'90210' Alum Jason Priestly 'Heartbroken' Over Shannen Doherty's Cancer Diagnosis

In the wake of the news that Shannen Doherty has stage four breast cancer, a former co-star reveals he tried to reach the actress in her troubled time. Jason Priestly, who played Doherty's twin sister on Beverly Hills, 90210, told PEOPLE that he contacted her. He also revealed that he was one of many to do so in the past few days.

"I reached out to her yesterday when the news broke," he said on Wednesday. "She's overwhelmed with well-wishers and with people reaching out to her. I haven't heard back from her yet, but I'm sure that I will very soon. Shannen was a big part of my life. Shannen and I will always have a bond that is very meaningful. I'm very heartbroken about the news and I wish her and her family the best in this very difficult time."

Doherty and Priestly played Brenda and Brendon Walsh on 90210, two high school kids from the Midwest who have to navigate not only the culture shock of moving to California but the complicated social structure of the zip code's posh high school.

While Doherty left the beloved '90s series after the fourth season, she and Priestly reunited in the very meta revival, BH90210. It turns out, she did the reunion special after both receiving her diagnosis and coming to terms with the death of another co-star, Luke Perry, who passed away from a stroke in March 2019.

"It was so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was seemingly healthy to go first," Doherty told ABC News. "It was really shocking and the least I could do to honor him was do that show. I still haven't done enough in my opinion."


Doherty's diagnosis comes just three years after she was told that her cancer had been in remission. While she reportedly considers herself to be "dying," she hopes to do so peacefully in the safety and comfort of her own home. In the same interview with ABC, Doherty also explained why she went public with the news.

"I'd rather people hear it from me," she said. "I don't want it to be twisted; I don't want it to be a court document. I want it to be real and authentic and I want to control the narrative. I want people to know from me."