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Sarah Michelle Gellar Opens Up About Shannen Doherty: Cancer Does Not ‘Define Her’

Buffy Summers

Staff member
Nov 20, 2001
The City of Angels
There are two videos here (one is about Shannen, the other about Sarah's family life): Sarah Michelle Gellar on Shannen Doherty: Cancer Doesn't 'Define Her'

By Emily Longeretta

Standing by her side. Sarah Michelle Gellar opened up about her good friend Shannen Doherty‘s battle with stage IV cancer — revealing that her friend is stronger than anyone knows.

“I’ve obviously had a lot more time to digest this. She was forced to come out with this information, and I think that what makes it really hard is the way everyone looks at you now. And I think that’s why for so long she didn’t want people to know,” Gellar, 42, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting Cascade’s “Do It Every Night” campaign on Tuesday, February 11. “Now everywhere she goes, she sort of, she gets that look — and it’s not anyone’s fault, you can’t help it because you love her and you feel sympathy.”

The Charmed alum, 48, and the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star have been pals since the late 1990s, when they both starred on series on The WB at the same time.

“This girl has had this diagnosis — she shot an entire season of a television show. She looked beautiful. She worked 16 hour days. I think people have to remember that life is tough, but Shannen’s a lot tougher,” Gellar added. “Cancer is not something that defines her. It’s an experience that’s certainly changed her — and changed all of us. It has its ups and its downs, but I think that it’s made the world see the side of Shannen that I’ve always known.”

On February 4, the Beverly Hills: 90210 alum revealed her cancer had returned. In an interview, she explained that she still wanted to shoot BH90210 to honor the late Luke Perry, who passed away before the reboot began filming. “One of the reasons, along with Luke, that I did 90210 and didn’t really tell anybody [was] because I thought, ‘People can look at that [and see] other people with stage IV can work too,'” she said at the time. “Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”

Additionally, she knew the news was going to come out due to a lawsuit she was involved in with State Farm; she sued the insurance company after her California home was damaged in the 2018 Woolsey Fire and claimed her losses should have been covered. In the documents, she stated that she had terminal cancer and hoped to live her “remaining years peacefully in her home.”

Knowing that the diagnosis would be revealed, she had to come out with it on her own terms — something the Cruel Intentions star doesn’t think is fair.

“She’s a tough chick on the outside, but she’s not necessarily on the inside,” Gellar told Us. “And now I think people know that. So just remember that she’s been dealing with this for a long time and I think it’s unfortunate how in this world we’re forced to be able to say truths that maybe we’re not ready for other people, that we’re still digesting ourselves.”

For more from Gellar and her campaign with husband Freddie Prinze Jr., watch the interview above.

Source: Us Magazine
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I'm busy. I'm brooding.
Nov 8, 2017
I was so sad when I heard that Shannen's cancer had returned (and moved to Stage Four), but it's good to see that she has supportive friends like Sarah to stand by her. Their friendship seems really solid, it's very cool that they've remained such close friends for so long.

I hope Shannen beats this, but given how advanced it's become, I don't see that much hope. She's so strong to have already beat it once. Hopefully the trolls leave her alone and she can continue to surround herself with supportive friends and family.


Jan 25, 2016
My heart goes out to Shannen and I hope she does get to live her remaining days in peace surrounded by those she loves. I also think it's amazing that in an industry that seems pretty cutthroat and pits people against each other for roles, that these women have remained friends for so long. I think it says a lot about Shannen and SMG as people.


Jun 4, 2016
It's horrible that Shannen's cancer has returned. I had recently just watched a video with her celebrating the last time she overcome it and to hear it has come back is just awful. It was really heartbreaking to hear her speak about it this time too because there was such a difference in comparison to how she spoke of her cancer last time. There was so much more optimism last time whereas this time it sounds like she's accepted she won't be beating it. I can't imagine how scary that is and I wish her all the best.

Karin Schill

Feb 7, 2016
I was also sad to hear that Shannen's cancer has returned. :(
I follow her on twitter and it seems like she soldiers on even though she's obviously struggling. It's great that she has friends like Sarah to stand by her. I agree that they do seem really close.

I loved the new BH90210 reboot. It was hilarious and so good to see almost the whole Beverly Hills 90210 cast together. I grew up watching that show on TV every week. Watching the reboot I could never guess that Shannen was sick again. So I think it's impressive that she worked all those long days even though she was ill.


Druish Pervonian Wizard
Jul 5, 2007
Black Thorn
I hope she has enough in her to say bugger it, and get on and do as she wants. Having people to support her will be a big help so her short term future will be one to be treasured.
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