Secrets Behind Beverly Hills 90210’s Off-Screen Relationships

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Beverly Hills, 90210 is one of the most iconic teen dramas in television history that paved the way for newer hits like The O.C., One Tree Hill, and Gossip Girl, and like any teen series, the off-screen relationships were just as dramatic and intense as those on-screen. Over 10 seasons together on TV’s hottest show, the young cast went through a lot, and from romances to flings to friendships there was a lot more happening between the stars than fans realized. With BH90210 bringing many of them back together, take a look at secrets behind Beverly Hills, 90210′s off-screen relationships.

27. Luke Perry and Shannen Doherty’s Friendship

It is no secret that Shannen Doherty had difficulties with almost everyone on the set of Beverly Hills, 90210 before she was eventually removed from the series, but one relationship that was not fractured was between Doherty and Luke Perry. Despite the pair having a steamy on-screen relationship as Brenda Walsh and Dylan McKay, the two stars never dated in real-life. “She’s been thrown under the bus,” Perry said defending Doherty after her reputation in Hollywood went downhill. “I’ve been accused of driving it. But she’s a very big part of the success of this show. She taught me a lot. I’m glad she was my scene partner. She was great at what she did in the character with me.”


26. Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling’s Fling

In BH90210, Spelling suggested that she had lost her virginity to Brian Austin Green much like her character Donna had with his character David. While that isn’t the truth, the pair did admit to having a fling. “We hooked up. We did,” Green confirmed “… We were young, so that’s what young people do.” Of the hookup, their costar Gabrielle Carteris said, “That’s their story to share, but I remember many things on the show and many different hookups that took place. But yeah, that was a relationship that went on for a little while.”

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25. Everyone Hooked Up

Some Beverly Hills, 90210 stars have opened up about their romances or flings on-set, and others have not but in his memoir, Jason Priestley shared that at one point basically everyone hooked up. “Various combinations of people slept with each other over the years. Nobody ever got attached. We never let it get in the way what we were doing. I will let you know that nobody ever got — work always superseded everything,” he wrote.

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24. Jason Priestley and Christine Elise – Real Deal

While most of the cast admits that nearly everyone was hooking up with everyone, which is common with the young hot casts of teen series, Brandon Walsh found something a little more serious with Christine Elise who played Emily Valentine. Priestley called it his first “full-fledged adult relationship.” The couple dated for five years and lived together before their breakup.


23. Tension Everywhere

There were many notable feuds on the set, but Jennie Garth said at times, tensions ran high between everyone. “There were times when it was worse than high school,” Garth told The New York Times. “The environment there was like: Are you kidding me? There was a lot of tension and unnecessary drama on the set, a certain amount of competition, and a certain—probably—anger about different salaries as the years progressed. People would find out how much someone was making, and then they’d be angry and want that, or if you got days off in your contract, they’d want that. Nobody was brave enough to step in and set us straight, and have a serious talk with us about it.”

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22. Ian Ziering and Shannen Doherty’s Friendship

Like most on set, Ian Ziering and Shannen Doherty had their issues, and Ziering was one of the first to speak out to Doherty about her unacceptable on-set behavior and it seems the breaking point came when Doherty went to get her hair and makeup done just as everyone else was ready to begin filming. “Shannen runs in and sits down to get hair done,” Spelling recalled, “and you could just feel everyone was turning and looking. I knew someone was gonna say something.” Ziering turned to Doherty and said, “You are a C-*-N-T: Can’t Understand Normal Thinking.” Despite some heated fights, the pair had a strong friendship and Ziering actually covered for Doherty when she crashed his iconic Corvette. “I was going a little too fast and I hit, like, a ditch and the car bottomed out … and Ian took the blame,” the actress revealed.

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21. Jennie Garth and Luke Perry – Jet Ski Accident

Costars and on-screen love interests Jennie Garth and Luke Perry remained very good friends after the series came to an end, even though Perry once ran Garth over with a Jet Ski! In her memoir, Garth recalled, “When the scene wrapped and we were breaking for lunch, I hopped on the back of a Jet Ski driven by a bodyguard while Luke took off on his own,” she recalled before explaining that she was forced to jump off the Jet Ski after her driver noticed a fishing line a little too late. “Before I could catch my breath, it hit me. Or something it me. Hard. Next thing I knew, I was on the sand, a cluster of people around me […] Just to be safe, they whisked me off to the hospital with Luke hovering nervously over me. Before I was even able to strip and get into one of those white gowns that showcases your bare ass, Luke blurted out, ‘I ran over you with a Jet Ski. I’m sorry.'” But she later got her revenge…”We were all so hot and crabby, Luke was poking at me…just trying to get me to laugh, but what he was doing was really pissing me off. Just as they were setting up the shot, he mouth off and…Spritzzzz! I shot him with Binaca. And nailed him right in the eye.”


