• Shannen Doherty once believed her third marriage would be the charm, tying the knot with her photographer ex-husband.
  • But as she battled cancer, the actress revealed shocking claims about her estranged husband’s extreme tactics during their divorce.
  • Court documents claimed her ex intentionally delayed the divorce proceedings and revealed the shocking alleged reason behind his actions.

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Following her stage 4 cancer diagnosis, Shannen Doherty found herself heading for divorce. What began as a touching love story turned into a reportedly bitter separation following a heartbreaking betrayal.

Matters worsened when the actress alleged that her estranged husband was purposefully slowing down their divorce. Court documents revealed more details surrounding the ordeal, including shocking accusations that Shannen Doherty’s husband was trying to avoid his financial obligations to his dying wife.

Shannen Doherty a the "Hollywood Unites for the 5th biennial Stand Up To Cancer" event on September 9, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Shannen Doherty a the “Hollywood Unites for the 5th biennial Stand Up To Cancer” event on September 9, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Their Love Story

In October 2011, Doherty married her fiancé Kurt Iswarienko at sunset in Malibu. The event, confirmed by PEOPLE, was a black-tie affair held at a private estate in scenic hills. This wedding marked Doherty’s third attempt at matrimony.

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The actress was previously married to Ashley Hamilton and Rick Salomon. However, this time, the actress had hope. She believed in the lasting nature of her commitment.

In an interview with PEOPLE, nearly a year before the wedding, she expressed her matured perspective on marriage. “Marriage to me is such a gigantic commitment that it’s not something I’d ever go into lightly anymore. I’ve learned my lesson,” Doherty stated.

Five years after their wedding, in 2016, Doherty shared a heartfelt throwback picture from their special day. In the photo, the couple is seen holding hands, with Doherty wearing a beaming smile.

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“My friend @sarahmgellar softly suggested a challenge to @kurtiswarienko and myself to do the 7 day #loveyourspousechallenge and we accepted! She was telling me about going through old photos and the memories and emotions they evoke,” the caption read in part.

“Kurt has stood by my side through sickness and makes me feel more loved now than ever. I would walk any path with this man. Take any bullet for him and slay every dragon to protect him. He is my soul mate. My other half. I am blessed,” the Instagram post concluded in part.

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A few years later, in 2019, Doherty shared another glimpse into her loving relationship with Iswarienko. The actress took to Instagram once more and posted a sweet snap of her and her photographer husband.

“My happy place got a lot happier with the arrival of my best friend. I couldn’t love this man more. He gets me. I get him. Boredom is never a factor. He continues to fascinate me with his talent, humor, intelligence. His love and support lift me up constantly,” Doherty captioned the post in part.

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A Battle Against Cancer

In February 2015, Doherty received devastating news. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer. By 2016, the actress openly shared her journey and revealed that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

This marked the beginning of a difficult battle for the actress. By August 2016, she had already undergone three of her planned eight rounds of chemotherapy. Additionally, Doherty faced a single mastectomy in May 2016. Plans for radiation therapy followed the chemo.

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Despite these aggressive treatments, by 2019, Doherty’s cancer had progressed to stage 4. Doherty recounted the heart-wrenching moment she informed her husband about her diagnosis. “I called him, which was horrible of me. I was in the car with my mom when the doctor called,” Doherty shared.

The actress was too overcome with emotion and couldn’t wait to tell Iswarienko the news. “His immediate response was, ‘Where are you?'” Doherty recalled. Upon arriving home, the actress found Iswarienko waiting for her in the driveway, ready to offer his unwavering support.

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He hugged her and reassured her, saying, “We are going to get through this. You are going to be OK. We are going to get through this, you’re strong and you’re powerful and you’re not going anywhere. You have so much to do in your life. We are going to get through it as a family.”

Throughout this challenging period, Doherty was surrounded by a strong support system. That included her husband, closest friends, and mother. “Thank God she is there. She is so strong, and my mom is like a Steel Magnolia,” Doherty said.

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Sadly, the actress’s father, who had watched her compete on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2010, passed away from a stroke shortly afterward. Reflecting on her father, Doherty shared, “I think constantly about my dad. […] It’s breaking his heart that his daughter is going through this. It’s hard.”

