The names – Canadian TV personality Mary Jo Eustace and her actor husband, Dean McDermott – were not well-known in the U.S., but their split made headlines, because the woman McDermott left his wife for was: Tori Spelling.
Now, Eustace has written about the moment her husband told her he was leaving in The Other Woman, a new anthology featuring stories from 21 women about love and betrayal.
The mother of two spoke to PEOPLE’s Beth Perry about her decision to go public. “The experience is so overwhelming, and I am a writer,” says Eustace, 45, who also penned a comedy script based on her experience. “I needed some sort of outlet.”
She says that, despite rumors she was planning to write a tell-all book, that was never the plan: “I’ve done some talks about divorce and the grieving process and relating to other women, and that’s what I was interested in, not dishing on anything I happened to have found out throughout this experience.”
Eustace, who lives in Canada with kids Jack, 8, and Lola, 2, says of her essay in The Other Woman, “I thought it really captured what happened and it was very difficult to write, not fun to write.” The following excerpt also appears in the new issue of PEOPLE.
When The Other Woman Is Tori Spelling
When Dean called me from the set [of his TV movie], he told me how great he was getting along with his costar Tori Spelling. She was fun, caring and much hotter in real life. I assumed this was good. Before he left, jokes flew at the prospect of working with the daughter of a Hollywood mogul. I suggested he befriend her. “Who knows?” I laughed. It might be good for his career.
Now here he is, back. We’re on vacation and I’m wearing my bikini with saggy faded bottoms. I know something is wrong. “Have you met someone?” I ask. He nods yes. “Is it Tori Spelling?” He nods. “We’re soulmates,” he says. “She loves me unconditionally.”
“What conditions?” I scream. “You’ve only known each other three weeks.”
I look down at my baby daughter. “We just adopted a baby.” The phrase single mother pops up in my brain. I start to feel weightless as I cross the divide between together and alone.
“I’m not leaving the kids,” he says. “I’m leaving you.” I begin to sob. I actually begin to worry that maybe it’s all because I look fat. Maybe he was undecided, and this dreadful bikini sealed the deal.
(The Other Woman: Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal, featuring essays by Jane Smiley, Susan Cheever and others, is out June 13. Copyright © 2007 by Victoria Zackheim. Reprinted by permission of Warner Books.)