Shannen Doherty Slept With Melissa Gilbert’s First Husband Because ‘She Wanted To Be Just Like [Her],’ According To the Laura Ingalls Actor

Melissa Gilbert met Shannen Doherty on set Toilet on the Moor. Gilbert was 18 at the time and Doherty was 12. Back then, Doherty looked up to actress Laura Ingalls in a big way. But, according to Gilbert, about 10 years later, Doherty would sleep with her husband.

Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman
Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman Robin Platzer / Twin Images / LIFE Image Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images

Melissa Gilbert and Shannen Doherty on ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Doherty was introduced Toilet on the Moor during Times Are Changing. These moments say goodbye to Ma and Pa as they head for Iowa and hello to a few new characters, including Etta Plum (played by Leslie Landon – daughter of Michael Landon and one of the best friends best at Gilbert) and young Jenny Wilder (Doherty).

“Shannen, then a dozen, was a beautiful and very sweet little girl,” Gilbert wrote the memoir, Prairie story. “In her suits and uniforms, she would literally walk the steps, following me closer than my shadow. She wanted to know what outfit I would wear, what was my favorite jewelry, and did I prefer my Jordache jeans or my Calvin? (‘Both, thank you very much …’) ”

Toilet: A New Beginning
Toilet: A New Beginning – Pictured: (front row lr) Lindsay Kennedy as Jeb Carter, Shannen Doherty as Jenny Wilder, David Friedman as Jason Carter (2nd lr series) Pamela Roylance as Sarah Carter, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder, Leslie Landon as Etta Plum, Allison Balson as Nancy Oleson (3rd lr series) Dabbs Greer as the Rev. Robert Alden, Kevin Hagen as Dr. Hiram Baker, Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn Ingalls, Stan Ivar as John Carter, Richard Bull as Nelson ‘Nels’ Olsen (back row lr) Victor French as Isaiah Edwards, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Dean Butler as Almanzo James Wilder | Frank Carroll / NBCU Photo Bank

“She looked at me and tried to give me a hug,” Gilbert wrote. “I pushed her away and said, ‘I don’t think so. ‘”

“I know. I know what you did to my husband,” Gilbert told her.

“She showed me a square in the eye,” continued actress Laura Ingalls. “I thought I saw a gag that was almost easy to see. Then she said, ‘I told you I wanted to be just like you when I grew up.’ ”

Gilbert left shortly after that statement— ”It was too Single bright female for my taste. ”

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