Tori Spelling’s ex-husband has laid bare the moment the actress broke down in tears after finding out that her famed TV producer father Aaron Spelling was leaving the vast majority of his fortune not to her, but to her estranged mother Candy.
The late TV producer passed away in 2006 from stroke complications, famously leaving the majority of his estimated $600 million fortune to his wife Candy Spelling, while Tori, now 50, received a relatively meager sum of just $800,000.
Now, in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Charlie Shahnaian – who was in a relationship with Tori from 2002 to 2005 – has recalled Tori’s devastated reaction to the news that her father was not passing down his vast wealth to her.
According to Charlie, 58, Tori learned about her father’s plans for his will several years before his death, with the former actor recalling how his then-girlfriend broke down sobbing when she got the news.
‘When she found out about the will, and the terms of the will, she was so upset,’ he recalled.
According to Charlie, much of Tori’s devastation over the will came because she knew that it meant her mother would be able to exert ‘control’ over her life via her finances.
‘She was crying and feeling upset, not about the money, but about what it meant that was structured in such a way,’ he went on.
Tori Spelling’s ex-husband Charlie Shahnaian has revealed the actress’s tearful reaction to her father’s will
Aaron Spelling, pictured with Tori and his wife Candy Spelling in 2006, was a legendary Hollywood producer with an estimated $600 million fortune
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Charlie recalled the moment that Tori began sobbing when she learned that she wouldn’t inherit millions from her TV mogul father
Charlie recalled how he reminded Tori that they had discussed living a simple life away from the bright lights in an attempt to reassure her that the money wasn’t something she needed.
‘I said, “Remember, you once said you would live with me in a log cabin in Montana.” She’s crying and she says, “I know, but I thought I’d do it with my money.” She had a great sense of humor about it, yet there’s a real pain in there about that.’
Reflecting on the way that the Beverly Hills, 90210 producer chose to structure his will, Charlie – who never saw the will – added: ‘From what I understand, it was his hope was that it would bring Tori closer to her mom because it would require a connection between them.’
While Tori did not inherit her father’s fortune, Candy has since claimed that she’s set up trust funds for her daughter’s children – and Charlie says he believes there is a trust set up for the actress and her brother Randy that they will one day inherit, but only when Candy gives the go-ahead.
He noted that the pair will only receive what is left ‘remaining’ in the trust, suggesting Candy still has control over that money, too.
‘And from my understanding of it, the money is in a trust and she still gets it someday,’ Charlie continued. ‘Her and her brother will still get what’s remaining in the trust.’
The former actor also opened up about Tori’s struggles with her perception as a rich heiress, recalling a moment when the actress ‘collapsed crying’ when the doorman at her home made a joke about Charlie’s ‘beat-up old car’.
‘I was driving a beat-up old Nissan Sentra and we were out on a date,’ he explained. ‘We were coming back to the house in my car and the doorman opened the door and said something like, “Miss Tori, what are you doing in this car? You should be in a limousine.
‘I kind of took it for the joke it was meant to be but it really angered her and hurt her. She just completely collapsed crying.
‘It was so much bigger than this [one moment]. It was like this cathartic cry of just, “This is my life. This is going to ruin our relationship. This is what everyone thinks of me. That I’m this person and I’m not.
‘It really, really hurt her.’
The actor’s comments come as it has been reported that Tori has fallen on hard times amid her split from her husband-of-18-years, Dean McDermott.
The star was also recently forced out of her home due to mold in May, before DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that she’d been spotted living in an RV with her five children in recent weeks, having previously spent the night in a $100-a-night motel.
Tori had a rocky relationship with her author, theater producer, and philanthropist mother Carole Gene ‘Candy’ Spelling, and acclaimed film and TV producer dad Aaron
Tori’s family famously owned the second largest home in Los Angeles – a 56,500-square-foot estate that had a total of 123 rooms – including 14 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms
It also had a 20-seat movie theater, gym, bowling alley, game room, nightclub, wine cellar, and barbershop and sat on five acres of land
Looking back to Tori’s troubled relationship with money during their four years together, Charlie explained: ‘When we were together, she didn’t really have a team of people handling things for her. On her own, she isn’t good with money. I’m sure she’s grown in that regard but it was something that she was not trained to do.’
He then explained: ‘What people don’t appreciate about Tori is that since she was 15 years old, she supported herself. Sure, she had help getting the job but now we look around and everybody has help in Hollywood getting jobs.
‘She only lived in The Manor as a teenager for two years, if that. She supported herself since. She was out on her own working. She worked on 90210 for 28 episodes a season and she made at least one TV movie every year.
‘She worked hard, she worked her little butt off. She didn’t save any of the money, because she wasn’t brought up to understand that.’
Charlie then joked about the simple ways in which the star would blow through money as he recalled: ‘She knew that she had terrible spending sprees. We had racks of clothes everywhere.
‘Some of them would be clothes that designers sent, but they don’t send it to you for free. You have to send it back if you don’t want it. But she never sends it back and then we would get charged for them.’
Indeed, Tori has previously been open about racking up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, which she attributed to ‘bad shopping habits.’
