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Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Backstage Witchcraft Spelled
Doherty's Exit From 'Charmed'
Charmed? Perhaps not.
The reason Shannen Doherty is no longer associated with the WB series "Charmed" can be summed up in two words: Alyssa Milano.
While a story this week in the Hollywood trade papers suggests that Doherty's departure after three seasons resulted from "a mutual decision" between the 30-year-old actress and the producers at Aaron Spelling TV, the real saga is uglier.
Milano, Doherty and the show's other co-star, Holly Marie Combs, were all friends when the supernatural drama began in 1998. Milano even gushed about Doherty and Combs in a February 1999 interview, saying: "This is the best job I ever had because we bonded immediately. It's because we have so much in common."
The three were so close that Doherty and Combs were bridesmaids when Milano married musician Cinjun Tate at a Louisiana bed-and-breakfast on New Year's Day in 1999. Milano and Tate have since split.
But as often happens with a threesome, two of the friends sometimes become closer. In this case, Doherty's relationship with the other two — especially Milano — deteriorated to where Doherty wouldn't speak to her two co-stars unless the words came out of their characters' mouths.
Sources tell me that Milano went to the producers weeks ago and gave them an ultimatum:
Either Doherty goes or she would. Doherty apparently found out about the meeting and, even though she directed the season's final episode, which airs Thursday, she thought her own interests would be better served if she bailed.
Naturally, the show's rep admits to none of this. "Shannon (sic) wanted to go," said Nan Sumski, "and we didn't want to stop her."