A “petrified” Shannen Doherty is fighting for her life after the aggressive return of her breast cancer.
The Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed star revealed in an interview with ABC News that aired on Good Morning America on Tuesday (US time) she hasn’t “processed” the devastating news despite hearing it a year ago.
“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that I’m stage-four. So my cancer came back, and that’s why I’m here,” Doherty said.
“I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and had a mastectomy and back-to-back rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
In 2017, she said she was in remission from the disease.
A driving force for her to go public now is her lawyers said in court filings on Tuesday she “is dying of stage four terminal cancer.”
The court papers are part of Doherty’s ongoing lawsuit with insurance company State Farm, which she claims is withholding money to repair damage caused to her home by the 2018 California wildfires.
“Instead of living out her remaining years peacefully in her home, Ms Doherty remains displaced and battling with her insurance company,” the suit said.
“We empathise with Ms Doherty’s health issues and wish her a full recovery,” State Farm said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
“We strongly believe we have upheld our commitment to our customer and have paid what we owe on this claim.”
Since her first diagnosis, “I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’” Doherty, 48, said.
“And then I go, well, ‘why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”
This time, the actress only told family and one friend, actor Brian Austin Green. One reason she didn’t want to share the news was the March 2019 sudden death of 90210 co-star Luke Perry.
“It’s so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first,” said Doherty.
“It was really, like, shocking.”
She knew about her stage four cancer when she filmed the TV reboot of 90210 with Green last year and “had moments of great anxiety where I thought, ‘I can’t do this’,” she said in the ABC News interview.
“One of the reasons … I didn’t really tell anybody [was] because I thought, people can look at that [as] people with stage four can work too.
“Our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”
After the interview aired, Doherty shared a Peanuts comic to Instagram:
In February 2019, Doherty said her cancer diagnosis made her stronger and “solidified” her nine year marriage to photographer Kurt Iswarienko.
“I felt more feminine and vulnerable than I’ve felt in my entire life,” she told Health magazine.
“I was always used to being the strong one, and during that time period, every wall I’d built up in my life came down.”
Doherty said she had more time to “look at myself and say, ‘I’m a pretty okay person’ and cut myself some slack. I’ve had a lot of those epiphanies.
“It’s okay to stumble.”