“Little House On The Prairie” is known for being one of the most idyllic and innocent television shows of all time, but behind the scenes, it seems that there was quite a lot of drama.
Melissa Gilbert, who starred as Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House On The Prairie,” penned the memoir “Prairie Tale” about her time on the show. In this memoir, she discussed the actress Shannen Doherty being cast in season nine of the show in the role of Jenny Wilder, the niece of Laura’s husband Almanzo.
“Shannen, then 12, was an adorable little girl and very sweet. In her pigtails and dress, she would literally walk in my footsteps, following me closer than my shadow,” Gilbert wrote. “She wanted to know what makeup I wore, what jewelry I liked, and did I prefer my Jordache jeans or my Calvins? She looked up to me even though I was in many ways still a kid myself. In fact, she used to say she wanted to be just like me when she grew up.”
Shannen Doherty stole our hearts on "Little House on the Prairie" at just 11 years old when she played Jenny Wilder. Today, we wish her a very Happy Birthday! Do you have a favorite memory of Jenny Wilder? pic.twitter.com/UYhwioYNyQ
— Little House Prairie (@LHPrairie) April 11, 2019
Fast forward to ten years after “Little House On The Prairie” came to an end, Gilbert was in counseling with her first husband, Bo Brinkman. During one of their therapy sessions, Brinkman admitted to having had sex with Doherty, who was 22 years-old by then.
“As I was getting back together with my first husband, Bo Brinkman, after a trial separation, we attended therapy sessions,” Gilbert recalled. “When Bo and I reconciled in therapy, he confessed everything that he’d done during our separation, and his laundry list of dirty deeds included a one-night stand with Shannen. That story in particular irked me.”
Years later, Gilbert bumped into Doherty at the Emmy Awards, and things did not go well.
“As I came offstage, Shannen and Luke Perry were in the wings, getting ready to present an award,” she wrote. “She looked at me and attempted to give me a hug. I pushed her away and said, ‘I don’t think so.’
“I know,” Gilbert told Doherty. “I know what you did with my husband.”
Gilbert said that Doherty did not show any remorse for what she had done.
“She looked me square in the eye,” Gilbert said. “I thought I saw a barely perceptible smirk. Then she said, ‘I told you that when I grew up I wanted to be just like you.'”
Gilbert was later asked on “Watch What Happens Live!” what she would say to Doherty if she saw her again.
‘I wouldn’t say anything,” Gilbert fired back. “I’d just punch her in the nose.”