90210 Alum Christine Elise Apologizes After Calling Jessica Alba 'a Liar' Over Eye Contact Claim10/23/2020
Christine Elise is apologizing after calling Jessica Alba's claim that she was not allowed to make eye contact with the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast while guest-starring on the show more than 20 years ago a "lie."
The 55-year-old actress, who played Emily Valentine on the beloved series, addressed Alba's allegation during Wednesday's episode of the Beverly Hills 90210 Show podcast, saying that there was "no way" the claim is true.
"[Producer] Paul Waigner did say, 'The girls may not be nice, the guys might not be nice,' but that's as bad as it got!" she said. "That cast is very nice and if they don't like you, they go away. That whole 'don’t make eye contact' [claim] is — I'm gonna call it what it is — it's a f—— lie."
In a later statement shared on her Instagram, Elise apologized for "calling Jessica Alba a liar" and said she's "never met her, but have always admired her work."
The Child's Play star went on say that Alba's remark "does not sound like the set I was on." She also noted that she "wrote for the show" at the time and was living with cast member and then-boyfriend Jason Priestley, so "any such culture evolved on that set – I feel certain I would be aware of it."
"Perhaps she was misquoted or the remark was taken out of context but – left unanswered – it implies that the entire cast engaged in unprofessional diva behavior & that they were unwelcoming to guest stars. I think that is an inaccurate & unjust representation of a lot of people I consider to be my friends," Elise continued. "The fact remains that maybe someone – an extra or whatever – delivered that warning to her. That does not mean it was, in fact, something the cast demanded."
Beverly Hills, 90210 ran from 1990 to 2000, starring Priestley, 51, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, the late Luke Perry, Tiffani Thiessen and Shannen Doherty. Alba appeared on the series during season 8, when she briefly played a pregnant teen named Leanne.
"On the set of 90210, I couldn't even make eye contact with any of the cast members, which was really strange when you're, like, trying to do a scene with them," she said during her latest appearance on the Hot Ones web series. "It was like, 'You're not allowed to make eye contact with any one of the cast members or you'll be thrown off the set.' "
Garth, 48, Spelling, 47, Priestley, Green, 47, and Ziering, 56, have all spoken out following Alba's remarks about the alleged rule.
Speaking on their 90210MG iHeartRadio podcast, Garth and Spelling said they had no recollection of any such rule and wondered "if there was some cool memo that was like going around from the producers or the ADs and we didn't even know."
"I had all the scenes with her," Garth said. "Like, if anybody … didn't want to have their eyes looked into, it would've been me. But I don't remember, because I have the world's worst memory."
Meanwhile, Spelling said she was "horrified" when she heard the news that Alba "had an awful experience" on set.
Priestley and Ziering were equally taken aback.
"I don't know what Jessica Alba's experience was coming on our show as a guest star. I know that certainly I never would have made her feel that way," Priestley said on KiSS 92.5's The Roz & Mocha Show. "I don't even think I worked with her. … But I'm sorry that that happened to her and it seems really incongruous with everything else that happened on our show."
Ziering recently told PEOPLE that a no eye contact rule would be "the stupidest thing" he's ever heard.
"I'm not doubting her, but I doubt that it came from any cast member," he said. "Maybe it came from some third AD who decided to flex a little and said, 'Please don't look at the actors.' "
Green also said he couldn't imagine "anyone reputable" would have given Alba those instructions.
"The one thing that we really were good about on our set was making people feel welcome and feel like they were a part of the family and what we were doing, and they were a part of the team," he told SiriusXM's The Jenny McCarthy Show. "So I can't imagine that at all. And I can't imagine that she heard that from somebody close enough to us that it was a direct reflection of any one of us."
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