Shannen Doherty, 48, said in court filings on Tuesday that she is dying of stage IV terminal cancer and that she is being kept from living out her remaining days by insurance company State Farm, which she says will not give her money to repair damage caused to her home by the 2018 wildfires.
Doherty appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning to share her condition. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 then went into remission in 2017.
She learned the cancer had come back aggressively early last year and has kept it private since then but wanted to reveal it this week before it became public in court papers that are part of her ongoing lawsuit against insurance company State Farm over damage to her home from a 2018 wildfire.
State Farm has given her $1.1million since the fire but she says the damage to her home and property is $4million. She has also spent hundreds of thousands more on temporary housing and now she says the company has caused her additional stress.
In court papers filed hours later that were obtained by DailyMail.com, her lawyers say: ‘Shannen Doherty is dying of stage 4 terminal cancer.
‘Instead of living out her remaining years peacefully in her home, Ms Doherty remains displaced and battling with her insurance company to pay for the repairs necessary to fix the damage her home and personal belongings sustained in the Woolsey Fire in November 2018.’
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Shannen Doherty, 48, has revealed she has stage IV cancer, five years after going into remission following a brutal breast cancer battle
Doherty’s home was damaged in the Wolseley fire and she says trying to make a claim against State Farm to repair some of the damage has been one of the hardest things she has ever done.
The company says it has paid her $1.1million but that she believes she is entitled to more.
Her attorneys did not give a total desired sum when contacted by DailyMail.com.
They said that while State Farm has given her $1.1million, only $311,441 of that was for the repairs.
The remaining $700,000 was for her alternative accommodation since 2018.
State Farm paid her $138,857 for repairs to the home but she says the damage is worth $2.5million.
The company paid her $172,584 to repair her personal property but she says she is 8.7 times that – $1.5million.
The actress’ lawyer says she never anticipated to recuperate all of that money because it exceeds the claim limits.
But because of how she is being treated by the company, she is now suing for additional damages.
‘State Farm’s bad faith insurance tactics have caused Shannen additional damages above and beyond the damages to her home, including unnecessary attorneys’ fees and, more critically, severe emotional distress suffered before, during and after her cancer recurrence.
‘Because State Farm has forced Shannen to go through this and to endure with this lawsuit with the limited time she has left, she is seeking additional damages for State Farm’s bad faith conduct as well as punitive damages to punish and deter State Farm from this unreasonable, inhumane conduct in the future toward homeowners in the wake of losses like the Woolsey Fire,’ her attorney, Devin McRae said.
‘Shannen really just wants State Farm to pay what is owed under her insurance policy to return her home to its pre-fire condition,’ she said.
State Farm told DailyMail.com in a statement: ‘We empathize with Ms. Doherty’s health issues and wish her a full recovery.
‘We strongly believe we have upheld our commitment to our customer and have paid what we owe on this claim.
‘We are prepared to defend our position in court.’
Doherty said she wanted to reveal her diagnosis before it became public in court documents this week
Doherty beat cancer once before. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 then, after a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, was given the all-clear in 2017. She is shown in 2016
Shannen during her last cancer battle with husband Kurt Iswarienko
In her GMA interview, Doherty said she wanted to get ahead of the court filings becoming public and ‘control the narrative’.
‘It’s going to come out in a matter of days or week that I am Stage 4, my cancer came back and that’s why I am here.
‘It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways,’ she said, adding: ‘I’m petrified. I’m pretty scared.’
‘I’d rather people hear it from me. I don’t want it to be twisted, a court document. I want it to be real and authentic.
‘I want to control the narrative. I want people to know from me,’ she said.
The State Farm lawsuit, she said, has been a grueling process.
‘My house was severely damaged. You walked in and it just reeked of smoke. I tried – I communicated with my insurance company.
‘I called, I got passed around, claims adjuster or to claims adjuster.
‘I ended up suing State farm and the result has been one of the most horrific processes I have ever been through,’ she said.
She said that she was most worried to tell her mother, Rosa, and her husband, film producer Kurt Iswarienko.
‘My mom is a ridiculously strong courageous human being. So is my husband, but I worry about him,’ she said. Doherty does not have children.
She added that she felt she had to continue with a reboot of Beverly Hills 90210 – one of the shows that made her famous – after the sudden and surprising death of co-star Luke Perry
Doherty had secretly been diagnosed with stage IV when Perry died of a stroke in February last year.
‘Why wasn’t it me? It was so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was seemingly healthy to go fist. It was really shocking and the least I could do to honor him was to do that show. I still haven’t done enough in my opinion,’ she said.
She added that she wanted to prove that people who had been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer ‘still have some living to do’.
Doherty revealed she had been given her diagnosis when Luke Perry, her Beverly Hills 90210 co-star, died in February last year. They are shown in the original show together in the 1990s
Doherty and her BH90210 co-stars. The reboot came out last August
Doherty said co-star Brian Austin Green was one of the few people she told about her cancer. They are shown in August last year promoting the reboot
‘When I finally do come out, I will have worked and 16 hours a day and people can say, “oh my god she can work and other people with stage IV can work too,” she remembered thinking.
‘Our life doesn’t end when we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.’
The only co-star she had told about her condition was Brian Austin Green.
She said he helped her get through filming after the shock and grief of Perry’s death.
‘I had moments of great anxiety I thought I can’ really do this.
Brian was the one person of that group of people that I told pretty quickly and said, “this is what I’m dealing with.”
‘So he would always call me and say, “whatever happens, I have your back.”
Support system: Rose McGowan was one of Shannen’s many celebrity friends to reach out in support
We were able to talk about Luke in a way that was very positive and uplifting and remember a lot of great moments.’
Doherty hopes that her lawsuit against State Farm will be one of the things she is remembered for.
‘I think the thing I want to do the most right now is make an impact. I can through this lawsuit and by saying enough is enough with big business and corporations running the little person into the ground.
‘It’s not fair and I’m taking a stand for all of us but it’s more about how I want to be remembered for something bigger than just me,’ she said.