Joel Feigenbaum — who directed one of the season 8 episodes of Beverly Hills: 90210 that featured Jessica Alba as a guest star — says that if the actress was told to avoid eye contact with the cast, he was unaware of it.
Speaking on the Beverly Hills: 90210 podcast this week, Feigenbaum said that while he "certainly was never aware" of Alba, 39, being told not to make eye contact with the show's stars, he doesn't "doubt that she heard that somehow."
"I had not," Feigenbaum said when asked if he had heard Alba's rule about avoiding eye contact with the cast. "But, I'm not saying — it's very possible somebody could have said that to her, either seriously or not. I can't imagine who it would've been. Certainly wasn't one of the cast. And I can't imagine — the only other people it might've been, an AD or maybe someone in the makeup and hair trailer."
Alba said on the Hot Ones web series earlier this month that she "couldn’t even make eye contact with any of the cast members" on the set of the popular show. “Yeah, it was like, ‘You’re not allowed to make eye contact with any one of the cast members or you’ll be thrown off the set.' "
Feigenbaum said that while he didn't know someone had told her that, he doesn't disbelieve the actress.
"I don't doubt that she heard that somehow, but I certainly was never aware of it," he continued on the podcast. "Certainly never saw that on the set, anyway."
"I don't doubt that somebody said that to Jessica if she says somebody said that to her, but you can look at the scenes, and she was just terrific in them," said Feigenbaum, who directed the episode titled "Making Amends." Alba also appeared on the following episode titled "The Nature of Nurture."
"Totally not aware of it … to my knowledge, that certainly wasn't a rule on the set by any means," the director added. "All of the regular cast was extremely friendly and really open to the guest stars."
Beverly Hills, 90210 ran from 1990 to 2000 and starred Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Jason Priestley, Luke Perry, Tiffani Thiessen and Shannen Doherty.
Garth, 48, Spelling, 47, Priestley, 51, Green, 47, and Ziering, 56, have all spoken out following Alba's remarks about the alleged rule.
Speaking on their 90210MG iHeartRadio podcast, Garth and Spelling said they couldn't remember such a rule for Alba and wondered "if there was some cool memo that was like going around from the producers or the ADs and we didn't even know."
"I had all the scenes with her," Garth said. "Like, if anybody … didn't want to have their eyes looked into, it would've been me. But I don't remember, because I have the world's worst memory."
Recalling the "vague memories" she does have of working with Alba, Garth added, "I only remember her being super talented. She was very young and she was really sweet, and it does not surprise me that she's gone on to be so successful."
"Apparently somebody did because they thought that was a thing to do," Priestley, 51, said on KiSS 92.5's The Roz & Mocha Show last week. "I don’t know what Jessica Alba’s experience was coming on our show as a guest star. I know that certainly I never would have made her feel that way."
"I always went out of my way to make sure that our guests always felt incredibly welcome," he added. "I would always go and talk to them and make sure they knew that this was a place where we wanted them to succeed because I’d been on enough sets as a guest star, and I always appreciated it when the regulars on the set came and made me feel that way."
"I don’t even think I worked with her," Priestley said. "She was in a storyline that I had nothing to do with so I don’t know what her experience was on the show, but I’m sorry that that happened to her and it seems really incongruous with everything else that happened on our show."
Ziering recently told PEOPLE that he didn't disbelieve Alba either, but that he was sure none of the regular cast members would have told her not to look at them.
"I’m not doubting her, but I doubt that it came from any cast member," he said. "Maybe it came from some third AD who decided to flex a little and said 'Please don’t look at the actors.' "
Green said last week on SiriusXM's The Jenny McCarthy Show that he didn't work with Alba on 90210, but "that wasn't ever our policy on set."
"The one thing that we really were good about on our set was making people feel welcome and feel like they were a part of the family and what we were doing, and they were a part of the team," the actor said. "So I can't imagine that at all. And I can't imagine that she heard that from somebody close enough to us that it was a direct reflection of any one of us."
On the podcast this week, Feigenbaum went on to praise Alba's acting skills, saying at the time he "was just amazed at age 16 how good she was already."
"She was lightyears beyond anybody else that came in to read for that part," he said, adding that the role of Leanne was a "tough" one.
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