- Dean McDermott gave an exclusive interview to DailyMail.com at a luxury LA rehab where he blamed himself for the breakdown of his marriage to Tori, 50
- McDermott, 56, says their marital problems go back at least five years and that he and Tori have not shared a bedroom since 2017
- He revealed he completed a 40-day stint in rehab over the summer and now lives in a sober living home with eight other men
Theirs was the ultimate Hollywood love story: the glamorous daughter of a Tinseltown icon meets a handsome but struggling actor – both smitten at first sight, a Fijian beach wedding and a decades-long union that produced five children.
But behind the scenes, life got in the way of love for Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling with Dean telling DailyMail.com in a world exclusive interview how their marriage imploded as the couple grew apart – their problems made worse by his addiction to booze and prescription drugs.
‘All Tori’s ever done to this day is want me to be happy and healthy and I inflicted a lot of damage and pain on that woman,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘I’m taking accountability for that today. And it’s the biggest amend that I’m ever going to have to make.
By the time he hit rock bottom, Dean says the duo were living like ‘roommates’ and plagued by money worries and paparazzi while he was deeply depressed, mainlining tequila and drugs alone each night and flying into alcohol-fueled rages that ‘petrified’ his 50-year-old wife and children.
He told how he would pass out, leaving a worried Tori frantically checking on him to make sure he was still alive.
Now sober after a summer spent in rehab, Dean, 56, has told DailyMail.com of his battle to get clean and how his addiction struggle helped ruin one of Hollywood’s most famous marriages – the death knell sounded by an intemperate Instagram post he made in June during a drink and drug binge.
Dean said: ‘Alcohol made me feel good enough. I started feeling good enough until it got to a point where it didn’t – it ended up in isolation.
‘It ended up with me drinking a fifth of tequila every night, seven days a week, and a handful of narcos [prescription meds] by myself with a beautiful family in the other room.
‘That’s what it led to and that’s what led to the brokenness and to what happened between me and Tori.
‘I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t live that life anymore. I was tired of the anger and the yelling.’
Dean, who has not seen Tori since he moved her and the children out of their rented home due to a mold problem at the end of June, says he is beginning to communicate with his wife again via text and is desperate to see his children.
Despite that and his new relationship with Texan Lily Calo, 32, Dean says he still loves Tori and has no regrets about their life together.
He said: ‘It was a total fairytale. I mean, it was a beautiful love story. Love at first sight and getting married in the most beautiful way possible.
‘It was a dream come true. And then we had to come back to Hollywood and deal with all the sh** people gave us.
‘After we got married, they were all saying “give it six months”. Well, so much for six months – we showed you because it’s been 18 years and five kids.’
In an emotional interview given at Harmony Place, the LA rehab he credits with saving his life, McDermott also told how:
- His marital problems go back at least five years and that he and Tori have not shared a bedroom since 2017 due to her insistence on letting pets – including a pig and a chicken – sleep in their room.
- He loves Tori but has always struggled with the attention that comes with being ‘Mr. Tori Spelling’.
- After moving out of the marital bedroom, he became increasingly isolated and describes his and Tori’s relationship as being that of ‘roommates’ by the end.
- He subjected his wife and children to terrifying alcohol-fueled rages and said he was so depressed, he wanted to take his own life.
- He and Tori have struggled financially and have had no help from her mother Candy – with whom he has never had a relationship.
Dean says he is taking the blame for the breakdown of his marriage, telling DailyMail.com his addiction made him almost impossible to live with.
‘It’s going to be living the rest of my life making amends because I took something that was really beautiful and I just tore it down year after year, day after day.’
Although Dean is now clean, his circumstances today are a far cry from the glittering Hollywood world he has inhabited since first meeting Tori on the set of made-for-TV movie Mind Over Murder in Ottawa, Canada, in 2005.
Although both were married to other people – Dean to a fellow Canadian, singer-songwriter Mary Jo Eustace, 61, with whom he has a 25-year-old son Jack, and Tori to actor Charlie Shanian, 58 – he says it was ‘love at first sight’ for both.
The hockey player had long nursed a crush on his future wife – even showing up late to games with his friends in Toronto because he had been watching Tori in 90210.
