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Tori Spelling: ‘It’s about family’

The actress talks about being a mom, her new reality TV series "Tori & Dean: Inn Love" and more.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

There’s something about having a first child that lends perspective to life — at least that’s the way it’s been for Tori Spelling.

Until her son Liam arrived six months ago, Spelling’s life had been, as a British newspaper put it, as melodramatic as the prime-time soap operas — like “Dynasty” — her late father, the prolific television producer Aaron Spelling, made so much money producing.

All of that’s changed, she told TODAY’s Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb. “He is the best thing that could have happened to our family,” she said. “When you have a baby, it just puts everything into perspective. Any miscommunications, any ups and downs, you realize it’s about family.”

Spelling’s family had had their share of those. The former star of “Beverly Hills, 90210” has been disinherited by her father and estranged from her mother because she left her husband of 14 months, Charlie Shanian, late in 2005 and, while they were still married, declared her intention to elope with Canadian actor Dean McDermott, who was also still married to Mary Jo Eustace.

When her father died on June 23, 2006, shortly after she and McDermott were married, she and her brother each reportedly received about $200,000 from his estate, estimated to be worth $500 million.

Spelling never complained, and her pregnancy with Liam reunited her with her mother, Candy, who was present at the birth in March. Published reports hold that Candy has established a $10-million trust fund for Liam.

With the money from her inheritance, Spelling and McDermott bought a bed-and-breakfast inn, Chateau La Rue, in Fallbrook, Calif., outside of San Diego. She and McDermott live at the inn and manage it, and have even turned it into a reality series, “Tori & Dean: Inn Love,” on Oxygen. Spelling says that at 34, life has never been better.

“It’s great,” she said, speaking of motherhood. “It’s more amazing every single day. It’s like getting to live life all over again through new eyes. It happens so fast. It seems like I just gave birth yesterday.”

She says her husband has been a terrific father. “Dean is so hands-on,” she said. “I’m very lucky. Before I can get up to get a bottle, he jumps up, he’s got a bottle in one hand, a diaper in the other.”

The B&B business has also been fun, although nowhere near as glamorous as she had envisioned.

“It’s a whole different world,” she laughed. “I had this whole dream-world vision of serving hors d’oeuvres and dressing beautifully. And the reality is I’m plunging toilets and making beds.”

She and McDermott also prepare meals, interact with their guests and sponsor events. “We have nine acres,” she said. “It’s beautiful. We have events — weddings, barbecues. That’s the fun part, getting to interact with people.”

Being a mother and a small-business owner hasn’t slowed her down. She had time to work in the film “Kiss the Bride,” due for release this fall, and also starred in the VH1 comedy “So NoTORIous,” which was a send-up of her own life.

Finally, she is working on a memoir to be published next year. According to her Web site,, “The currently untitled book will be an irreverent look at her family and childhood, marriages, motherhood and all that stems from a private life made public.”