Rose McGowan has reached out Shannen Doherty, as the actress bravely battles breast cancer. In a letter to Doherty shared on Instagram, McGowan called out Hollywood for its sexism, which had seen the actress’ painted as enemies for many years.

A photo posted by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) on

“As young women we were pitted against each other for society's pleasure. The rules of Hollywood engagement brainwashed into us were truly vile. The men & brainwashed women in our business made it so we couldn't be friends, I regret that,” McGowan wrote.

“We were cast in this weird fake reality show where we were supposed to be enemies. I resented it greatly. I regret not being awake enough to articulate this to you at the time. Fear was drilled into me from day one in this town & you were the barometer by which my behavior was judged.”

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Stories about the two women’s rivalry began after McGowan joined the cast of WB series ‘Charmed’, following the departure of Doherty. Doherty’s exit from the show had widely been rumoured to be due to her behaviour on set and McGowan said she became consciousness of not also being labeled as ‘difficult’.

“The Bad Girl Shaming you received at the hands of the media was merciless,” she told Doherty. “Global media shaming is real AF, as you know. F**k them all & their machine, too. You cast a long shadow over my life. We were both cast in a fake real life role, that of the Bad Girl. I had to prove I wasn't as bad as you or I'd get the axe, too.

“I refused to give them the cat fight they so wanted. Shannen, we didn't know it yet, but we were the good ones. Two boss young women that scared the 'faux-liberals in provincial Hollywood, for that sin we got burned at the media stake, egged on by Hollywood who believe the press they start.”

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“There was a strongly inferred threat of me being blacklisted in tv as I'd been in film,” McGowan added. “Instead of understanding that we were a different breed, they tried to crush us, but they couldn't. I send you strength.”

McGowan’s message was shared on Twitter by fellow ‘Charmed’ actress Alyssa Milano, who has also faced media speculation about her relationship with Doherty. Linking to McGowan’s Instagram post, Milano wrote: ‘Holy shit! This is powerful @rosemcgowan and @DohertyShannen’.