In his youth, McDermott had ambitions to go professional but instead, at age 19, he ‘bullsh***ed’ an acting resume and found himself an agent – building up from small walk-on parts to commercials and from there to bigger film and TV projects.
Despite his budding acting career, he continued to play hockey with his pals – and was often teased for being distracted by Tori. ‘The guys would give me a hard time about it,’ he told DailyMail.com.
In 2005, long after he had moved to LA with his first wife to pursue his acting career, he had a call from a director friend.
Dean explained: ‘Cut to moving to California and a friend calling me and saying, “Hey, would you like to do a movie with Tori Spelling?”
‘I was like, “Yeah but do I get to kiss her?” And he’s like, “Yeah, you’re her love interest”. I’m like, “Okay, done. I’m in.”
‘So, we went to Ottawa and the very first day we met in his office – we were together from that day. She looked over her shoulder, our eyes met and it was love at first sight.’
According to Dean, the smitten pair carried on talking all afternoon before joining the rest of the cast for a crew dinner that night.
He said: ‘We went to a big cast and crew and producer dinner, and we just ignored everybody and talked to each other all night. And like I said, we were together from that day. Until now.’
McDermott is reluctant to discuss his first marriage and insists that he was always there for son Jack but admits it was a bad relationship.
Behind the scenes, he was drinking heavily and says it played a part in the end of his marriage to Eustace.
Blissfully happy in his new relationship with Tori, it became an afterthought at first – but he never stopped drinking, and he says, it was masked by the whirlwind of parties and events the new couple threw themselves into attending.
He said: ‘Tori didn’t know about the drinking to start with because when we met, we were celebrating this newfound love and this relationship.
‘We had both been in relationships that we were very unhappy with. So, it was party time. We could go and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.’
Their wedding, in May 2006, was in Fiji on the ultra-exclusive Wakaya Island where the pair married dressed in custom Dolce and Gabbana: a sharp white suit for him and a delicate column dress with a pink sash for her.
No guests were present and Dean described how the couple’s day included a morning swim, massages for two and finally, a wedding ceremony and reception just for them.
‘We fell in love alone, just the two of us,’ Dean said. ‘So, we thought we should get married, just the two of us.’
The night before, both wrote out invitations to their missing parents – Tori to her father Aaron, then just a month from death and Dean to his mother Doreen who died from a pulmonary embolism in front of him when he was just 15.
Dean said: ‘We wrote invitations, one to my mother who had passed away, and Tori wrote an invitation to her dad who was very ill at the time.
‘We burned them in a ceremony, sort of sending their invitations to heaven and making them part of the day.’.
Back in LA, reality set in early on when Tori’s producer father Aaron – who Dean refers to as ‘Mr. Spelling’ – died in June 2006 leaving her and her brother Randy just $800,000 each instead of a sizeable chunk of his $500m fortune.
Dean says he only met the legendary producer once, at the very end of his life, inside the famously huge mansion where Tori grew up.
He said: ‘I met him in the master bedroom, there was a nurse there and he was very frail, very kind.
‘You could see he still possessed the charisma he was famous for, a charisma that he always had. He was a big presence.’
Although Aaron was kind, Tori’s mother Candy was and remains a very different story and Dean says she never even tried to get on with him – something that placed a strain on his marriage and left Tori deeply hurt.
He said: ‘I haven’t spent a lot of time with her, and we didn’t from the beginning. It is unfortunate she never tried to get to know me.
‘It wasn’t for lack of an effort on my part – she just didn’t want to know and brushed off everything I tried to do.’
He added: ‘It was difficult for Tori. Here’s the man that she loves and married and there’s no relationship with the mother-in-law. I think that would hurt anybody.’
The frosty relationship with Candy continued even after they had children together: Liam, now 16, Stella, 15, Hattie, 12, Finn, 11, and Beau, 6.
Dean says Candy still sees very little of them and does nothing to help her daughter and grandchildren financially.
He said: ‘It’s your daughter. It’s your flesh and blood and it’s your grand babies. And for someone who is so blessed to have so much, it would be really nice for her to share with her daughter.
‘As I have said to Candy, I don’t want any of it [for myself]. I’m not interested. I would just like it if as a mother you would reach out and help your daughter and your son, Randy, who is a beautiful guy, he’s such an amazing man.
