Everything We Know About Shannen Doherty And Alyssa Milano's Rocky Relationship

Looking back on "Charmed" now, you might find its monster-of-the-week format corny or its special effects outdated, but it's undeniable that the original series was super influential on television and pop culture. Premiering in 1998, the supernatural drama centered around three witchy sisters, balancing interpersonal plot lines with more monster-centered action.

Initially fronted by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty, the show was most notable for its focus on female relationships, becoming the longest-running hour-long TV series to feature all female leads in 2006. Though it lost this title to "Desperate Housewives" in 2012, "Charmed" differentiated itself from shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Xena: Warrior Princess" by making space for the more mundane aspects of stereotypical femininity, like romance, sisterhood, and fashion, alongside the more fantastical elements of witchiness.

Despite its positive depictions of female relationships on-screen, the behind-the-scenes reality of the dynamics between Milano, Combs, and Doherty was not always so uplifting. Specifically, the drama between Milano and Doherty and the latter's subsequent departure from the series is an infamous aspect of the show's legacy. So, what's the truth about Doherty and Milano's rocky relationship?

Doherty and Milano allegedly clashed on Charmed set

When "Charmed" first premiered in 1998, the leads of the show, Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty, reportedly got along well. Doherty and Combs had already been long-time friends prior to production, but Milano appeared to fit well into the trio. Not only did the three have great on-screen chemistry as sisters, but they spoke well of each other in interviews. "This is the best job I've ever had because we bonded immediately," Milano said in 1999 about her costars (via TV Guide.) "We have so much in common."

However, this positive relationship didn't last, with TV Guide reporting in 2001 that tensions between Milano and Doherty were undeniably high by the time third season production began. While it's never been detailed exactly what went on between the co-stars, it seems to have been a culmination of workplace stress, bad communication, and clashing personalities.

Since Doherty had garnered a negative workplace reputation during her time on "Beverly Hills, 90210," many viewers suspected it was so-called diva behavior that got her written off "Charmed" by the end of the third season. However, this is another aspect of the show's behind-the-scenes lore that is shrouded in uncertainty, with rumors suggesting Milano was responsible for her removal while other sources claim Doherty had previously requested to leave.

Even though the details still remain unknown, many fans of "Charmed" believe that the feud between Milano and Doherty was a major contributor to the actress's exit from the show. At the beginning of the fourth season, Rose McGowan was introduced as her replacement.

The former co-stars are now cordial

Despite the major drama that allegedly existed between Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano during the early days of "Charmed," the two have allegedly reconciled since Doherty's departure. According to Milano, the two are civil and even occasionally talk. "I would say we are cordial," Milano said about Doherty in an interview with ET during a 2021 tour for her book, "Sorry Not Sorry," about her life and career. "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."

Though she recognizes her role in their past feud, Milano shared that this didn't prevent her from reaching out to Doherty following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2015. "I will send her DMs every couple of months to just check in," Milano told ET. "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."