Tori Spelling Talks About Her Mom, Her Weight and Why Her '90210' Castmates Hate Her
When Tori Spelling first starred as "Beverly Hills, 90210" teen Donna Martin, few would have predicted the daughter of Hollywood royalty Aaron Spelling would become a best-selling author.
But with her memoirs "sTori Telling" and "Mommywood," and her first children's book, "Presenting ... Tallulah" bowing this September, along with a steady gig on Oxygen with her TV series "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," Spelling has proved herself a triple threat: actress, author and reality TV show star.
Spelling's latest book, "Unchartered TerriTORI" continues on from "Mommywood," and is surprisingly honest. You can't accuse the tabloid favorite of not laying it all out there as she writes of a rocky patch in her marriage to Dean McDermott, the guilt she feels in balancing career and family, her complicated relationship with her mother and why she's so skinny. Oh yeah, she also thinks all the "90210" gang hates her.
She spoke to ParentDish about her new book and these topics. An edited version of the conversation follows.
ParentDish: Do you ever think, "Wow, I shouldn't have written that"?
Tori Spelling: Not at all. Through my other books and my reality show, it's been freeing. It's been cathartic to be able to share my stories and my experiences and just share myself. Things that I've shared -- my fans have been like, "Thank you for saying that, that's, like, the thing that I've experienced and is it OK, am I normal?" And I'm like, "Yeah we just don't always talk about it."
PD: You're the poster child for difficult mother-daughter relationships.
TS: I think people definitely have strained relationships within families, but none are as public as mine and on the cover of magazines. That was definitely a hard one to have gone through publicly. As I write in the book, I kind of had an epiphany that maybe the media had enhanced the feud. They're the people that labeled it a feud. My mom and I never thought we had a feud.
PD: Yeah, but you weren't talking. You could call it a cold war.
TS: Cold war sounds even worse!
PD: The media may have fanned the flames, but the fire was already lit.
TS: Oh, yeah. I make no qualms about that. Obviously, we had a very difficult relationship. What I was realizing was that the press made it extreme to the point where I started to buy into it, like, does she hate me? I think we had a little bit of that going back and forth.
PD: Your mom likely didn't think, when she was having you, that it would become a complicated relationship. How are you going to prevent that from happening with your daughter, Stella?
TS: I think we all do the best we can. Like you're saying, I don't think my mother ever in a million years thought she would have a complicated relationship with me. We do the best we can and I just hope to keep the communication open with Stella and make her feel like she can talk to me about everything. I want to try and find that happy medium between being a mom and a friend. I know there probably will come a day when she'll be like, "Oh, Mom, I hate you." I know that happens to every teenage girl, but, hopefully, we'll come out of it on the other side.
PD: You write about how you had a rocky patch in your marriage.
TS: People don't realize how much work marriage is. I absolutely had no idea how much work goes into a marriage. You start a marriage so into it. You fall madly in love and you think, "We're perfect; everything is great." You see other couples having problems and you say, "That will never be us." You say, "We will never become just parents and function like that; we're always going to be that great, fun-loving couple." And then it's four years down the road, and I'm sure in other marriages it's seven or 10 years, and then it happens and you have to work on your relationship. It doesn't mean you're flawed or doomed, it just means it takes work. I think I'm lucky in that we were both willing to do that work. I'm fine telling people that we've had our problems and I'm sure we'll have problems again.
PD: You write about dealing with Dean's first wife.
TS: Blended families are hard. They're never easy. You have fantasies that it's going to be perfect, we're going to be best friends but in reality there are feelings and emotions and hurt feelings involved. It's hard to get past that point but we're trying.
PD: Do you see yourself as a brand?
TS: In a way, yes. I feel like I spent so much of my career trying to fight being Tori Spelling, trying to be taken seriously as an actor, getting away from my name and what it represented and then, at one point, I kind of thought, "Why am I fighting this?" I just embraced it, and, when I embraced myself, then people started to realize that there was something else there because there were a lot of misconceptions about me. And being able to give them me broke down so many barriers in my life with my fans and people in general, and now the lines do blur. My business is my personal life and my personal life is my business.
PD: You write how much it hurt when magazines would write about your weight.
TS: It did. I had swine flu really bad and I was in the hospital a few times. It completely broke down my immune system and I've just had stomach issues ever since, really bad ones. I'm definitely trying to gain weight, but my stomach has a hard time processing food. My stomach is in a state of disarray all the time.
PD: Your reality show features your kids a lot. They've lost their anonymity.
TS: I understand that, but that was something that was going to happen anyway. Paparazzi sit outside our house every day. There are pictures of them in magazines every week unrelated to my show.
PD: But your kids are much better known than, say, Reese Witherspoon's kids.
TS: True, probably, but at least, for my kids, the show is a controlled environment and if it ever got out of hand, I just wouldn't do the show anymore. If it ever gets to the point where they don't want to do it, then the show's over.
PD: In the book, you say all the "90210" gang hates you.
TS: I have no proof. I'm just making fun of the situation, but literally none of them speak to me except for Jennie Garth.
TS: I have no idea. It's funny, because I really like to be liked and, as I told Dean, I was the popular girl on the show. Everyone liked me and now it's like, where did I go wrong? Maybe because of this book they'll come forward and say why they hate me.
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