20. Jennie Garth and Ian Ziering’s Kiss

When Jennie Garth released her memoir, Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde, she revealed a few stories about her cast mates on Beverly Hills, 90210. In one of the stories, she revealed how Ian Ziering tricked her into practicing a kissing scene! In her book, she wrote: “He was wise and ambitious as hell. I remember that we had to kiss in one of the earlier episodes, like right after we had met, and he asked if we could go to the garage of this house we were shooting at ‘to rehearse’ …It was the most awkward situation yet…Of course, I now know that you don’t have to ‘rehearse’ those kisses…I told you he was ambitious!”

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19. Shannen Doherty and Jason Priestley

Although there were many flings and hookups between the show’s cast members over its ten season run, one of the most surprising without a doubt was between Shannen Doherty and Jason Priestley. The pair played not only siblings, but twins as Brenda and Brandon Walsh, which made their romance a little odd for fans.

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18. Jennie Garth vs. Tiffani Thiessen

Shannen Doherty isn’t the only female star that Garth had an issue with. When Doherty left the series, Tiffani Thiessen was brought in as replacement character Valerie Malone, and said she didn’t get the warmest reception when she joined the cast and said the girls on the show were “not very nice to me.” She added, “We had a falling apart and we grew apart. I was the one who was hurt, let’s just say that.”

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17. Shannen Doherty vs. Jason Priestley

Although a real-life romance blossomed out of Shannen Doherty and Jason Priestley’s time together on-set, at the beginning the pair had a feud when Doherty apparently crossed a line with Priestley. When they started filming, Priestley reportedly didn’t want anyone to know his age, but Doherty found out. “One day we’re on set and Shannon comes to set and says, ‘Haha! I know how old you are, you’re 21 years old!’ And Jason said, ‘How do you know that?’ She said, ‘Well I went into your dressing room and I went into your wallet and looked at your license!’” Ian Ziering recalled, adding that “smoke came out of” Priestley’s ears and he grabbed his on-screen sister and warned her, “If you ever go into my dressing room again, I swear to God!”

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16. Tori and Aaron Spelling

Tori Spelling always struggled with the criticism that her father Aaron Spelling, was the producer behind the show and many believed was the reason she got the role of Donna Martin. Unfortunately for Tori Spelling, having her father so closely associated to the series ended up impacting her character’s arc.  “The minute we’d go in to pitch stories about an episode, he’d ask, ‘What’s Donna doing this week?’ Even though Donna wasn’t one of the main character in the inner-circle — she was a supporting character…you always had to start what the episode was about with ‘What was Donna doing?’ That’s what the old man wanted to hear…Tori was really out there. She was just enjoying herself. So even though the old man couldn’t control her, he could control Donna Martin. It was an odd situation, like he was getting his fatherly satisfaction out of controlling a character when he couldn’t really control his daughter,” said writer and executive producer, Larry Mollin. This is also one of the reasons Donna’s character remained a virgin for so long.

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15. Tori Spelling and Jason Priestley’s Fling

Brian Austin Green wasn’t the only Beverly Hills, 90210 leading man that Tori Spelling hooked up with! During her one-hour Lifetime special Tori Spelling: Celebrity Lie Detector, Spelling admitted to sleeping with Brian Austin Green before revealing she had slept with another cast member: Jason Priestley. Spelling added that it was more of a “fling” and happened in between filming seasons.  “It was a summer fling. It was off-set. It was our version of a summer romance. The 90210 version. And that was it, and we stayed great friends for the rest of the run and beyond that, we had that one summer fling,” she revealed.

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14. Shannen and Luke – Health Scare

Despite going their separate ways for years, something unfortunate and unexpected reunited and strengthened Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry’s friendship. In 2015 Perry told Fox News that doctors found precancerous growths in his colon after he underwent a routine colonoscopy and that same year, Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer. “She’s brave, she’s a fighter,” he told Us Weekly. “She’s in my heart and I think about it. Shannen has taken the opportunity to raise the awareness and let everybody know breast cancer is still a problem. I’ll take this opportunity to send her my love.” Doherty shared, “Luke reached out to me during my cancer journey and we picked right back up, albeit older and wiser, but that connection remained in tact.”

