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Shannen Doherty opens up about her husband's infidelity amidst cancer battle


Speaking on her new podcast, the actress revealed that her brain surgery coincided with her learning of her spouse's affair

Actress Shannen Doherty and then-husband photographer Kurt Iswarienko at the Stand Up to Cancer event in Hollywood in 2016.
Shannen Doherty and then-husband Kurt Iswarienko in 2016.SHUTTERSTOCK

Shannen Doherty claims she found out her husband of more than 10 years was having an affair just before she underwent brain tumour surgery.

The 52-year-old former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress, who is battling stage 4 breast cancer, told during the first episode of her new podcast Let's Be Clear how she allegedly made the discovery then had to deal with a divorce from 49-year-old photographer Kurt Iswarienko as well as her terror at getting the procedure.

"I went into that surgery early in the morning and 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," she revealed.

The actress admitted Kurt wanted to be there for her during her health woes, but decided she "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 I loved with all my heart," Doherty revealed.

The Heathers actress added that while she was "petrified" at the prospect of going into surgery, she had her mum, brother and best friend Chris by her side in the absence of her husband. Even though her surgery was a success, Shannen still had to undergo more radiation treatment after the procedure: "Just to have to go through all of that while trying to figure out if you're going to get a friggin' divorce and trying to get to the truth of that."

Shannen and Kurt separated in January, the same month as her surgery, and the star didn't file for divorce from him until April.

Despite Kurt's alleged cheating, Shannen also admitted she had a hard time walking away from their marriage. "I was so confused and I was also on steroids and a lot of stuff from brain surgery because they didn't want my brain to swell," she acknowledged. "And honestly, it's still really hard. Yes, I made the decision to file for divorce, but I have a lot of memories with this person."

She also confessed she became "obsessed" with uncovering every detail of Kurt's apparent infidelity by having conversations and "expecting someone to be honest with me". "If you share 14 years together and you cheated, doesn't that person deserve the absolute truth regardless of how much it hurts them?" the actress continued.

"If they're the ones asking for it, if they're the ones saying, 'Listen, I get it. I may cry and I may get angry and this may really suck to hear, but I need to hear it because I need closure and this is how I get my closure.'"

Shannen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 but announced she had gone into remission two years later — with her cancer returning in 2019 and progressing to stage 4, spreading to her brain.