Jessica Alba said that she was instructed to avoid looking at the cast in the eye when she appeared as a guest star on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1998

By Gabrielle Chung
October 06, 2020 06:53 PM
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Jason Priestley is addressing Jessica Alba's claim that she wasn't allowed to make eye contact with the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast while guest-starring on the show more than 20 years ago.

The 51-year-old actor, who played Brandon Walsh on the beloved series, touched on the allegation during Tuesday's appearance on KiSS 92.5's The Roz & Mocha Show, saying, "'Don't look at the stars of the show' was never an edict that came down on our show. I don't know who told Jessica Alba not to look at us."

When the hosts asked Priestley if someone in his inner circle had "did that preemptively because they thought that that’s what you guys wanted," the Private Eyes star said he wouldn't rule that out entirely.

"Apparently somebody did because they thought that was a thing to do," Priestley said. "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."

Jason Priestley; Jessica Alba
| Credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

"I always went out of my way to make sure that our guests always felt incredibly welcome," he continued. "I would always go and talk to them and make sure they knew that this was a place where we wanted them to succeed because I’d been on enough sets as a guest star, and I always appreciated it when the regulars on the set came and made me feel that way."

Jessica Alba and the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210
| Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty; Getty Images

Priestley added he's unsure if he shared a scene with Alba, 39, during her time on Beverly Hills, 90210, in which the actress played a pregnant teen named Leanne.

"I don’t even think I worked with her," he said. "She was in a storyline that I had nothing to do with so I don’t know what her experience was on the show, but I’m sorry that that happened to her and it seems really incongruous with everything else that happened on our show."

Last week, Alba appeared on an episode of the web series Hot Ones. When asked about her experiences on popular TV shows as an up-and-coming actress, the L.A.'s Finest star recalled her time as guest star on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1998, remembering that she was instructed to avoid looking at the cast in the eye.

"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. "Yeah, 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.' "

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Priestley's former castmates Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth recently commented on Alba's claim in a teaser for their upcoming 90210MG iHeartRadio podcast. When asked if there was any truth to the allegation, Garth, 48, said she couldn't remember.

"Tori, did you — I just need to know, did you tell her not to look me in the eye?" Garth asked Spelling.

"Why's it all about you?" Spelling, 47, responded with a laugh.

"Well, because I had all the scenes with her," Garth said. "Like, if anybody was, you know, 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."

Spelling also didn't seem to remember 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."

Garth added of Alba, "I only remember her being super talented. She was very young and she was really sweet, and it does not surprise me that she's gone on to be so successful."

Beverly Hills, 90210 ran from 1990 to 2000 and starred Priestley, Spelling, Garth, Ian ZieringBrian Austin Green, the late Luke PerryTiffani Thiessen and Shannen Doherty. Alba's appearance came in season 8.