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'90210' stars lament leading man's exit: 'TV is cruel'

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Dustin Milligan was conspicuously missing from Saturday’s 90210 event at PaleyFest ’09, but the actor — who was recently handed his walking papers — was on the forefront of his co-stars’ minds.

“I’m going to miss him terribly,” confessed Milligan’s leading lady, Shenae Grimes. “He is an amazing guy and an amazing actor. We would bounce ideas off each other and we could be straight up with each other. We could be like, ‘Chill with the mouth thing.’ It was nice to have that on-set camaraderie. But we will keep in touch.”

Ryan Eggold, who only just learned of Milligan’s exit, echoed those

sentiments. “It will be a bummer not to see him on set,” he said. “It’s

sad, but that stuff happerns. Shows end, they go in different

directions… I was loving doing Dirt and then the writers strike

buried us and we all got let go. You just have to accept that this will

happen from time to time. TV is a cruel mistress.”

Adding potential insult to injury for Milligan is the fact that

Milligan’s character may not even get a proper send-off; Grimes

confirms that the season’s final episodes fail to provide closure for

Ethan. “I don’t know exactly how they will explain it [next season].”

However, Milligan’s pseudo-replacement, Matt Lanter, hints that his

bad-boy alter ego will start to bring out Ethan’s dark side as

the season winds down. “[Liam] is going to start influencing the other

kids — specifically Ethan — and not in a good way,” he revealed. “We

have a Habitat for Humanity episode [coming up] and I take Ethan on a camping trip

and Liam gets Ethan into some trouble.”

(Additional reporting by Carrie Bell)