Despite the gravity of her diagnosis, Doherty remained hopeful about her future. The actress had faith in possibly beating cancer and had hopes of having children. “Maybe there’s a chance after [chemo],” she responded. However, given her age and health, Doherty wanted to remain realistic.

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“My husband and I have discussed it and he’s like, ‘Let’s just get you healthy. Let’s focus on you and once you get healthy, and you’re OK, if you want to adopt, then let’s adopt,’ the actress said. The couple also had a difficult journey with IVF.

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However, Doherty admitted that maintaining a positive outlook was a struggle. “Initially I was like, ‘I’m strong. I got this!’ And then, as time sort of went by, I started thinking that I wasn’t going to live,” she admitted.

Doherty recalled a time when the couple was at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn when she looked up at Iswarienko and said, “You better enjoy every single second that you have with me…’cause I’m going to be dead in five years.”

“He just burst out crying and was like, ‘You can’t say that.’That phase was short, thank God. That was a short, short phase that I think my family and my friends got me through,” the actress revealed.

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Through this harrowing journey, Doherty’s marriage grew even stronger. “I could not have gotten through this without my husband. My marriage was always strong, but it’s made my marriage a thousand times stronger. He’s never missed a chemo. He’s never missed a sick day,” Doherty said.

The Painful Separation

In April 2023, the news broke that Doherty and Iswarienko were separating. Reports revealed that Doherty had ended their 11-year marriage by filing for divorce.

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This development reportedly followed months of behind-the-scenes turmoil, marking a painful and public end to their long-standing relationship. According to documents obtained by TMZ, the couple had been separated since January 2023.

Shannen Doherty on season 5 of "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Shannen Doherty on season 5 of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Doherty’s representative, Leslie Sloane, provided a somber insight into the actress’s decision. “Divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted. Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option,” Sloane stated.

Sloane further alleged that Iswarienko’s agent was “intimately involved”in the divorce proceedings. This added another layer of complexity to an already difficult situation. The divorce filings cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the separation.

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The revelation of Iswarienko’s infidelity came to light during the first episode of Doherty’s podcast, “Let’s Be Clear: This Is Only The Beginning.” In a candid disclosure, the “Beverly Hills, 90210” star shared how she discovered her husband’s betrayal.

It was just before undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. “I went into that surgery early in the morning after I found out that my marriage was essentially over,”Doherty revealed. It had come to light that Iswarienko had been having an affair for two years. The discovery left her feeling profoundly heartbroken.

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Shannen Doherty opening up about her estranged husband's alleged affair. | Source: YouTube/ Entertainment Tonight

Shannen Doherty opening up about her estranged husband’s alleged affair. | Source: YouTube/ Entertainment Tonight

“At the end of the day, I just felt so incredibly unloved by someone I was with for 14 years,” she continued. Doherty also noted that during her operation, she had her mother, brother, and best friends there. She did not have her husband there.

On her podcast, the actress admitted to becoming “obsessed.” She was obsessed with uncovering the full truth of her husband’s infidelity. She said her relentless pursuit of answers was driven by a need for honesty after 14 years together.

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“If you share 14 years together and you cheated, doesn’t that person deserve the absolute truth regardless of how much that hurts them?” she questioned. Doherty further revealed that she even spoke directly to Iswarienko’s mistress.

However, despite the betrayal, the actress confessed that she initially struggled to walk away from the relationship. Her emotional state and the toll of her surgery made the situation harder. “I was so confused. Yes, I made the decision to file for divorce, but I have a lot of memories with this person,”Doherty shared.

Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at The American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at The American Cancer Society’s Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Shocking Allegations

Despite her initial confusion, Doherty went ahead with filing for divorce. The actress then took further legal action later. She requested spousal support amidst the ongoing proceedings with her estranged husband.

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According to documents, Doherty sought a monthly spousal support payment of $15,343. This move came alongside pointed criticisms of Iswarienko’s lavish spending habits. The actress detailed the difference between her and Iswarienko’s finances in documents.

