Dean McDermott wants to remain close with his children despite his split from estranged wife Tori Spelling, a source exclusively tells Us Weekly.
“He wants access to the kids and he wants to set a good example,” the insider explains, noting that McDermott, 57 — who claims he hasn’t seen his kids since June — also hopes to stay in “good graces” with Spelling, 50, and the rest of her family.
McDermott first announced his separation from the Beverly Hills, 90210 star via social media earlier this summer, but quickly deleted the post shortly after. The former Chopped Canada host later revealed what led him to share news of their split in an interview with the Daily Mail earlier this month.
“My worst memory with Tori is that last fight when I was drunk and angry. It was the night that I raged against her and the children and I saw the light, the final flicker of the flame go out in her eyes,” he told the outlet. “I posted that because I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what to do. I had burned everything down yet again.”
McDermott shared that he was at his “wit’s end” at the time, “drinking” and “into my pills.” He recalled taking “six of seven Ambien” after posting the breakup message “in the hopes that I would not wake up.”
While Spelling never publicly commented on the post, McDermott claimed that she was “traumatized” and “totally caught off guard” by the statement. He added that their five children — Liam, 16, Stella, 15, Hattie, 11, Finn, 10, and Beau, 5 — were “particularly devastated.” (McDermott is also dad to son Jack, 25, who he shares with ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace.)
McDermott attended a 40-day stint in rehab at Harmony Place after posting the Instagram message, which McDermott said Spelling helped him find. The pair have since called it quits. McDermott — who currently lives in a sober house with eight other men — has been spotted kissing Lily Calo on multiple occasions, while Spelling has moved on with Ryan Cramer.
A second source tells Us that prior to their split, McDermott and Spelling’s relationship was “very volatile” and “hit a point where friends didn’t like going over to see the” due to McDermott often getting “loud” and “scary.”
McDermott, for his part, told the Daily Mail that he has “inflicted a lot of damage and pain” on Spelling and that his behavior while drunk would leave his family “petrified.”
“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,” he explained. “It ended up with me drinking a fifth of tequila every night, seven days a week, and a handful of narcos 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.”
Earlier this month, a third insider told Us that McDermott and Spelling — who tied the knot in 2006 — were on “fairly icy terms” following their breakup but were “trying to stay cordial” for the family. Spelling has still not commented on the separation but did take to social media to share a message of strength with her fans.
“I believe in always looking forward and keeping your eye on the prize,” she wrote via Instagram on November 8. “But, this morning I took a pause for self-reflection. It’s important to look back once in a while and remind yourself how far you’ve come and what a badass you truly are.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.