True Tori took a dark turn Tuesday.
In the second episode of the Lifetime docu-series, titled "The Truth Comes Out," Tori Spelling agreed to see a counselor with Dean McDermott, who was in rehab. The actress had seen Dr. Wexler solo since her late 20s, and the couple had seen her on and off since they tied the knot seven years ago.
"I'm ready to start dealing with it," the Mystery Girls star said.
"This is going to be hard for both of you because you each need to do something that you're very uncomfortable with. The thing that has to happen for you two to get past this is, Tori, you have to be able to tell Dean all the different feelings you have—sad, angry, bitter, resentful—as close to the moment you're having them as possible," Wexler said. "And Dean, you have to be able to listen with empathy and compassion. Don't defend why you did it. Just be there for her. There has to be room in your relationship for you to be able to be mad and hurt, and for you to be able to handle that."
McDermott, 47, was apprehensive at first, but he agreed that it was an important part of the healing process. "I'm scared to hear Tori's true feelings towards me," he admitted. "I'm so full of self-loathing to begin with, and now, I did what I did, and now that's at an ultimate high. Inside I feel like a rotten, twisted tree that all the leaves are dead off of." Hearing that, Spelling was fraught with fear. "Honestly, I've already shut down because I just feel like I want to protect him. I feel bad," she told Wexler. "I see his face and I feel how anxious he is. I can't express myself because it's gonna make him worse."
"Is it going to make you worse, Dean?" Wexler asked.
"Yeah, it's gonna make it worse," McDermott replied, "but I have to go through it."
In a taped confessional, Spelling admitted that she was wary of another breakdown. "Dean is in such a fragile emotional and mental state. I haven't been able to express my anger at him," the TV star said. "I don't want to send him spiraling, so I am scared. I'm scared to show him how angry I am."
"Would it help if I said that I'm in a much different place than I was?" he asked his wife. "I have been armed with a lot of tools. You don't have to protect me as much anymore." Wexler jumped in, adding, "Not only that, but he has support he never had before. So if he feels sad or like he wants to go drink or like he's a mess, he has all the people in his meetings and program that he can go call."
"I hear what you're saying," the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum said, "but if he comes home, then there are moments that something could happen to him and I don't feel comfortable."
McDermott swore on his "mother's grave" that he was feeling better.
"I think I'm pretty good at reading people and being intuitive, and I never thought for a second that he could go to that place," Spelling said. "And that changed in a moment, so..."
"Well, we're sitting here in the room where I had my breakdown," McDermott recalled. "And I've been looking at that crack in the window, and I remember looking at that crack that day, and while we were waiting for the EMTs, I was thinking, 'I've got a window of opportunity here'—no pun intended—'to kick that out, because it's already broken, and just dive out.' I didn't do it. But I mention that to show how far I had gone down the rabbit hole, and that the only way out was for me to leave this earth."
"And I sit here today, looking at it, and I know I will not take my life. My life means a lot to me right now, where it didn't for so many, so many years," McDermott said, his eyes welling up with tears. "My life means something today and my life means something because I'm getting the help I need and I'm surrounded by love and support. For the longest time I didn't deserve it, and now I'm just getting a little glimmer that I do deserve it. And that's what's gonna keep me alive. I'm trying to beat that into my head that on some level I do deserve it. I know I don't deserve to die; I deserve to live."
"That's huge. That's a massive change," Wexler noted. "That's a major difference for you."
Wexler then excused herself to speak to the crew. Neither the producers nor the network knew about McDermott's suicidal thoughts prior to that session. Spelling and McDermott, meanwhile, continued to discuss their issues. "Baby, I wanna come home," said McDermott, who sought treatment in January.
"That's not what I want to talk to you about," Spelling told him. "Are you okay talking about that on camera? I didn't tell them any of that. That wasn't part of this."
"I know, babe. But you know what? It's where I was. I'm being honest. And that's the whole reason that I even agreed to do this," McDermott explained. "I want to let people to know that if you're feeling like this, they don't have to do it. You don't have to take your life."
"I understand," Spelling said. "I just don't want you to feel I placed you in a position because I'm telling my story on this show, that you have to do that. Because even now I'm like, 'Is he thinking clearly that he's now admitting this and that he wants to say that?' Like, I don't even know if I'm okay with that."
"Babe, I understand," McDermott said empathetically.
"You don't understand," Spelling said, crying. "You can't understand what I went through that day."
"I can't," the father of five conceded. "You're right."
"Someone cheating on you, it's nothing in the whole perspective," said Spelling, mom to Liam, 7, Stella, 5, Hattie, 2,and Finn, 20 months. "Like, hearing all of a sudden that your husband was going to take his life, like, that's…so you have to understand, that was not something I thought needed to be addressed or talked about, because it was so f--king scary. So scary. Do you know?"
The couple then went into the hall to speak with producer Greg Goldman.
"I know it's not my story to tell—it's your story to tell—and I just want to make sure that you are completely comfortable, because it's something you don't have to talk about," Spelling told her hubby. "It's something you dealt with, it's in the past, it's private, you've moved on and it's been addressed."
"Babe, I feel like I can't see how it would hurt me in any way," he assured her. "I was broken."
Spelling, McDermott and Goldman then reentered the room to discuss what should happen next. "My concern is, where does this leave him professionally admitting to something like that?" Spelling asked.
"This is something that we have to notify legal about, and then I think, quite honestly, you have to be in a stable place right now in order to continue shooting," Goldman explained.
"I could sit here and tell you that it's not an issue, but I understand," McDermott said. "I get it."
Production was immediately halted as Lifetime was notified; a plan was put into place to ensure McDermott was stable. The Chopped Canada host also saw a psychologist to assess his mental health and to see if he could handle the strain of documenting this process. Later, an independent psychologist evaluated McDermott and determined that he was indeed able to continue filming.
"My breakdown, I wanted to disappear," McDermott admitted in a taped confessional. "I didn't want to feel what I was feeling all the time. I just thought, 'This is it. You can't get out of this.' I ruined everything great in my life, and I just thought, 'Tori deserves me to die.'"
Spelling addressed the intense counseling session—and her husband's surprising revelation—after returning home. "When I made the very personal decision to document this entire process and journey that we're going through, there was one thing that I wasn't comfortable sharing with everyone, and it was the fact that Dean wanted to take his own life," she said. "I didn't know how it would affect him personally, affect his career, but as long as he's comfortable sharing it, then I'm comfortable as well."
"I want to believe that Dean can change, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to trust him again," she continued. "But I need to find out if there's a way to rebuild that. Part of that is Dean coming home because we have to start the process of moving on together and seeing where this is going to go."
McDermott returned home just in time for Liam's party. "As a mom, having him with the kids today, especially with Liam on his birthday, that means a lot to me. It means everything to me," Spelling, 40, said. "On the other hand, I can't forget about what happened, and the resentment and the anger takes over. I don't know if love's enough. Maybe love doesn't always win. I don't know anymore."