Lindsey Shaw claims she was fired from “Pretty Little Liars” over concerns about her weight loss and drug use.
“I basically got let go from ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Season 5 because of the weight that I had lost,” the actress said in Wednesday’s episode of “Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide.”
Shaw, 34, explained that she fell into a “dumb cycle” where she “didn’t look good too skinny,” but then when she started to gain weight, she “couldn’t handle being too heavy.”
“When I had my drug problem and I was in between working on stuff, you know, I would never have to, like, address my relationship with food because I was always like, ‘Oh, I could always just go get more Adderall and be OK with it,’ so it was really hard,” she continued.
Shaw, who played Paige McCullers on the teen drama, divulged that she even had a “whole season of using” drugs prior to being let go before Season 6.
“It’s a f—king lot,” she shared. “Caring about your body can make you go all different directions, from plastic surgery to drugs to withholding any kind of s–t.”
The former “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” star admitted that at a certain point in her struggles, she “gave away everything [she] cared about,” which led “PLL” showrunner I. Marlene King to cut ties with her.
“It was so bad. I got called into the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ creator’s office, and she was just like, ‘So, we’re gonna let you go.’ She’s like, ‘It’s not because of your acting.’ She’s like, ‘Do you have anybody to talk to?’ And I was like, ‘Um, no.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, find somebody, and we have to let you go now,’” an emotional and shaken Shaw recalled.
At one point, Shaw and Shay Mitchell — who played her on-screen love interest, Emily Fields — even went to the same nutritionist for help.
“She was bringing me protein powder … and she was like, ‘Girl,’” she remembered. “Yeah, it was awful.”
Despite being fired, Shaw emphasized that she has nothing but gratitude for the opportunity and how the whole process was handled with “so much care.”
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The “10 Things I Hate About You” TV star explained that she “cried harder” during her final episode in Season 5 than she had “those whole six years by myself.”
“That scene was just us [Shaw and Mitchell’s characters] saying bye at the airport,” she added. “Finally, when it was done, we just hugged each other and let it be what it was, but my God, I’m just so appreciative for that set and for the character and for Shay.”
Shaw’s exit was so amicable, in fact, that she briefly returned during the show’s seventh and final season.
“They did me so right bringing me back for Season 7 and just letting me say goodbye. Like, I will just never forget that,” she said.
Despite the challenges she faced on set, the star raved that she is “so much happier” now and enjoys “so much” about her body.