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These "Beverly Hills, 90210" Stars Got Into a "Fist Fight" on Set

Shannen Doherty and one of her co-stars came to blows when tensions boiled over.

Fans tuned in weekly to Beverly Hills, 90210 to see what new drama befell the attractive teen characters it followed, but it seems that there was almost as much to gossip about behind-the-scenes. Tensions among some cast members ran high; most notably, one of the original stars of the series, Shannen Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh, left the show after Season 4 amid issues with the cast and crew. And while there are many stories about what went down on the 90210 set, one situation that sounds like it could've just been a rumor turned out to be completely true. Doherty and one of her co-stars on the series got into an actual physical fight on the set and other cast members had to step in to keep them apart. Read on to see what happened and what the actors had to say about it years later.

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Doherty wasn't very popular on the set.

Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, and Luke Perry at the 1991 Emmy Awards
Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Coworkers reportedly felt that Doherty wasn't invested in the show and didn't respect their time, because she showed up to work late. "She had habitual lateness. Her lateness was appalling, and she had a callous attitude and an indifference. She was clearly not very happy on this show anymore," executive producer Charles Rosin told Entertainment Weekly in 2000.

Executive producer Aaron Spelling added, "It wasn't like she ruined the show or anything. It just upset the cast members tremendously. I remember them calling me and saying, 'Please, can't you get her here on time?'"

As for Doherty, she told the magazine, "There are things that I would call [expletive], 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."

Doherty and a co-star got into a fight that had to be broken up.

Tori Spelling, Shannen Doherty, and Jennie Garth at the 1992 People's Choice Awards
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In 2015, Tori Spelling, who played Donna Martin, participated in a Lifetime special called Celebrity Lie Detector and spilled some stories about Doherty.

"It was getting worse and worse," Spelling said of Doherty's behavior during 90210 (via Entertainment Tonight). She said that she contacted her father, Aaron, about it and that the cast were in agreement when it came to their issues with Doherty.

On the show, Spelling also brought up a "fist fight" between Doherty and Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor). "I remember I could hear the door fly open and everyone screaming and crying. That's when I was told the boys just had to break up Jennie and Shannen… it was like a fist fight," Spelling said.

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Garth acknowledged that it happened.

In 2019, Garth and Spelling appeared on Watch What Happens Live together and looked back on the fight.

"We were young and so stupid," Garth said. "I can only remember one incident and that was, yeah, when we took it outside … Yeah, I'm a midwestern girl and I spent some time in Glendale, Arizona, so that makes you tough." Garth was asked who "won" the fight, and she responded, "The guys that held us back, so we never actually…"

At first, Garth didn't want to share what caused the fight because it was "so stupid," but Spelling stepped in and said, "You guys were teasing each other and [Doherty], like, pulled your skirt up."

Garth added, "I didn't care for that. I wouldn't do that to someone … I'm pretty sure I got in her face … We're just both very strong Aries women. We don't back down no matter what."

They're on good terms now.

The cast of "BH90210" on stage during the 2019 Fox Summer TCA Press Tour
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Doherty and Garth are in a much better place these days. They worked together on the Beverly Hills, 90210 spinoff 90210 in 2008 and again on a reboot of the original series, BH90210, in 2019.

In 2008, the actors were interviewed together for the new spinoff and the fight was brought up, because Spelling had written about it in her book, sTori Telling.

"A fist fight? That makes us sound so tough," Garth said. Doherty added, "I know. Like we were serious gangsters."

"I just remember being outside and the boys having to try to settle us down," Garth said. They both agreed that they never actually hit one another. "Scratching? I'm not going to deny that," Garth said.

Doherty said of their relationship evolving, "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."

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
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