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13. Shannen Doherty vs. Jennie Garth

There were many reports during the show’s early years that Shannen Doherty was the on-set diva and made it difficult for both the cast and crew, but most notable is the iconic feud between Doherty and Garth, which Garth said started off as a friendship. “Brenda and Kelly began as best friends but turned into bitter rivals, and Shannen and I did, too, at least for a time while we were working together.” Eventually, after a lot of tension, Garth revealed that things became physical. “We were shooting a scene and Doherty kept grabbing at the hem of my skirt, trying to slap me on the leg – anything to get me to react and break character. Finally, when she’d pulled up my skirt, and my bare ass was exposed for everyone on the set to see, I did snap and I yelled at her, something to the effect of, ‘Come on, b-tch! We’re taking this outside!’” The two never actually ended up hitting each other because some of the guys pulled them apart. “I could hear the door fly open and everyone screaming and crying,” Spelling said of the incident. “That’s when I was told the boys just had to break up Jennie and Shannen. It was like a fistfight.”

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12. Tori in the Middle

Although Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth were always good friends, the same could not be said for the two and Shannen Doherty. As Garth and Doherty’s feud raged on, it was Spelling who always found herself in the middle of the two. “I don’t know why it is, but there is a universal truth that when you put three teenage girls together, some serious s–t is going to go down,” Garth explained, noting how Shannen wasn’t afraid to share her ideas for the show “even if it meant sounding like a complete and utter bitch…Poor Tori, the youngest of the three of us was, inevitably, often caught in the middle and she was always trying to smooth things over, trying to get Shan and me off each other’s backs and get along, but her efforts usually failed.”

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11. Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green – The Teasing

Although both stars admit that they had a brief romance, Spelling revealed that her relationship with Green was complicated and that she liked him for awhile before finding out he liked her too. “He was a little bit of my everything,” Spelling said. “We grew up together. I think I was always in love with Brian.” “Brian and I were the youngest. We were 16,” she said. “I remember the time I shook his hand. I had, like, [those feelings]. He teased me, he would tease me a lot. He would pull on my peach fuzz and he’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh. You’re like a little lamb chop. You’re like my Chewbacca.’ I was like ‘Great! There’s all these extras around me, hot girls,'” Spelling continued. “And I was just really hoping he likes me.”

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10. Shannen and Luke – Last Connection

In a circumstance of unfortunate timing FOX announced it was rebooting Beverly Hills, 90210 only one day before Luke Perry suffered his fatal stroke. At the time of the announcement, Perry and Doherty were the only two original stars not tied to the project. After Doherty joined the project over a month later, she revealed she and Perry were discussing either joining the revival or working on something else together and she finally signed on to BH90210 to honor him.  “Luke and I were working on show ideas for us. We wanted to work with each other again and create something special and meaningful for our fans at this stage in our lives…I will miss him everyday. Every minute. Every second,” Doherty revealed. “When Luke passed away, I looked at it quite differently: more from the perspective of honoring Luke, his memory, and through a show that he was an integral part of. What an opportunity to be given for us all to band together, be around each other while we mourn and grieve the loss of someone who mattered to all of us deeply.”

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9. Tori Spelling’s Dress

Tori Spelling insists that Shannen Doherty was one of her best friends, and shared an interesting story about a dress the two shared. “Sometimes when you lose your virginity there’s a little, um, blood, so I remember the dress had a little blood stain on the back of it. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I wanna keep this, and it’s gonna be kind of like that memento,’ and I remember we were having a big photoshoot – it was one of the biggest ones we’ve ever had; it’s that infamous photo where they shot us from above. So Shannen and I were going to the photoshoot together and she’s like, ‘Do you mind if I borrow something?’ So she pulls out the dress I lost my virginity in. I’m like, ‘That’s the dress!’ She’s like, ‘It’s black, it’s floral, no one’s ever gonna see it.’ She wore the dress!”

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8. Brian Austin Green and Tiffani Thiessen

Brian Austin Green may have had a fling with Tori Spelling, but he had an actual relationship with Tiffani Thiessen before she was cast as Valerie Malone, and it turns out he wasn’t thrilled when they added her to the cast. “Tiffani and I were dating before she started doing the show,” Green revealed. Executive producer Larry Mollin revealed that Green was angry when they told him they had cast his girlfriend, ““Oh my God, he felt betrayed!” He continued, “We were totally shocked and had no idea. But, then, of course, we realized why: because other people would be kissing and feeling up his girlfriend! That’s what the guys do. That’s their free shot. Luke’s a wonderful man and Jason [Priestly, Brandon] is a wonderful man. But they are young guy actors on a show, which basically means they get to feel anybody up they want.”

