Lindsey Shaw, who starred as Paige McCullers on Pretty Little Liars, is getting candid about why she was let go from the hit teen drama.
On a recent episode of the Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide podcast, the actress explained that the show’s creative team made the decision to fire her due to her drug use and “relationship with food.”
“When I had my drug problem and I was in between working on stuff, you know, I would never have to address my relationship with food because I was always like, ‘Oh, I could always just go get more Adderall.’ Do you know what I mean? And like be okay with it,” Shaw said. “So it was really hard…. I got basically let go from Pretty Little Liars in season five because of the weight that I had lost, and it was really an embarrassing, embarrassing thing. Like I didn’t look good too skinny and then, you know, then when I started to put the weight back on, I couldn’t handle it being too heavy so it kind of played into this dumb cycle.”
The 10 Things I Hate About You actress proceeded to recall the moment she learned the show was parting ways with her, saying, “It was so bad.”
“I got called into the Pretty Little Liars creator’s [I. Marlene King] office,” Shaw explained, getting emotional as she told the story to her former Ned’s Declassified co-stars Devon Werkheiser and Daniel Curtis Lee. “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, ‘But do you have anybody to talk to?’ And I was like, ‘Um, No.’ And she’s like, ‘We’ll find somebody, and we have to let you go for now.’”
Shaw added that while what happened “was awful,” she appreciates the show’s team for letting her go “with so much care.” Despite exiting the series during the fifth season, Shaw expressed gratitude to the series for bringing her back during the show’s final seventh season.
“It was really sweet because they brought me back in season seven and it was so lovely of that writing team to see that relationship and that character out,” she said. “But that was rough.”
“They did me so right bringing me back for season 7 and just letting me say goodbye,” Shaw said. “I will never forget that.”
In the series, Paige initially started out as Emily Field’s (Shay Mitchell) top competition for the lead spot on the swim team, but their relationship ended up taking a turn and Paige became Emily’s on-and-off-again love interest throughout the show.
Shaw also recalled feeling support from Mitchell during the tough time: “We went to the same nutritionist for a while. She was bringing me protein powder. She was like, ‘Girl.’ Yeah, it was awful.”
Lindsey Shaw Opens Up About Being Fired From ‘Pretty Little Liars’: “It Was Awful”