Jon Kopaloff/WireImage; torispelling/Instagram
Tori Spelling’s daughter Stella McDermott is a middle-school graduate, a major achievement in more ways than one, the actress says.
On Tuesday, 49-year-old Beverly Hills, 90210 alum celebrated the moment with a heartfelt Instagram post.
“Stella McDermott GRADUATES!!” Spelling wrote alongside a photo of 14-year-old Stella, a nod to her 90210 character Donna Martin, whose friends yelled “Donna Martin graduates!” while protesting school officials banning Donna from graduation for drinking during the prom.
Commemorating the “bittersweet” milestone, Spelling said the teen graduated despite all of the obstacles she faced along the way.
“So proud of how hard she fought to graduate amongst bullying, COVID, adversity, migraines, severe anxiety, and sadly teachers and counselors who didn’t believe she could do it all in time to graduate…she proved them all wrong!” added Spelling. “So beyond proud but I still look up at that stage and see my tiny little buggy running around.”
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The star — who also shares Liam Aaron, 15, Hattie Margaret, 10, Finn Davey, 9, and Beau Dean, 5, with husband Dean McDermott — saluted Stella’s “drive” and “kind spirit”, telling her, “You can do absolutely anything you want to do!love you @stella_mcdermott08 with all my heart and soul bff.
In July, Spelling opened up about Stella’s “painful” bullying experience and panic attacks. Spelling shared images from a photoshoot Stella did with Petite ‘n Pretty for the beauty brand’s back-to-school campaign. In the Instagram caption, Spelling explained why the moment was a triumph, recalling how her child felt bullied at school and eventually overcame the situation.
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“How Stella got her groove back… thx to @petitenpretty – Her 1st modeling shoot as a teen girl,” Spelling began. “Stella is an amazing human. Heart of gold & always leads w/kindness. She’s innovative & creative and full of fire. Which is why as a mom it was so painful to see a young woman’s fire dimmed bc of bullying.”
She shared that Stella was bullied in fifth grade but the “boy that bullied her and other girls & boys wasn’t stopped,” adding that they even felt bullied by a staff member at their formal school.
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She spoke on Stella’s dreams to one day open her bakery, sharing that Stella had an opportunity to compete on master chefhowever, Stella’s principal at the time refused to sign a required release “because your kids miss too much school.”
Spelling said after “beg[ging]”, the principal changed her mind on one condition: that Stella and Spelling’s other children leave the school, which they had attended since kindergarten, the following year.
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“I agreed in tears so Stella could do Master Chef. Well, Stella WON!! I had never seen her confidence like I did that day! Her [fire] was back. That’s the lesson we should be teaching! To encourage our kids to find their individual passions & thrive!” Spelling recalled.
She added that “sadly, principal followed thru” and Stella “would never graduate with her class. I wish I’d had the strength to challenge them! Taken a note from 90210 ‘Stella McDermott Graduates!’ But, I didn’t. Power and $ won. But, thx to @petitenpretty Stella got her powerful & fulfilling ‘school’ moment! Her confidence now soaring!”