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7. Jennie Garth vs. 90210

In 2008, The CW boldly rebooted the iconic teen series with 90210 and a whole new cast of teens. Garth memorably appeared in the reboot to reprise her role as Kelly Taylor, but was quick to state that the new cast didn’t have any chemistry compared to the original stars. “That’s an example of a cast that really didn’t have that chemistry, you know,” Garth said. “It’s hard to find find actors who have that. It’s like lightning in a bottle, and you either have it or you don’t.”

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6. Tori Spelling and Luke Perry’s Kiss

Despite pining over Brian Austin Green, and having flings with both him and Jason Priestley, it turns out Tori Spelling had feelings for yet another male lead from the show, Luke Perry. “From the very first episode Luke Perry was on, I had a mad crush on him,” the actress confessed. “What everyone felt on TV, we all felt in real life.” Spelling added that she and Perry merely kissed on her 18th birthday, but that was the end of anything romantic between them. “It was like for a second, but it was like for a young girl that was everything,” she said. “But no, we never had sex.”


5. Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling’s Friendship

Through romances, feuds and time spent apart, one friendship that has endured through the years is between stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. After meeting on the set of Beverly Hills, 90210, their lives have stayed very much connected. Both actresses reprised their roles in 90210 and in 2014 they reunited on-screen fro the ABC sitcom Mystery Girls but it was cancelled after only 10 episodes. “It’s a true friendship,” Spelling said The View. “We were friends when we were in teens. And you never know. In our 40s, you don’t have those friendships that are lasting and ours have.” Despite the failure of Mystery Girls, the best friends stuck together to co-create the quasi-revival BH90210. “I mean, I don’t know if it’s art imitates life or life imitates art — but we have had a close friendship, she’s one of my best friends, for 30 years,” Spelling told Entertainment Weekly in May 2019. “And we have gotten to the point in our lives where we just want to work together. Our kids are friends, and we want our families together all the time, so we wanted to develop something together. And that’s when we started talking about, ‘Was it the right time to do something with 90210 finally?’”

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4. Brian Austin Green and Vanessa Marcil’s Relationship

Brian Austin Green dated both Tori Spelling and Tiffani Thiessen, but many forget he also met Vanessa Marcil on the set of Beverly Hills, 90210. Marcil joined the cast as Gina Kincaid in season nine and it seems it didn’t take long for romance to blossom. The pair dated for a few years before they became engaged in the summer of 2001 and in March, 2002 welcomed their son Kassius Lijah. Unfortunately, a year after the birth of their son the pair split and have had very public custody battles and issues in the years since.

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3. Tori Spelling Had Shannen Fired

Although Tori Spelling was considered to be always in the middle of Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty’s ongoing feuds, reports state that it was eventually Spelling who got Doherty fired. It is well known that Doherty left the show in 1994 after multiple reports of ongoing issues she caused on set and between cast members, and it seems her dismissal happened after Spelling told her father about all the drama going on. “I felt like I was a part of something, a movement, that cost someone their livelihood,” a tearful Spelling shared. “Was she a horrible person? No. She was one of the best friends I ever had.” Spelling said she always loved Doherty however and didn’t have an issue personally with her, but did think her leaving was a good move for the show. “In the workplace, as a coworker, yeah,” Spelling said of it being the right decision.

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2. BH90210 Writers Quitting

Although nearly two decades had passed by the time BH90210 went into production, it turns out there was still a lot of on-set drama. In May, 2019, there were reports of major issues on set when multiple senior writes and showrunner Patrick Sean Smith abruptly exited the series. Reports were conflicting about what the reason for the massive exit was with some stating it was an issue between the writers and two of the show’s leading actresses and another said it was between the writers and an executive. Interestingly enough Garth and Spelling are both leading actresses as well as co-creators and executive producers which means all signs are pointing to the pair or one of them being at the center of the early off-screen drama.

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1. The Bond

Over ten seasons of being thrust into the spotlight on TV’s biggest show, there is no denying that even though they went through the good, the bad, and the ugly together, the experience bonded them for life. “In just a matter of weeks, we went from being just another generic ensemble cast of any old prime-time drama to being…superstars,” Garth shared in her memoir. “I don’t think any of us were prepared for the stardom that was thrust upon us in this way. Thank God we had one another, because we were able to protect each other from the harm this kind of sudden fame can bring with it by staying close and huddling up and focusing on getting the job done…And it bonded us for life.”

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Telisa Carter

Telisa Carter

Telisa enjoys learning and writing about all things entertainment in the world of Hollywood. When she isn't catching up on her favorite TV shows, she likes to read, and obsess over all things football.