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Melissa Joan Hart's Maxim Shoot & Its Potential Impact on 'Sabrina, The Teenage Witch'

Melissa Joan Hart almost lost her role on "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" after a spicy Maxim magazine shoot.

In a recent episode of the "Pod Meets World" podcast, Melissa Joan Hart shared a story about one of her most challenging days while working on "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch." The incident occurred in 1999, during the premiere of the movie "Drive Me Crazy" alongside Britney Spears. In a paparazzi photo from that night, Hart's eyes appeared red and swollen, revealing that she had been crying. The actor explained that it was a difficult day for her, starting with early morning interviews and culminating in a messy movie premiere. On top of that, she was dealing with a fresh breakup from her boyfriend.

To make matters worse, Hart received devastating news while heading to the airport after the screening. She found out that she had been fired from the film "Scary Movie." Feeling deflated, she decided to attend an after-party at Planet Hollywood to distract herself. However, her lawyer delivered some shocking news at the party. He informed her that she was being sued and fired from her show because of a photo shoot she had done for Maxim magazine.

Hart had posed for the October 1999 cover of Maxim, wearing revealing attire. The cover advertised images of "Sabrina, your favorite witch without a stitch." Although her contract with Archie Comics specified that she would never play the character of Sabrina naked, Hart was able to avoid trouble because she had no control over what Maxim wrote on the cover, and she was never completely nude during the shoot.

The situation escalated when Hart received a phone call from her mother, who was also a producer on the show. Her mother questioned her about the photo shoot, and Hart explained that she had followed the instructions given by her publicist. She had assumed that since it was a Maxim photo shoot, she would be expected to pose in her underwear.

Fortunately, Hart was able to smooth things over by writing an apology letter to the company. Despite the controversy surrounding the Maxim shoot, she continued to play the role of Sabrina on the ABC series for all seven seasons. The show debuted in 1996 and concluded in 2003, with a total of 163 episodes and three made-for-TV films.

"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" followed the story of a teenage girl who discovers her magical powers while living with her two equally gifted aunts. Hart's portrayal of Sabrina made her a beloved '90s teen star and solidified her place in television history.

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