Pretty Little Liars Star Fired For Drug Use And Body Image Issues?

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

pretty little liars
Lindsey Shaw in Pretty Little Liars

Lindsey Shaw, who portrayed the recurring character Paige McCullers in Pretty Little Liars, says she was fired from the show due to a cycle of drug use and body image issues. The actress made the revelation on a recent episode of the Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide podcast, which she co-hosts with Devon Werkheiser and Daniel Curtis Lee.

“It was so bad. I got called into Pretty Little Liars’ creator’s [I. Marlene King] office. And she was just like, ‘So we’re gonna let you go,’” Shaw explained.

“She was like, ‘It’s not because of your actions, but do you have anybody to talk to?’ And I was like, ‘No,’ you know? She’s like, ‘Well, find somebody,’ and ‘We have to let you go now.’”

Lindsey Shaw, who played the recurring character Paige on Pretty Little Liars, says she was written out of the show because of issues stemming from her drug abuse, body image, and eating disorder.

Shaw talked about how her problems impacted her performance on Pretty Little Liars, as she went through an entire season of the show while under the influence of drugs. “When I had my problem, and I was in between working on stuff, I would never have to address my relationship with food because it was like, I could always just go get more Adderall,” Shaw explained.

“It was really an embarrassing thing,” Shaw continued. “I didn’t look good, too skinny, and then when I started to put the weight back on, I couldn’t handle being too heavy.”

Her character, Paige, was written out of Pretty Little Liars during the season five episode “Through a Glass, Darkly.” The character relocated to California, seeking an escape from “A” and the turmoil in Rosewood.

Although she was initially released from the show, Shaw expressed her appreciation to the writers of Pretty Little Liars for reintroducing her character in the final season.

Paige made a comeback in season seven, episode 8, where she briefly rekindled her relationship with Emily (Shay Mitchell). “It was really sweet because they brought me back in season 7,” Shaw said.

“It was so lovely of that writing team to just see that relationship [between Paige and Emily] and that character out. But it was rough,” Shaw recalled.

“They did me so right bringing me back for season 7 and just letting me say goodbye. I will never forget that,” the actress added of her time on Pretty Little Liars. She also praised her co-star, Shay Mitchell, for supporting her during that difficult time.

“We went to the same nutritionist for a while,” Shaw said. “She was bringing me protein powder. She was like, ‘Girl.’ Yeah, it was awful.”

pretty little liars
Lindsey Shaw in Pretty Little Liars

While it may not have been a positive period in her career, Shaw can now reflect upon and embrace her past. “I’m starting to be able to, like, step away from or forgive and appreciate and accept,” she said.

“When I had my problem, and I was in between working on stuff, I would never have to address my relationship with food because it was like, I could always just go get more Adderall.”

-Lindsey Shaw

Pretty Little Liars was a popular American teen drama television series based on the books of the same name by Sara Shepard. The show originally aired on ABC Family (later rebranded as Freeform) from 2010 to 2017.

The show revolved around a group of four high school girls living in the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania: Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario), Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), and Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell).

Pretty Little Liars begins with the mysterious disappearance of their friend, Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse), and the subsequent messages they receive from an anonymous person called “A,” who threatens to reveal their deepest secrets.

Throughout the show’s seven seasons, the “Liars” navigate their personal lives and family issues while trying to figure out the identity of the mysterious texter.

Pretty Little Liars Spin-Offs

Pretty Little Liars gained a massive fan following for its intricate and addictive storyline, compelling characters, and cliffhanger endings. It also spawned spin-off series, including Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists and Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, which debuted on then HBO Max.

Created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lindsay Calhoon Bring, the show maintained continuity with previous installments.

Set in the quiet town of Millwood, the first season of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin follows a group of teenage girls who find themselves haunted by an unknown assailant. This torment stems from the past actions of their mothers and their own sins, creating a gripping narrative filled with mystery and suspense.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin premiered last July, with the initial release of three episodes. Following this, two more episodes were made available on August 4 and 11, leading up to the final three episodes on August 18. The show’s second season, Pretty Little Liars: Summer School, will be released on November 16.