She then explained the source of her financial struggles in her 2013 book, Spelling It Like It Is.
‘It’s not my fault I’m an uptown girl stuck in a midtown life. I was raised in opulence. My standards are ridiculously high. We can’t afford that lifestyle, but when you grow up silver spoon it’s hard to go plastic,’ she wrote. ‘It’s no mystery why I have money problems. I grew up rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. I never knew anything else.’
The mother-of-five continued: ‘Even when I try to embrace a simpler lifestyle, I can’t seem to let go of my expensive tastes. Even when my tastes aren’t fancy, they’re still costly. I moved houses to simplify my life, but lost almost a million dollars along the way.’
Back in April 2020, the star had money ‘seized’ from her bank account in April 2020, after being ordered by a court to pay more than $88,000 in unpaid credit card debt.
Charlie was in a relationship with Tori from 2002 to 2005; pictured with their dog Mimi in Massachusetts
The pair tied the knot in July 2004 during a million dollar wedding held at the family’s mansion; pictured at their bridal shower in Massachusetts
Looking back to Tori’s troubled relationship with money during their four years together, Charlie explained: ‘On her own, she isn’t good with money’; pictured together in Hawaii
Now reports claim the star been forced the star to ‘downgrade’ her summer vacation plans with her children due to financial strains.
The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum was photographed exiting an RV at a campground in Ventura County, California with her kids, Liam, 16, Stella, 15, Hattie, 11, Finn, 10, and Beau, six, last week.
It also came after they were first pictured staying in a $100-a-night roadside motel earlier this month.
Charlie insisted the fact Tori and her brood were living in a trailer was a sign of the star’s ‘resilient’ nature when it came to tackling challenges in life.
‘Tori’s got an incredible resilience,’ he began. ‘If things get down, she works that phone, she works those emails. I think she knows that about herself, that she thrives in those circumstances.’
Charlie continued: ‘I don’t think she’s got this fear that “I won’t survive, that I will end up at rock bottom”. I think she says, “I’ll do what it takes and I can do it”. She’s not afraid to make a deal. She’ll take that challenge and almost immediately finds the way to work it.’
He then added: ‘She knows how to make lemonade out of lemons.’
As for the speculation that Tori might have deliberately set up the RV situation to help make a return to reality TV, Charlie admitted he found it hard to believe she would be doing it as a publicity stunt.
Tori and her children have been pictured staying in a camper van parked off a busy road in California
It came after the brood were spotted spending time at a $100-per-night motel
Tori has been making the best of things, amid reports of financial difficulties that culminated in the actress taking her five kids on an RV vacation this summer
The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum has been sharing pictures from the trip with her kids, Liam, 16, Stella, 15, Hattie, 11, Finn, 10, and Beau, six
He stated: ‘I wouldn’t call it a stunt. I would think that she’s been incredibly smart. I think she has inherited her dad’s ability to tap into what makes good television. He did it in nighttime soap opera, dramatic form and she’s been really successful doing it through reality programming. If that is what she wants, I think she’s smart for doing it.
‘I don’t know if that’s what she’s doing but she’s been very comfortable about opening up her life to others. If this is what’s really happening in her life… I don’t think she would manufacture this, take her kids out of the home and put them in an RV, unless it was what was the best thing for them at that time.’
He added: ‘Going into an RV might be just a fun vacation. It might be a fun way to make the best of a bad situation.’
Tori tied the knot with actor and writer Charlie in July 2004 during a million-dollar wedding held at the family’s mansion – but after a year of marriage, the relationship came to a screeching halt amid rumors that she had cheated on her husband with Dean McDermott.
The actress and Dean met on set of the Lifetime movie Mind Over Murder in 2005, while he was also married to someone else, and she later confessed to having an affair with him.
She and Charlie separated in October 2005, and their divorce was finalized in April 2006. Within one month, she and Dean got married.
On June 16, Dean revealed in a since-deleted Instagram post that he was parting ways with Tori after 18 years of marriage.
Charlie admitted he had been ‘surprised’ that the pair’s relationship appeared to be ending after so many years together.
Tori and Charlie separated in October 2005 amid rumors that she had cheated with Dean McDermott; pictured together on holiday
On June 16, Dean revealed in a since-deleted Instagram post that he was parting ways with Tori after 18 years of marriage
He stated: ‘My reaction to it is that, unless things are so horrible for both of them, I really hope they can work it out because there are five kids and some of them are quite young. I hope that they wouldn’t enter this lightly.
‘In regards to how it started out, I know the question that people have is, “do you think this is karma?” I don’t believe in karma, I believe in grace. I believe that grace is undeserved. Although I do believe that if you live a certain way, certain things are bound to happen. But I don’t believe it’s a spiritual karma on her.’
Sharing his message of support for his famous ex, Charlie stated: ‘I’m rooting for Tori. I want her to know that I’m rooting for her. Just because things don’t end well in a relationship with time and with healing, and in my case, with faith, you can come to a place where that love is all that remains.
‘I’m rooting for her success. I know she’s got it in her to rise up to another level, and to use her circumstances to create something wonderful.’