‘Sabrina’ Alum Melissa Joan Hart Recalls Time She Was Almost Fired From Show Over Maxim Photo Shoot

Melissa Joan Hart has been in show business since she was a young girl breaking out in the Nickelodeon sitcom Clarissa Explains It All. Hart would go on to star in the ABC sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, part of the family-friendly primetime programming block known as TGIF.

However, when the TV star went on to pose for Maxim, the now-defunct magazine with risqué photo shoots, Hart found herself in quite the predicament that no spell could help her get out of.

Hart made an appearance on the Pod Meets World podcast where she recounted a whirlwind of a night the night Drive Me Crazy premiered in 1999. The star said she had broken up with her boyfriend but had to wait inside her limo until Britney Spears arrived so they could take photos together.

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After doing the red carpet, Hart was to leave the screening to shoot her part in Scary Movie, the film parody that took a lot of cues from the Scream franchise. Hart “was supposed to be the opening, vivacious, big-breasted one that’s murdered or something in the beginning. And I was put in a limo, and I was taken away, and I had just broken up with my boyfriend while we were in the movie, and I’m crying and I’m upset.”

Things drastically changed for Hart and when she got to the airport she received a phone call telling her she had just been dropped from the horror comedy. She was instructed to head out to an after-party at Planet Hollywood and more bad news was on the way.

“While I’m at the party, my lawyer shows up and goes, ‘You did a photo shoot for Maxim magazine?’” Hart recalled. “I’m like: ‘Yes, I did.’ They’re like: ‘Well, you’re being sued and fired from your show, so don’t talk to the press, don’t do anything.’”

Hart continued, “So I get a phone call on my cell phone from my mother, my producer, who was like, what did you do?, And I was like, ‘I don’t know, whatever my publicist told me to do at the photo shoot. I did a photo shoot for Maxim! It’s Maxim, of course you’re gonna be in your underwear.”

Maxim used the following title for Hart: “Sabrina, your favorite witch without a stitch.” Hart was told she had violated her Archie Comics contract which didn’t allow her to “play the character naked.” The actor would write an apology letter and was able to salvage her job.

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