Shannen Doherty is opening up about the intense emotional distress she is under due to her ongoing litigation against State Farm Insurance — a company she says is peddling lies about her smoking habits to the public.
Fox News obtained a declaration the 48-year-old actress filed in her lawsuit against the insurance giant on Friday, just three days after “Good Morning America” ran a segment announcing her stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis.
In the declaration, Doherty accuses Brian P. Daly, of State Farm, of publishing a report claiming she smoked cigarettes until March 2019, after her first brush with breast cancer. Additionally, the actress accused State Farm of violating a protective order she had in place by publishing her home address in public documents.
Shannen Doherty announced Tuesday her breast cancer has returned and she is currently battling stage 4.
(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Hallmark Channel)
“Predictably, false claims about me were included among State Farm’s improper disclosures, including the baseless assessment by State Farm’s expert that I had been smoking until March 2019. It is outrageous that State Farm’s ‘industrial hygienist’ believes it is appropriate for him to offer false speculation about me and for State Farm to place such lies in the public record,” Doherty wrote.
The actress continued: “To be clear, I have not been a cigarette smoker since my initial cancer diagnosis in 2015.”
Doherty’s declaration came just days after State Farm accused the actress of using her cancer diagnosis to garner “sympathy” at trial. She stressed on Friday that the insurance company’s actions are causing her to worry about her safety.
“The public disclosure of this information has caused me enormous emotional distress,” Doherty wrote. “With my home address made available in such a public way (i.e. at the same time as my public health disclosures) I fear for the safety of me and my family.”
She continues: “It was obviously very difficult for me to publicly disclose my cancer relapse. It is outrageous that State Farm responded by attempting to smear me by disclosing speculation from its expert about my tobacco abuse, which speculation was beyond his expertise and which was apparently based on his misreading or misunderstanding of my highly confidential medical records which are protected by a court order.”
In a statement to Fox News following Doherty’s filing, State Farm said: “The plaintiff’s attorneys’ latest motion once again distorts the facts. Rather than try this smoke damage case in the media, we will do so in a court of law.”
Doherty’s declaration accompanied a motion from her attorney asking the court to impose sanctions against State Farm. The attorney claimed that, in addition to releasing confidential information about Doherty, State Farm filed a report about the actress’ medical history in a lawsuit that she is not involved in.
“Astonishingly, State Farm filed the report in another case where State Farm is the defendant. To be clear, Plaintiff is not a party to, or witness in, this litigation,” Doherty’s attorney Devin McRae wrote.
The “Beverly Hills, 90210” star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 but entered remission following chemo and radiation. In 2018, she underwent reconstruction with an innovative surgery called DIEP flap, in which the breast is rebuilt using the patient’s own tissue.