‘He’s a life coach and doing wonderful things. These are wonderful kids. These are both wonderful kids that came from privilege and deserve to be happy and to share in that, in my opinion.’
Referring to Tori’s unexpectedly diminished inheritance, Dean said: ‘It was a financial pressure for us because we were starting out in our relationship and neither one of us brought a lot to the table.
‘But with that said, Tori wasn’t expecting anything. She’s always looked at it as it’s her father’s money and he can do with it as he wishes – she’s always maintained that.’
Tori herself, though, was wonderful. ‘Tori as a person is a beautiful, kind and loving soul,’ said Dean.
‘She’s generous to a fault. She puts everybody before herself, even to the detriment of her physical and mental health.
‘I’ve never met a more generous, hardworking person in my life. I couldn’t appreciate Tori and what she brought to the relationship.’
Money troubles have always been an issue for the couple and, combined with McDermott’s addictions, frequently sparked fights.
Candy continued to be a malign presence and never really had much to do with her grandchildren, icing them out along with McDermott himself.
He said: ‘I think the real shame is for her to miss out on these wonderful children because they are really beautiful children. They’re very gifted and special.’
Despite Candy and Tori’s grief over the death of her father, the early years of their marriage were a social whirl: a parade of free hotels and cars, gifts galore and a succession of glittering events such as the Grammys and Elton John’s Oscars parties.
Back in Toronto, his old hockey friends could barely believe his luck. ‘It was really interesting when Tori and I did get together because my hockey buddies did know that I had a crush on her,’ Dean remembered.
‘So when they heard Tori and I were together and they were like, “dude, this is crazy. You’re full of s***. You’re joking, right?”
‘I was like, “no man. It happened.” The next time I went back to Toronto, we set up a hockey game for my return.
‘When I showed up with Tori, they were just like, “it’s true. How did you manage to pull that off?”
‘This Canadian schmuck who had a crush on a Hollywood actress, and they ended up together. It was pretty funny.’
The contrast between his old life as a jobbing actor and his new one as part of one of Hollywood’s most high profile and wealthy families was jarring.
He said: ‘It wasn’t me you know, being thrust into this lifestyle, a Hollywood lifestyle. I literally went from a nobody overnight.
‘Everybody knowing me, knowing me as Tori’s boyfriend, Tori’s fiancé, Tori’s husband, and with that came anything and everything I ever wanted.
‘I had the big, beautiful homes, getting the best seats in the restaurants with no reservations and getting all this free swag and all this stuff.
‘But it wasn’t filling the hole in my soul. It wasn’t making me happy, but I was continuing to play like, I belong here. I earned this.’
With their high profile came paparazzi, with Dean telling DailyMail.com that even doing something as simple as trying to get dinner had to be done in the midst of a scrum.
On one occasion, they were swarmed by 40 photographers as they tried to get a Chinese meal at Chin Chin in West Hollywood.
He said: ‘We went to Sunset Plaza and there was a far bigger celeb there but when they got their pictures, they spotted us.
‘We had 40 paparazzi follow us there. You had to go down a hill to enter the back. And they were fighting each other.
‘They were pushing and punching each other. One guy lost his shoes. It was just the funniest thing. I was like, all this for us? We’re just going for Chinese food!’
Despite renewing their wedding vows in 2010, three years later he had an affair with Emily Goodhand, now 38, followed by rehab.
Dean says Tori wasn’t angry with him when she found out but was desperately upset and insisted he finally seek help for his drinking which he says contributed to the brief dalliance.
He said: ‘She really tried to help me and she would do it in a loving and subtle way like making suggestions until it got so bad, she was like, ‘you need to get help’.
‘The first time through rehab, what triggered it was a pretty public event that we all know about.
‘And this isn’t an excuse, but it was fueled by my alcoholism and drug addiction. That was my first stint.
‘The shame was so great with that because it was everywhere – everybody knew and everybody knew what a piece of s*** I was.’
After leaving rehab, Dean was thrown into filming True Tori – an excruciatingly intimate look inside the couple’s marriage which he says he never wanted to do and left him miserable as he struggled to stay sober.
McDermott said: ‘That was really hard to get through and be sober while trying to solve your marital problems in the town square.
‘What a horrible idea. What a horrible idea. I thought it would help people. I was too fresh out of treatment to even think straight that that would be a bad idea.’
