Why Dean McDermott Says a Pig and a Chicken Played a Role in Tori Spelling Marital Problems

Dean McDermott recounted how his marriage with Tori Spelling broke down over family pets, including their pig and chicken: "I created a healthy boundary for myself and I said, 'I can't do this.'"

By Gabrielle Chung Nov 15, 2023 9:16 PMTags
Watch: Dean McDermott "Didn't Want to Live" Ahead of Tori Split

Dean McDermott is looking back at how his 17-year marriage with Tori Spelling turned fowl.

The Chopped Canada host opened up about the marital struggles he and the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star faced prior to their breakup, sharing that had been "having problems" for a while but "it just got worse" when they started sleeping in separate bedrooms due to the family's large brood of pets, which included several dogs, a pig and a chicken.

"We know dogs have accidents, and our particular dogs were having a lot. And I just couldn't deal with that anymore," McDermott recalled in an interview with the Daily Mail published Nov. 15. "So, I created a healthy boundary for myself and I said, 'I can't do this. I can't live and sleep in this kind of condition.'"

At one point, the 56-year-old noted, the pig was sleeping in the couple's bed and the chicken was living in their bathroom.

"I drew that boundary for myself and moved to another room and things just progressed from there," he shared. "There were no efforts to sort of remedy the problem to get back into the room."

2023 Celebrity Breakups

During that time, McDermott said he was also struggling with an alcohol addiction that further distanced himself from Spelling, with whom he shares kids Liam, 16, Stella, 15, Hattie, 12, Finn, 11, and Beau, 7.

"I just isolated more and more and more and she isolated with the kids," he remembered. "We were roommates. Rarely, rarely, rarely did we eat together. We'd sit down and have a family meal but it was always disjointed." 

Acknowledging that he played "a big part" in the fallout, McDermott—who is also dad to son Jack, 25, with ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace—said he and Spelling, 50, lacked intimacy toward the end of their relationship.

Andrew J. Cunningham/Getty Images

"I believe that the marital bed is the docking station for your relationship," he explained. "It's where you're intimate, it's where you love. You laugh and you cry. So that's gone. The relationship suffers greatly, greatly. When you're in a roommate situation and there's no connection or intimacy, what do you expect is going to happen?"

The Due South alum added, "I've never been so lonely in the same house with six other people, never been so lonely in my life. I didn't know how to get out of the situation I was in. I was hurting. I was heartbroken. I was depressed. I hated myself."

McDermott announced his breakup from Spelling in June, writing in a since-deleted Instagram post that the pair "decided to go our separate ways, and start a new journey of our own."

"We will continue to work together as loving parents," he wrote at the time, "and guide and love our children through this difficult time." 

Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP via Getty Images

Since then, McDermott sought treatment for his addiction issues with help from Spelling. As he put it, "She came from just such a place of love and wanting me to be healthy and happy."

The Pretty Hard Cases actor has also seemingly moved on with account executive Lily Calo, as the pair were seen holding hands in October. Meanwhile, Spelling was recently linked to photographer Ryan Cramer after the two enjoyed a PDA-packed date in Los Angeles.

E! News has reached out to Spelling's rep for comment on McDermott's remarks about their marriage but hasn't heard back.

Keep reading to see the couple's family photos through the years.

Festive Fam

Tori and Dean's kids Liam, Stella, Hattie, Finn and Beau enjoyed a visit to Santa's Secret Workshop in 2017.

Spooky Season

The family had a scary good time at a Halloween celebration in 2019.

Giddy Up

Tori and Dean took their daughter Stella and son Liam to the Bony Pony Ranch in California in 2009.

Ice to Meet You

The family hit the ice rink in 2013.

Summer Squad

With school out at the time, Tori and Dean had some summer fun with their children at the premiere of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation in 2018.

Story Time

Dean and Liam sat down to read Tori's Uncharted TerriTORI during its 2010 release.

Hit the Stage

Stella and Liam got a taste of the spotlight—literally!—when they joined their parents onstage at a Yo Gabba Gabba Live! show in 2011. 

Santa's Little Helpers

Tori and Dean brought their kids to meet Santa Claus in 2014.

Blended Family

Dean's son Jack from his marriage to Mary Jo Eustace joined the family for Christmas celebrations in 2015.

Best Choice

The clan rolled up in style to the 2019 Teen Choice Awards in August 2019. 

Welcome to Mommywood

Tori and Dean's oldest kids Liam and Stella were on hand to celebrate the release of the actress' Mommywood book 1in 2009.

One Cool Baby

Little Hattie looked so cool in her shades at the release of her mom 2012 book celebraTORI.

'Tis the Season

 Stella, Beau and Hattie helped spread holiday cheer with their parents at a disco-themed Christmas party in 2019.

Next Level Outing

The family attends the Hollywood premiere of Jumanji: The Next Level in2019. 

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