To say Candy and Tori Spelling have a complicated relationship would be an understatement.
The Beverly Hills, 90210 star’s ups and downs with her mother were exposed when her father, Aaron Spelling, died in 2006, less than one year after Tori came under fire for having an affair with Dean McDermott. (She was married to Charlie Shahnaian when she met McDermott on set in 2005, while the actor was married to Mary Jo Eustace.) Tori, who only inherited $800,000 of Aaron’s reported $500 million, had seen the legendary TV producer for the first time in nine months weeks before his passing, she wrote in her 2008 memoir, as her family struggled with her decision to elope with McDermott. Tori also claimed that she learned about her dad’s death via an email from a family friend.
Candy later blamed the actress for Aaron’s death in a radio interview.
“My daughter one day decided that she wasn’t speaking to my husband, myself and my son, and that’s how it’s continued for the last, oh gosh, four or five years,” Candy told 94.7 WMAS-FM’s Kellogg Krew in 2009. “And it was sad. That’s what killed my husband, actually. He just didn’t want to live after that. He [had] just done everything he could possibly do for his daughter, and she wanted no part of him once he couldn’t do anything for her.”
Earlier that year, Candy had released an open letter to her daughter, claiming she hadn’t met Tori’s eldest daughter, Stella, who was born in 2008. (Tori and McDermott eventually welcomed five kids: Liam, born in 2007, Stella, Hattie born in 2011, Beau born in 2017, and Finn born in 2012.)
“You haven’t responded to my e-mails, phone calls and text messages. You say you look at my website, so I’m trying to reach you that way. I want to see you and your family – in private, like the ‘normal family’ you say [you] always wanted,” Candy, who had met Liam during a brief pause in tension, wrote. “I’m a mother who, like every mother, wants communication and a great relationship with you, my daughter, and your family. I’d love to work it out the way all families try to resolve issues. In private.”
Tori, for her part, told People at the time the pair weren’t “not talking” they just hadn’t “talked” recently.
“I love my mother. I’ve always loved her [and] no doubt she loves me. There’s no feud,” she said. “We simply never meshed. My mother is who she is. I’ve become who I am. At some point I realized those two just didn’t go together.”
Things were rehashed when Candy released her 2013 memoir, Candy at Last, and opened up about their issues.
“During the year we were estranged, it was excruciating not hearing from Tori and not being able to get ahold of her,” Candy wrote, claiming she met McDermott for the first time at Aaron’s funeral. “Tori and I are a work in progress and probably always will be. I notice that the more my self-esteem expands, the less patience I have for the pursuit cycle she creates when she shuts me out. We have a pattern, and until we can break it hand-in-hand, this is going to be the little dance she and I do together.”
As time went on, Candy slowly developed a relationship with Tori’s kids. And while the Mommywood author worked on own her relationship with her mother, Tori’s marriage to McDermott hit a rocky patch in December 2013 when Us Weekly broke the news that he had an affair. Tori was plagued with reports about money woes at the time too.
While Tori and McDermott made amends — and Candy helped with the finances — the spouses were reported to be on the rocks again in 2021. In 2022, insiders told Us that they were going through a trial separation. The pair have yet to officially deny the speculation but have been seen out together following the reports. Tori was also spotted with Candy and brother Randy Spelling in September 2022.
“A lot of people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize the three of you were, like, not together. This is like reuniting.’ I was like, ‘Oh no, did I phrase it wrong?’ I meant that just the three of us have not had dinner in 20 years because it was always, like, with our families,” the Mystery Girls alum told Entertainment Tonight in October 2022 about her “reunion” with her mom and brother. “My brother is married with two kids, I have five kids. So, it’s always family stuff. But just the three of us, like, adult time. It was so special. It was my mom’s birthday and my brother lives in Portland, and he has not come to L.A. since pre-COVID. He hasn’t flown, so he surprised her. She had no idea he was coming.”
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Scroll through for a timeline of Tori and Candy’s ups and downs: