For Tori Spelling, Motherhood Brings Renewed Career, Identity

Celebrity Mom Economics

"We are doing Old Hollywood," said Tori Spelling, describing the photo shoot happening in her living room. "I'm gonna be a very pregnant Jean Harlow."

A crew for her reality TV show "Home Sweet Hollywood" captured it all. It was Spelling's life imitating art imitating life -- just another day in Mommywood.

"Mommywood means being a mom, doing it like everyone else, but kind of being in that fishbowl," Spelling said.

Despite living in that bubble, Spelling insisted she was just a normal hands-on mom.

"We are backyard farmers," she said, giving a tour of her vineyard. "My ultimate dream would be to live on a farm. … It's not the way I grew up. I grew up in the lap of luxury."

You could say that. Spelling's father, Aaron Spelling, created "Fantasy Island," "Dynasty," "Charlie's Angels" and "Beverly Hills 90210." He built the biggest house in Los Angeles County.

Tori Spelling has spent her whole life in the white-hot glare of Hollywood's spotlight. Her divorce, her weight, her affair with a married man, and her family feud have filled the glossy pages of gossip magazines.

As have her money problems. When he died, in 2006, Aaron Spelling was worth $500 million. He left Tori $800,000. Tori, whose job starring in "90210" had ended with the show's demise, was deeply in debt.

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"I'm grateful that happened," Spelling said. "I think it gave me that extra push at a time when maybe I needed it."

The scandalous affair became a successful second marriage that has changed her life. With husband Dean McDermott, she turned it into a hit reality show, "Tori and Dean in Love."

With the show's success came financial stability. So the cameras kept rolling after she had her son, Liam, and daughter, Stella. The show was retitled "Home Sweet Hollywood," and it allowed the whole world to watch Spelling's intimate family moments.

"My first ultrasound with Liam … I looked back at that footage, and I was like, I have five chins," she said. "I panicked, and I was like, All right, calm down. This isn't '90210.' ... This is what you signed up [for]."

Her own appearance was one thing, but Spelling was criticized for putting her young children in the spotlight. Spelling said it's better than if she were still acting, with a nanny raising them. Or than if she had pushed them into being actors themselves. "To me it's a great [family] video that they'll have," she said.

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