A lot of people say “this is the worst day of my life” but don’t mean it. Melissa Joan Hart truly meant it when she singled out the worst day of her life.
On a recent episode of the Pod Meets World podcast, hosted by Boy Meets World stars Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong, Joan Hart was shown a photo of herself with Britney Spears at the premiere of Drive Me Crazy in 1999. “If you look at my eyes [in the photo], I’d been crying all evening,” she said. In a 24-hour span, she broke up with her boyfriend, lost a role in Scary Movie (“I was supposed to be the opening, vivacious, big-breasted one that’s murdered or something in the beginning”), and learned that she might be fired from Sabrina the Teenage Witch after posing on the cover of Maxim.
“While I’m at the party,” she explained, “my lawyer shows up and goes, ‘You did a photo shoot for Maxim magazine?’ 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.’ 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.”
She was accused of being in violation of her Archie Comics contract, which stated that she “would never play the character naked.” But Hart said they “had no ground to stand on,” and after penning an apology letter, she was in the clear.
The best part about the October 1999 cover isn’t the photo of Joan Hart (where’s Salem???). It’s the headline “EXPERT SEX!” with the subhead “order that replacement headboard today!” Maxim was never the same after Big Headboard pulled its funding.
You can listen to the episode below.