A version of this blog post first appeared on Tori Spelling's website, ediTORIal.
Here are two things you learn quickly living in the public eye. The first is that some publications are more reputable than others and they fact check their stories, while others write whatever story they want. The second is that most publicists will advise their clients: "Say 'No comment.' This will pass." And it usually does. Then, the next week the tabloid is telling lies about another celebrity.
Well, my publicists are as good as you can get and I consider them close friends. But this time I had to comment because this time I'm answering not as a celebrity, but as a mom.
What am I referring to? A hateful story on the cover of this week’s Star magazine claimed that Dean and I are divorcing, and made many horrible claims against my husband. Yes, the story will pass, but what won't pass is what happened in a local supermarket checkout line.
My son Liam is turning 6 in a couple weeks. His proudest achievement in his young life is that he is learning to read. That pride turned to sorrow thanks to Star magazine. Liam first spotted me on the cover, then Dad, and then a picture of himself and his three younger siblings. He was able to read two things out loud: the word DIVORCE (which he proudly sounded out), and the caption above his picture which read "Who will get the kids?"
He became terrified. I had to hurry him and his confused 4-year-old sister Stella out of the grocery store and into our car. By the time he was in his car seat, he was asking, "Why is someone getting us?? Where are you and Dad going?" He was anxiously biting his lower lip and his big blue eyes were filled with tears. My heart sank. How would I explain to my children that these writers -- who have never even met us but who claim to know the ins and outs of our relationship and have proudly put their names on this article -- are flat out writing lies?
I've always had shots taken at me. It's been almost 24 years since I became a public figure at age 16, starting with "90210." It's the downside to this business, but I've built up a pretty thick skin to the lies and trash-talking at this point.
My children are another story. Keep them out of it! I wonder if any of those writers have children? How would they feel if their child had to read something so hurtful and confusing? How do they sleep at night knowing they've potentially emotionally scarred, and if nothing else, terrified innocent children?
Driving home I repeatedly told my children, "That magazine doesn't know us. Daddy and I are very happy and in love. There will be no divorce and all of us will remain together as a family." Stella just kept saying, "But then why is it on the magazine? Magazines are true."
I'm lucky my two oldest couldn't read the fine details of the article where horrific claims were made against my husband, their Dad.
Again, you want to make inaccurate low blows at someone, Star? Go for me! I can handle it. I always have. But don't do it to a man that has done nothing but loved me and our children. He has stood by me during the good times and held my hand through the darkest moments of my life. I'm so blessed to have him as my partner in life and love and he is the best father to our four children.
I'm aware that all that matters is that we know our truth. It’s just sad that our actual happiness would probably be boring to Star magazine. What kind of society have we become where love stories and fairy tales are dead? That others’ failure is what people crave and what sells? That’s not the world I want my children growing up in.
Next week Star will be reporting about some other couple splitting or someone having a breakdown and this will have "passed."
And, Dean and I will continue to love each other and our babies, and be grateful for the lives we have. I know that. But, our children should never have to bear witness to lies and fabrications that affect their lives so that a media outlet can make money. That will always be wrong!
Tori Spelling is an actress, reality TV star, dedicated crafter and mom of four. You can read more from Tori on her website, ediTORIal.