A then-17-year-old Alba guest-starred on the show in two episodes in 1998, as a teenage mother named Leanne.
Appearing on an episode of YouTube interview series The Hot Ones, Alba alleged she had been forbidden from making eye contact with the cast members, “which was really strange when you’re trying to do a scene with them”.
Beverly Hills, 90210 followed the lives of a group of privileged teenagers living in glamorous Beverly Hills, and starred Shannen Doherty, Tori Spelling, Luke Perry, Jason Priestly and Jennie Garth.
Elise, who played Emily Valentine on the show, initially 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***ing lie,” she said.
However, in a later statement posted to Instagram, Elise apologised “for calling Jessica Alba a liar” and said she had “never met her, but have always admired her work”.
She went on to say that Alba’s remark “does not sound like the set I was on”. She added that she wrote for the show at the time and was living with her then-boyfriend and fellow castmember Priestly.
“Any such culture evolved on that set – I feel certain I would be aware of it,” she said.
“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 behaviour and 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,” she added.
“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.”
If you have thoughts on this unfortunate article - please read this: I just want to comment on the article today where I was quoted as calling Jessica Alba a liar. First of all - I have never met her but have always admired her work. I am certain she is a lovely woman. Secondly, anyone who knows me at all knows I swear with unapologetic abandon, so quotes read without tone of voice can be misinterpreted and seem more angry than they ever were. That said, JA was quoted as saying she was told not to make eye contact with the cast or risk being thrown off the set. That does not sound like the set I was on - and, though I was only in a handful of episodes, I wrote for the show & lived with Jason at the time so - had any such culture evolved on that set - I feel certain I would be aware of it. Some of the other cast members have gone on record - agreeing with me that they never knew of anything like that going on during the run of the show. They were more diplomatic than I was, however. I just want to say that it BAFFLES me that any controversy at all can be worked up over a show that went off the air 20 years ago. 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. 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. So, I regret calling her a liar but, more importantly, I regret jumping into this sandbox. What a sad state of affairs that the cast members of a beloved show that premiered THIRTY YEARS AGO are still fodder for ancient history gossip - about things that allegedly happened nearly 25 years ago. I am embarrassed about my part in this. Apologies to Jessica Alba.
A post shared by Christine Elise (McCarthy) (@christineelisemccarthy) on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:55pm PDT
Garth and Spelling also recently said they had “no recollection” of any such rule.
“I had all the scenes with her,” Garth said on an iHeartRadio podcast. “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.”
However, Spelling did say that she was “horrified” at the news that Alba “had an awful experience” on set.