The two actors met on set of Lifetime’s Mind Over Murder in 2005, a year after Spelling married her first husband, Charlie Shanian. McDermott, for his part, had been married to Mary Jo Eustace, with whom he shares son Jack, for more than a decade when he met Spelling.
“It was love at first sight. I fell so hard … Then I noticed he had a wedding ring,” Spelling wrote in her 2009 memoir, sTORI Telling, about meeting McDermott. “When someone asked, he pulled out photos of his children. And — oh, yeah — I had a husband too. It was fun to flirt, but I knew nothing would happen … But: Dean and I went to a bar after dinner. And we spent the night at the Cartier Place. The following day when I woke up next to Dean, I had no regrets. Something was really wrong with my marriage. Not only because I slept with this guy — though that certainly wasn’t a positive sign — but because I didn’t regret it.”
Less than a year after they met, Spelling and McDermott eloped in Fiji. It didn’t take long for them to start a family either; the duo welcomed their son Liam in March 2007. The same month that the twosome became parents, they also became reality TV stars. Oxygen’s Tori and Dean: Inn Love followed the couple as they renovated a bed & breakfast titled Chateau La Rue for two seasons. Putting the hotel business behind them, the series was later renamed Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Spelling welcomed the duo’s eldest daughter, Stella, during season 3, which aired in 2008.
As Spelling and McDermott continued to document their lives, their family also grew. They became parents for the third time — to daughter Hattie — in October 2011. While the reality TV cameras initially stopped rolling after six seasons, the drama was just getting started. In December 2013, after welcoming their second son, Finn, Us Weekly broke the news that McDermott was unfaithful to Spelling. The pair worked through the aftermath of the affair on a Lifetime series titled True Tori.
While health scares and financial woes continued to threaten the couple’s happiness, they appeared to be stronger than ever five years after the affair. Spelling told Us in February 2019 that twosome “don’t have relationship problems.”
“We communicate now, I have a voice,” she explained. “He probably hears too much of it but he [is so] good at listening. Women like to talk and over-explain.”
Two years later, however, fans began to wonder whether the pair were on thin ice once again after Spelling revealed in June 2021 that she and her husband were sleeping in different rooms. At the time, a source exclusively told Us that the Hollywood stars were “having major issues for over a year,” adding, “The end could be very near.”
Scroll through for a timeline of Spelling and McDermott’s ups and downs: