Shannen Doherty reveals she learned then-husband Kurt Iswarienko had been having an affair before her brain surgery: ‘I felt so betrayed’

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Written By Maya Cantina

Shannen Doherty has revealed she learned her then-husband Kurt Iswarienko had been having an affair before she underwent surgery to remove her brain tumor.

The 90210 alum, 52, was married to Kurt for almost 12 years before she filed for divorce in April 2023, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason for their split. 

But on the premiere episode of her new iHeartRadio podcast Let’s Be Clear, Doherty, 52, shed light on the alleged betrayal that led to the end of their marriage. 

‘I filed for divorce this year, 2023. I had brain surgery in 2023 as well,’ Doherty explained.  

‘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 said.

Shannen Doherty has revealed she learned her then-husband Kurt Iswarienko had been having an affair shortly before she underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor

‘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,’ she added.

‘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,’ she said.

Instead, Shannen relied on the support of friends and family.

‘I went into surgery, thank God, with my mom by my side, with my brother by the side, with my best friend Chris by my side, my friends… all praying for me, like texting me. I still went into that surgery petrified.’

Not all of Shannen’s tumor was removed, but they were satisfied with the results and the actress underwent more brain radiation. 

‘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,’ she said.

Shannen said she was ‘obsessed’ with learning what exactly occurred during the affair ‘through conversations, expecting somebody 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?’ she said. 

‘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.”‘

On the premiere episode of her new iHeartRadio podcast Let's Be Clear, Doherty, 52, shed light on the alleged betrayal that led to the end of their marriage

On the premiere episode of her new iHeartRadio podcast Let’s Be Clear, Doherty, 52, shed light on the alleged betrayal that led to the end of their marriage

Shannen also reached out to Kurt’s girlfriend, revealing she ‘spoke to the girlfriend of two years that he cheated on me with.’

‘It was embarrassing,’ she said. ‘I am horrified that I can’t keep a relationship together. I think it is a reflection me, but this one I think this one is on him. I’ve failed three times at marriage, but I still believe in love.’

Still Shannen, who described how infidelity had always been an instant relationship ender for her, struggled to end the relationship ‘right away.’   

‘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 said. ‘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.’

Doherty also said she took ‘responsibility’ for the issues impacting their relationship.

'January 16, 2023. Surgery. I had a tumor in my head they wanted to remove and also biopsy,' she captioned this video

‘January 16, 2023. Surgery. I had a tumor in my head they wanted to remove and also biopsy,’ she captioned this video  

‘I also take some responsibility for the demise of our marriage — actually that’s not true. Let me rephrase that and be very clear about this, I do not take responsibility for the demise of our marriage, I take responsibility for some of the issues in our marriage,’ she said. ‘I take the responsibility not only because of how I was but because of how cancer impacted my marriage and how it impacted him the second time around.’

Shannen, who had already undergone two divorces by the time she married Kurt, hasn’t become pessimistic about love. ‘I still believe in love,’ she said. 

The Heathers star tied the knot with Kurt in 2011. She was previously wed to Ashley Hamilton from 1993 to 1994, and she was married to Rick Salomon from 2002 to 2003. 

Shannen – who recently revealed her stage-four breast cancer had spread to her bones – has also recently said she is ‘open’ to finding love again.

In a recent interview with People, the actress said: ‘I was not ready at all before three weeks ago,’ she admitted, but then ‘something happen[ed].’

Shannen married Kurt in 2011. She was previously wed to Ashley Hamilton from 1993 to 1994, and she was married to Rick Salomon from 2002 to 2003; pictured with Kurt in 2016

Shannen married Kurt in 2011. She was previously wed to Ashley Hamilton from 1993 to 1994, and she was married to Rick Salomon from 2002 to 2003; pictured with Kurt in 2016

‘There’s always a trigger, just a moment that you have, somebody says something to you, your ex says one thing to you and you’re like, “OK, yeah, I’m good. I’m good.” I have closure and I can move on in a really healthy way,’ she continued.

Even though she’s looking for love again, Doherty wasn’t sure if she wanted a safe relationship with someone she had known for a long time, or if she was looking for something new and exciting. 

‘I have a best friend, a male best friend who we joke that we’re married,’ she continued, seemingly referring to her real estate agent friend Chris Cortazzo, with whom she has posed on Instagram multiple times.

‘I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s stumbling upon somebody and just feeling an instant connection. I’m open, and I wasn’t [before],’ she added.

Despite her ongoing health struggles, the actress was optimistic about finding someone right for her.

‘I don’t think I’m going to be single forever. I have to love myself and reckon with the past, really, before I can move forward, and now I’m pretty sure I’ll meet somebody — hopefully soon,’ she said.

Shannen Doherty

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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