"At the end of the day, I just felt so incredibly unloved by someone I was with for 14 years."
The Beverly Hills, 90210 star, who filed for divorce from Iswarienko in April citing irreconcilable differences, revealed on her Let’s Be Clear podcast that the procedure coincided with her discovering that her 11-year marriage to the photographer was “essentially over."
“I had brain surgery, which was the most frightening thing I have ever been through in my entire life," she recalled of the procedure, during which doctors removed a tumor. "I didn’t think I was going to make it. I was positive that I was gonna die, and the best-case scenario in my head if I didn’t die was that I would lose the ability to walk or to talk."
She continued, "I went into that surgery early in the morning, and I went in after I found out that my marriage was essentially over, that my husband had been carrying on an affair for two years.”
While the Charmed actress acknowledged that Iswarienko wanted to be at her side during the procedure, she wasn’t comfortable with the idea. “I couldn't go into that surgery with him there. I felt so betrayed,” she said, adding that her mother, brother, and close friends accompanied her instead.
Doherty continued, “At the end of the day, I just felt so incredibly unloved by someone I was with for 14 years, by someone I loved with all my heart.”
After the operation, Doherty underwent “a couple rounds of brain radiation” before doing what she described as a “version of chemo.” She said she was simultaneously “trying to figure out if you’re going to get a freaking divorce and trying to get the truth of that too,” which made things more complicated.
Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. It went into remission two years later, but in 2020 she revealed that she had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and, just last month, that it had spread to her bones.
Despite her cancer returning, she is determined to fight the disease and remains hopeful for the future.
“I’m not done with living," Doherty told PEOPLE in November. "I’m not done with loving. I’m not done with creating. I’m not done with hopefully changing things for the better. I’m just not — I’m not done."
Listen to Doherty discuss learning of her ex-husband's infidelity and her health status in the podcast above.
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