Shannen Doherty Recalls Learning of Husband's Affair While Going in for Brain Surgery: 'I Felt So Betrayed'

The actress filed for divorce from Kurt Iswarienko in April 2023 after 11 years of marriage.

Shannen Doherty isn't holding back on her new podcast, Let's Be Clear With Shannen Doherty. The 52-year-old actress dropped her premiere episode on Wednesday, detailing her "challenging year" as she continues to battle stage IV cancer and is proceeding with a divorce from her ex, Kurt Iswarienko. 

"I filed for divorce this year in 2023. I had brain surgery in 2023 as well," Doherty reflected, adding that at the start of the year she learned that her cancer had spread to her brain. 

Noting that undergoing brain surgery was "most frightening thing I've ever been through in my entire life," Doherty added, "I was positive that I was going to die and the best case scenario in my head if I didn't die was that I would lose the ability to walk or to talk." 

Not only did Doherty have this fear to contend with, but she went in for surgery around the time that she learned of her then-husband's lengthy affair. 

"I went in after I found out that my marriage was essentially over, that my husband had been carrying on an affair for two years," Doherty shared. "To not go in that surgery, even though -- being very clear -- he wanted to go. I couldn't go into that surgery with him there. I felt so betrayed. At the end of the day I just felt so incredibly unloved by someone I was with for 14 years, by someone that I loved with all my heart."

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Doherty and Iswarienko tied the knot in 2011. She said that she became "obsessed" with finding out what happened with her ex's affair. 

"You share 14 years together and you cheated, doesn't that person deserve the absolute truth?" she asked. 

Doherty admitted that even though she'd always said infidelity was a deal breaker for her, she did go "back and forth" on whether to end her marriage. 

"I didn't walk away right away. I couldn't. I was so confused," she said. "I was also on steroids and a lot of stuff from brain surgery because they didn't want my brain to swell." 

Doherty also claimed that she spoke to her ex's "girlfriend."

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"I finally had to come to that hard truth and file for divorce," the Beverly Hills, 90210 star said. "It was embarrassing. I'm horrified that I can't keep a relationship together. I think it's a reflection on me. Although, this one, eh, I think it's on him."

While Doherty said she takes responsibility for some of the issues in her marriage, she added, "I do not take responsibility for the demise of my marriage because I am not a quitter."

Doherty was previously married to Ashley Hamilton from 1993 to 1994 and Rick Salomon from 2002 to 2003. She shared that she's still "good friends" with Salomon. 

"I still believe in love," she added. 

In April, Doherty filed for divorce from Iswarienko, after 11 years of marriage. At the time, Doherty's rep confirmed the news in a statement to ET, sharing that "divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted. Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option."


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