Shannen Doherty speaking at The American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Shannen Doherty speaking at The American Cancer Society’s Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

“Kurt’s average annual earnings for the last three years of marriage was $672,916,” the actress stated in 2023. Allegedly, Doherty’s average annual earnings for the last three years of marriage was $259,708. Doherty also elaborated on the sources of her income.

“The majority of my residual income is from a television show called ‘Charmed.’ I recently learned that ‘Charmed’ will no longer be streaming on any major streaming platform after June 30, 2024. As a result, my future residual income will dramatically decrease,” the actress revealed.

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Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at the Stand Up to Cancer event on September 9, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at the Stand Up to Cancer event on September 9, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

The financial strain was made worse by Doherty’s high monthly expenses. They exceed $54,600. The actress added that she couldn’t work due to her health. Thus, she would soon lose SAG Health Insurance. This would significantly increase her medical bills.

In a startling revelation, Doherty accused Iswarienko of intentionally delaying the divorce proceedings. This was allegedly in hopes that she would die before a settlement.

Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko at The Art of Elysium's 3rd Annual Black Tie Charity Gala on January 16, 2010, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko at The Art of Elysium’s 3rd Annual Black Tie Charity Gala on January 16, 2010, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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“It is simply not right that Kurt be permitted to prolong our divorce in hopes that I die before he is required to pay me while he continues to live his life and shirk his responsibilities to his dying wife of more than 11 years,” the former “90210” star asserted in a June 2024 filing.

Doherty’s court documents painted a clear picture of the situation for her. “Our assets are neither difficult to characterize nor divide. Our divorce should not be complicated. It is abundantly clear to me that Kurt is intentionally delaying settlement in hopes that I will not survive the divorce proceedings,” the actress stated.

Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at the premiere of "Race To Witch Mountain" on March 11, 2009, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at the premiere of “Race To Witch Mountain” on March 11, 2009, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Moving Forward

Since filing for divorce, Doherty has embarked on a new chapter in her life. This chapter has been filled with both reflection and purpose. In 2023, she launched her podcast. This platform allowed the actress to shed light on her decades-long career in Hollywood.

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It also allowed Doherty to talk about her ongoing journey with breast cancer and the valuable lessons learned from her past relationships. The actress emphasized that her podcast would not be a tell-all.

Shannen Doherty during a Q&A session at MegaCon Orlando 2024 on February 4, in Orlando, Florida. | Source: Getty Images

Shannen Doherty during a Q&A session at MegaCon Orlando 2024 on February 4, in Orlando, Florida. | Source: Getty Images

Instead, it would be a “memoir of the past, the present, and future.” Doherty’s podcast would offer listeners a candid and introspective look into her life. In addition to her podcast, the actress actively raised breast cancer awareness.

Doherty made numerous TV appearances, participated in events, and used her social media platforms to spread important messages about the disease. Doherty also reconnected with her “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Charmed” castmates at conventions.

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Brian Austin Green and Shannen Doherty of "Beverly Hills, 90210" during the 2019 Summer TCA Press Tour on August 7, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Brian Austin Green and Shannen Doherty of “Beverly Hills, 90210” during the 2019 Summer TCA Press Tour on August 7, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

“When I’m working and when I’m creative, there’s no room for depression at all. It fuels me. Working makes me so happy,” Doherty expressed. In June 2023, Doherty took to Instagram to share a touching clip of herself. In the video, she was being prepared for the brain surgery she had in January.

“This is what cancer can look like,” the caption read in part. Doherty’s post offered a raw and honest glimpse into the realities of living with cancer. It was part of her ongoing effort to raise awareness and educate her followers about the disease.

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Continuing her efforts to share her journey, Doherty posted another memory in March 2024. The post came as a reflection of the day of her major surgery. “I didn’t ask nearly enough questions, fear and too much going on just seized me,” the actress captioned the post in part.

Despite her 3 failed marriages, Doherty remained hopeful about love. Her parents’ long-lasting marriage inspired this hope. Her parents were sadly separated by her father. s death. However, her mother continued to wear her wedding ring.

Shannen Doherty’s resilience and determination serve as a powerful testament to her strength. Her efforts to raise awareness about cancer and her reflections on love paint a picture of a woman who remained steadfast in her journey of growth, advocacy, and hope.

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