Candy Spelling's Challenge to Tori: 'Call Me, Write Me'
The Wife of Late TV Producer Aaron Spelling Seeks to Mend Broken Relationship with Daughter
By JESSICA HORNIG
April 14, 2009
After years of public family discord, Candy Spelling is reaching out to her daughter, Tori Spelling, on the Web. In a letter posted on Candy Spelling's Web site, the wife of late television producing legend Aaron Spelling and matriarch of a Hollywood dynasty, tells her daughter she's "stepping up."
"You haven't responded to my e-mails, phone calls and text messages," Candy, 63, wrote verbatim. "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 always wanted."
Candy Spelling told "20/20" co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas that she hasn't met her granddaughter, Tori Spelling's 10-month-old daughter, Stella.
"I would love to be close to my grandchildren," she said. "I'm the only grandparent that's living. So, I'm it. And, I've never even met Stella."
In her online letter, Candy Spelling 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."
"I'm stepping up," she wrote. "Call me, write me, text me."
She posted the letter in anticipation of Tori Spelling's second book release today. In "Mommywood," mother-of-two Tori Spelling dishes about what it's like to be a celebrity mom, and she describes a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship with Candy Spelling.
In one passage from "Mommywood" published in January on beverlyhills90210blog.com, Tori Spelling writes, "Mothers are supposed to think their children are gorgeous no matter what. What if I didn't? What if I'd inherited some mutated gene from my mother that caused us to feel nothing but disappointment in our offspring? Oh my God, was I destined to replicate the mistakes my mother made? Do all moms wonder what their children will look like? Or was I living in Mommywood?"
"Mommywood" arrives in bookstores two weeks after Candy Spelling's book, "Candyland." The two books were originally scheduled to be released on the same day. Candy Spelling spoke out for the first time March 27th on "20/20" about her complicated and very public relationship with her daughter, actress Tori Spelling.
CLICK HERE to read an excerpt of Candy Spelling's book.
Candy Spelling says she doesn't know why her relationship with her daughter is so rocky.
Last year, Tori Spelling told "20/20" that her very wealthy mother was not taking care of her children and grandchildren financially. Candy Spelling says that this is categorically untrue and that her grandchildren -- Stella and 2-year-old Liam -- are well taken care of and have trust funds set up in their names.
"We've always taken care of our children extremely well," she said. "I'm not saying [Tori Spelling is] lying. I'm just telling you what I have done.
Tori Spelling has spoken out about what it was like growing up a member of the famed Spelling dynasty. She told "20/20" about her famous father and the disappointment she felt when he died and left most of his multimillion-dollar fortune to her mother.
"I think part of me, in the back of my head, maybe hoped it would be different?" she said. "I didn't want to be that girl who needed, or wanted, my dad's money but…you know, just hoped." Candy Spelling wanted to share her side of the story.
In her new book, "Stories From Candyland," she speaks out about being a celebrity by marriage and a celebrity by motherhood.
"My mother always told me, 'Well, you know, you need to be seen but not, not heard.' And I realized I had a voice. And I needed to exercise that voice."
Spellings' Massive Mansion
When Candy Spelling and her late husband Aaron Spelling were building their Bel Air, Calif., mansion, she says she didn't understand just how big it would be.
"This house started getting bigger and bigger," she said. "Nobody said, 'Well, look how much square footage you're building.'"
Now Candy Spelling has put the 56,000 square foot home, The Manor, on the market for a reported $150 million, and she says even she doesn't know how many bathrooms it boasts.
"That's true. I don't want to know," she said with a laugh. "That means I'm buying a lot [of] toilet paper."
In 1968, Candy Marer, then 20 years old, married Aaron Spelling, 46, an up and coming television producer. Aaron Spelling is famous for some of the most beloved shows in television history, including "Charlie's Angels," "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island" and "Beverly Hills 90210."
Candy Spelling writes very candidly in her book about being what she calls a "trophy wife" to this very famous man. "I was not my own person. And I really didn't know that there was anything wrong with that."
In the early 1980s, Aaron and Candy Spelling spent a reported $45 million building their Los Angeles residence, The Manor. The six-acre compound has a pool, tennis court and exquisite gardens and features a 56,000-square-foot mansion that remains one of the largest single-family homes in California.
The house has a kitchen bigger than most restaurants, a breakfast room bigger than most dining rooms, a dining room bigger than most living rooms and a living room bigger than most houses. There's also a gift wrapping room, screening room, game room and a two-lane bowling alley. (For a virtual tour of the home's library, CLICK HERE, and foyer, CLICK HERE.)
And everywhere you look there are the family mementos, figurines and knickknacks she has acquired in the last 20 years.
In her book, Candy Spelling questions whether or not she may be a hoarder. She says she got the idea she might have a problem while watching an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
"I called my girlfriend up and I said, 'You've gotta watch this program. I am telling you, I think I'm a hoarder.'"
Her book takes three full pages to list what she calls "Candy Spelling's Collections."
Candy Spelling says she keeps all mementos because they remind her of the good times she and her husband had raising Tori and her brother Randy. She writes that she and Aaron were homebodies who preferred a night with the kids to any Hollywood party.
Tori Spelling's Bad Memories
In her first book, "sTORI telling," published in 2008, Tori Spelling says there were very few good times to remember and plenty of bad ones to forget. Candy Spelling says she chose not to read her daughter's book.
"A lot of my friends told me it was hurtful," she said.
Candy Spelling hopes this is a year of healing and moving on. She hopes to move out of The Manor at the end of the year. She will be moving into a new 17,000-square-foot apartment, an enormous space that is still only the size of the attic in The Manor.
"I'm not worried about leaving here," she said. "I'm just worried about, can I pack it all up? And what will I do with it?" She hopes she can fill The Manor with some happy memories before moving out after 18 years.
"I would hope that we would all spend a Thanksgiving, a Christmas, a holiday together, and maybe, at some point, all be together always."
ABC News' Christina Caron contributed to this report.