Skip to content

Alyssa Milano Has "Guilt" About Bitter Feud With Her Co-Star

The actor's feud with Charmed castmate Shannen Doherty lasted for years.

The phrase "time heals all wounds" isn't always the most accurate, but it sounds like it might really be the case when it comes to this old TV feud. Starting in 1998, Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty starred on Charmed alongside Holly Marie Combs as three sisters who are all powerful witches. But, after Season 3 concluded in 2001, Doherty left the series. The two actors both gave interviews a the time that made it clear that something was up on set and that they weren't seeing eye to eye.

Now, Milano is taking some responsibility for how things went down. In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, she also gives an update on where she and Doherty stand now. Read on to find out more.

RELATED: The Most Dramatic Feuds in Hollywood History.

The three stars of Charmed got along well at first.

Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano on "Charmed"
CBS Television Distribution

At the start, the show's three leads were close. Doherty and Combs were even in Milano's 1999 wedding. "I feel that we're incredibly lucky that the three of us found each other," Milano said in an E! special. "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." 

By Season 3, relationships had soured.

Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano on "Charmed"
CBS Television Distribution

Doherty chose to leave the show following Season 3. After departing, she told Entertainment Tonight in 2001, "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…complain about [their job] and say that they hate it or anything else." Speaking at an event years later, she also said that she was getting bored with playing the same character and thought that the show's plot could benefit from a change, too.

Milano called out Doherty for "bad-mouthing" her coworkers.

Alyssa Milano at the Showtime Emmy Eve Nominee Party in September 2018
Kathy Hutchins /

Also in 2001, Milano said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "I think it's hard when you put…[long pause]…two very different people together. I'm very laid-back and passive. I have my Buddha. I come in [my trailer] and meditate." She continued, "[Shannen's] got a lot of energy, she's very headstrong, she wants to get the job done…. I think it's unfortunate that she 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."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

More than 10 years later, there was still bad blood between the two.

Shannen Doherty at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards in October 2019
DFree /

In 2012, Doherty appeared on Watch What Happens Live and was challenged to say three nice things about Milano. She responded, "She's pretty. She's pretty. She's pretty."

Milano appeared on the same show the following year, and when she was asked about working with Doherty, she said, "We were on the air with her for there years, and there were definitely some rough days. Holly and Shannen were best friends for like 10 years before the show started, so it was very much sort of like high school. I would hope that in our 30s that it wouldn't be like that anymore."

In response, Combs tweeted, "Working on Charmed was nothing like high school." Doherty added in her own tweet, "Yeah, agreed, considering it helped me support my family and pay for my dad's medical issues, but everyone has their opinion and views." But, as Us Weekly reports, she said in another tweet that she wasn't angry and that Milano did "a great job" on Watch What Happens Live. "That show can be tricky," Doherty added.

Today, Milano's thoughts about the tension have changed.

Alyssa Milano at VH1 Trailblazer Honors in February 2019
Kathy Hutchins /

In the new Entertainment Tonight interview, Milano said of Doherty, "I would say we are cordial." She continued, "You know, 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. And I have some guilt about my part in that."

Milano explained in a previous ET interview in 2017 that she reached out to Doherty after hearing about her former co-star's breast cancer diagnosis in 2015. And she is still in touch with her now. "I will send her DMs every couple of months to just check in," Milano said in the new interview. "I have respect for her. Great actress, loves her family so much, and I just wish I could've felt strong enough in who I was to recognize that back then."

RELATED: Tori From Saved by the Bell Quit Acting 25 Years Ago. See Her Now.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under