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Behind-The-Scenes Drama That Fueled 'Beverly Hills, 90210' In The '90s

Updated August 20, 2019 7.1k views12 items
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When Beverly Hills 90210 premiered in 1990, no one could have known how popular the show - or its stars - would become. For 10 seasons, Beverly Hills 90210 brought drama to the small screen weekly while plenty of it played out behind the scenes as well. 

Bad behavior, romances, rabid fans - these all contributed to tensions among the cast members while simultaneously building perpetual bonds and long-lasting friendships. During the 1990s, 90210 was THE show about growing up and finding your path. Here are a few details about the not-so-visible dips and bumps that sprung up in 90210 along the way.

  • Aaron Spelling Felt Uncomfortable About How His Daughter Was Dressed On The Show

    Photo: FOX

    Donna Martin, played by Tori Spelling, became a fashion designer as 90210 progressed, a testament to her affinity for clothes and style. On the show, Spelling was often shown wearing garments that showed a lot of skin - enough to test her father and executive producer Aaron Spelling's comfort level.

    Spelling, who was cast on the show after auditioning using a pseudonym, often donned small swimsuits, something her father noted in an interview with Rolling Stone. He said, "They always put her in the smallest bikinis in the world. As a producer, I don’t mind, but as a father, well … the mermaid outfit really freaked me out.”

  • Shannen Doherty Got In A Fight With Another Actor At An LA Nightclub

    Photo: FOX

    When Shannen Doherty got into a fight with Bonita Money in 1992, it was supposedly in defense of her costar, Brian Austin Green. While partying at the Roxbury in Los Angeles, Green supposedly stepped on Money's boyfriend's foot, which prompted an altercation. 

    Doherty shoved Money and reportedly took a blow to the face, both later charged with misdemeanor battery. 

    Green later recalled, "Shannen did nothing and she was the bad girl. The other person totally started it."

    The event wasn't Doherty's only encounter with the law. In 1993, her former fiance, Dean Jay Factor, requested a restraining order, claiming Doherty had tried to run over him with her car. He also alleged Doherty, "Threatened to hire a few guys to beat me up and to [attack me] ‘on the front lawn."

    While Doherty's father, Tom, insisted Factor was actually abusing his daughter, another of her former boyfriends, Chris Foufas, claimed otherwise. Foufas stated that he, "Could have predicted this before it happened...things move along smoothly for a while, and then something snaps and she goes into another drive: rage."

  • Christine Elise Was Frozen Out By Her Female Costars

    Photo: FOX

    As Emily Valentine - the girlfriend who slipped do-gooder Brandon Walsh illicit substances - Christine Elise entered 90210 during the second season of the show. From her first day on set, she was told how the other members of the cast would receive her. When a producer indicated, "The guys are really great, I can't make any promises about the girls," he was spot on in his assessment.

    Elise found Luke Perry and Jason Priestley to be welcoming and friendly. She, in fact, began dating Priestley for five years. The women in the cast were not so kind.

    While Elise dismissed a rivalry with Shannen Doherty, she did say "she just was not friendly...as a guest on a show - you always feel awkward and vulnerable, so someone just not going out of their way to be nice feels hostile."

  • Douglas Emerson Gave Up Acting After Being Written Off The Show

    Photo: FOX

    Douglas Emerson played Scott Scanlon on Beverly Hills 90210 during the show's first two seasons. As the best friend of David Silver (portrayed by Brian Austin Green), Scanlon was a bit nerdy and represented the antithesis to what Silver wanted most - popularity. Emerson, described by Gabrielle Carteris as a "very nice guy with wide-eyed excitement," fit in on set, but his character was written off during the second season.

    According to Emerson, he was saddened once he was "no longer really a part of" 90210, but other reports indicate he wanted to leave. Either way, Emerson gave up acting, enrolled in junior college, and continued on to Pepperdine University. He dropped out and joined the Air Force in 1996, something his brother, Toby, said was in Emerson family blood.