By 2017, financial woes and Dean’s renewed drinking had begun to take their toll – not helped by Tori’s pets.
Dean said: ‘We’d been having problems and it just got worse because we stopped sleeping in the same room.
It was issues around animals, he says. Animals sleeping in the bedroom on the bed. There was the pig. There’s a chicken that was living in the bathroom and multiple dogs.
‘And we know dogs have accidents and our particular dogs were having a lot. And I just couldn’t deal with that anymore.
‘So, I created a healthy boundary for myself and I said, I can’t do this. I can’t live and sleep in this kind of condition.
‘I drew that boundary for myself and moved to another room and things just progressed from there. There were no efforts to sort of remedy the problem to get back into the room.’
As a result, he says, the pair became less and less close and were akin to emotionally distant roommates by their marriage imploded in June.
Spending more and more time alone, his drinking started to get out of hand while Tori spent most of her time with the children.
He said: And then I just isolated more and more and more and she isolated with the kids. We were roommates.
‘Rarely, rarely, rarely did we eat together. We’d sit down and have a family meal but it was always disjointed.
‘It made me feel worse because I knew I was a big part of [the problem] and I was at a place where I felt there was nothing I could do about it.
‘Add in the fact that we’re not sleeping in the same bed – it’s like docking your iPhone at night. If you don’t dock your iPhone at night, you wake up with a dead battery,
‘I believe that the marital bed is the docking station for your relationship. Where you connected each other. It’s where you download information. It’s where you spend time together.
‘It’s where you’re intimate, it’s where you love. You laugh and you cry. So that’s gone. The relationship suffers greatly, greatly.
‘When you’re in a roommate situation and there’s no connection or intimacy, what do you expect is going to happen?’
Dean added: ‘I’ve never been so lonely in the same house with six other people, never been so lonely in my life.
‘I didn’t know how to get out of the situation I was in. I was hurting. I was heartbroken. I was depressed. I hated myself. I didn’t want to live.’
By June, Dean had hit rock bottom. ‘I would wake up angry that I woke up and I have these five, six beautiful kids in my life, but I was so dark and hopeless, I couldn’t see that.’
He said Tori again tried to help but found it hard to talk about his drinking. ‘She came from just such a place of love and wanting me to be healthy and happy,’ he said.
‘It was co-dependence. She put my wellbeing well ahead of hers. She loved me so much that she didn’t really want to tell me how it was affecting her, although I could see it in her face.
‘But again, I was so selfish that it was like, okay, note that, but never mind. Move on.’
Finally, in June, after drunkenly posting about their marriage, Tori told him he needed to go to treatment.
‘And she helped find Harmony Place and got me in here,’ Dean revealed.
He began with a detox while moving Tori and the children to a friend’s house in Pasadena after their rented Hidden Hills home developed a mold problem.
Tori was photographed at the Pasadena home on June 22, while Dean spent 15 days clearing out the rental before entering rehab where he stayed for 40 days.
Now living in a sober living home in Woodland Hills that he shares with eight other recovering alcoholics, Dean says he is almost ready to move out and resume his life again.
That newly sober life includes his six-week-old relationship with Calo, 33, who he met through a joint project at charity Conscious Community Global where she works as an account manager.
Tori, meanwhile, has got herself sorted out following a nomadic summer – which Dean says is entirely due to her own efforts and achieved with no help from Candy.
He said: ‘Tori’s very resourceful. She’s a survivor. She always lands on her feet. And like I said, she is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.
‘She’s dedicated to our children, and she’s dedicated to her craft.’
Her new life also includes a new man, advertising agency CEO Ryan Cramer who she was photographed kissing last month.
Despite both having new partners, the pair have begun communicating again and Dean says he hopes he will get to see his children soon and Tori herself – none of whom he has seen since dropping them off in Pasadena in June.
He told DailyMail.com he still loves Tori and will forever, adding that ‘life just happened to us’ and brought their fairytale to an end.
Dean said: ‘Life happens. It’s tough having kids. It’s tough living in this town, tough, having financial problems.
‘It’s just really tough. I’m not making excuses. I certainly had my hand in it in the dissolution of the relationship. But yeah, hasn’t been easy. Nothing in life is easy.’