May 8, 2014 10:13 am

5 things you learn from reading Jason Priestley’s memoir

Jason Priestley, pictured in March 2013.

Frank Gunn / The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Actor-director Jason Priestley shares a lot of stories about his life and career in his new memoir, including reflections on his Canadian roots, his drunk driving arrest, the near-fatal race car crash — and, of course, the nine years he spent on Beverly Hills, 90201.

In Jason Priestley: A Memoir, the B.C. native dishes about his 90210 co-stars (“various combinations of people slept with each other,” he wrote) and his now-famous former roommate.

Here are five fun recollections contained in the book, which is in stores now:

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, pictured in March 2012.

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Tori Spelling isn’t his favourite person

Priestley admitted he hasn’t been close to his former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Tori Spelling since she married Toronto actor Dean McDermott. He recalled being surprised to learn that Spelling sold his 2005 wedding invitation. “Apparently, it had gone for five bucks, including a personal autograph by Tori. She sold my wedding invitation to a stranger.” With tongue firmly in cheek, Priestley wrote: “The producers of Tori and Dean’s ubiquitous show do make a point of asking me to appear on every iteration. So far I haven’t been able to find the time.”

Donna Martin masturbates

In a scene for the “Donna Martin graduates” episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, Priestley convinced the group marching across the football field to chant: “Donna Martin masturbates!” Priestley said the prank was “irresistible” because he knew the audio would be replaced in post-production.

Shannen Doherty, pictured in 2011.

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Shannen Doherty was a diva

The actress who played Priestley’s sister Brenda on Beverly Hills, 90210 made tabloid headlines for her demands (she was eventually canned from the series). “She really and truly did not give a s—,” he said. “It was a very cool attitude, until it wasn’t.” Priestley recalled having to fly to New York with Doherty to do publicity for the series in 1990. “I could not believe my ears at Shannen’s very first words after she boarded. Her butt had barely hit her seat before she said loudly to the PR person, ‘Really? A town car? You send a town car to take me to the airport, not a limo?’ She sighed a very put-upon sigh.” (Doherty recently shot back on Twitter: “Memoirs are so funny. The truth is rarely told, after all they are trying to sell a book.”)

Holly Robinson Peete, pictured in January 2014.

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Holly Robinson was his first love

Priestley met Robinson on the Vancouver set of 21 Jump Street in 1987 after he landed a guest role on the TV series and the two had a serious relationship. “I could not have asked for a more idyllic first love,” he recalled. Priestley called his five-year relationship with Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Christine Elise his “first full-fledged adult relationship.”

Brad Pitt, pictured in 2013.

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Brad Pitt slept in his bed

Priestley recalled how he returned to his North Hollywood apartment one day to find a “tall skinny guy” in his bed. He and Pitt became roommates and friends who “lived on ramen noodles and generic beer … and Marlboro Light cigarettes.” For fun, the two struggling actors would “have competitions over who could go the longest without showering and shaving.” Priestley recalled: “Brad always won. Having to go on an audition meant cleaning up.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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