty, once a bridesmaid in Milano's wedding, and her former costar ended their relationship at bitter odds.

Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty, and Alyssa Milano
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Charmed is all about the power of sisterhood, this theme was missing from the set most days, according to some of the show's stars. Less witchy, and more...unfriendly. Yeah. Unfriendly.

We thought that all the drama from the show had been left in 2006 when it ended after eight seasons, along with side parts and low-waisted jeans. But one of the stars, Holly Marie Combs, has returned to stir the cauldron with some more piping hot tea.

Charmed starred Combs, Shannen Doherty, and Alyssa Milano as three sister-witches who fight against evil together. Doherty's character was killed off after three seasons—we all sobbed, don't even deny it—and at the time, it was believed she had quit.

Well, this is now being disputed. On Monday's episode of Doherty's podcast, "Let's Be Clear," as People reports, Combs claimed that Doherty was fired from the show over tensions with their costar, Milano.

Combs said she was furious at the time and confronted the show's producer about it. “He said, ‘We’ve been backed into this corner—we’re basically in this position where it’s one or the other,'” Combs alleged.

Combs claimed that she also wanted to leave if Doherty wasn't on the show, saying that she was given an ultimatum that "felt like blackmail," according to Page Six. Combs remained for the five remaining seasons, and worked with the replacement, Rose McGowan, who played Paige.

On the podcast, Doherty weighed in, saying: “As you get older, you accept that a situation happened. Acceptance and moving on with your life does not equate to forgiveness. You just learn a lesson and look at somebody differently and move on.”

Milano, for her part, told Entertainment Tonight in 2021 that the two are now "cordial" and further said, "I could take responsibility for a lot of our tension that we had. 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," she said. "And I have some guilt about my part in that."

Alyssa Milano Shannen Doherty And Holly Marie Combs Star In Charmed

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This isn't the first time that the former costars have taken their feud into the limelight.

At the time of Doherty's departure, Milano said to Entertainment Weekly: "I think it’s unfortunate that [Doherty] left, and that she needed to bad mouth everyone involved and the audience. She sounds really angry. I just hope I didn’t contribute to that anger.”

Doherty threw this shade right back at her during a candid chat with Entertainment Tonight. "I want to work with actors who really, really care and that want to be there every single day," she said. "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.”

But it's worth noting that things weren't always this bad. A year after the premiere, Doherty and Combs were bridesmaids at Milano's wedding.

In 1999, Milano gushed about her two costars in an interview, saying "I feel that we're incredibly lucky that the three of us found each other. We all have horses, so we all have things that are in common. Holly and I keep our horses at the same ranch so we go riding all the time together and we're very similar and, um, very close. We're blessed in that way. It's like a big slumber party every day. We giggle a lot."

How did it all go so wrong?

Alyssa Milano Shannen Doherty And Holly Marie Combs Star In Charmed

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Fleurine Tideman
Freelance Writer

Fleurine Tideman is a freelance writer who is always ready to discuss celebrities, entertainment, mental health, relationships and anything else her busy brain comes up with. She comes from the small, rainy land of the Netherlands, but she uses the flexibility of her work to travel around Europe and explore new places. She spent several years working in the travel industry, which taught her how to fit insane amounts in her hand luggage. She has a degree in Psychology and Anthropology, which she uses to psychoanalyse herself and others. She’s a regular contributor for Betches, and you can also find her work on Pop Sugar, Insider, Time Out or her own blog, Symptoms of Living. At Marie Claire, she’ll be covering celebrity news, usually written to the sounds of Taylor Swift.