April 28, 2014 12:00 PM

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TORI & DEAN IN THERAPY ON TV

SEX-ADDICTION NIGHTMARE

TORI SPELLING IS NO stranger to baring the raw moments of her life for all the world to see. From the start, her marriage to actor Dean McDermott has been a public affair—featured in four memoirs and three reality shows starring the couple and their four young children. But when McDermott was caught in a cheating scandal last December and then entered rehab to treat “health and personal issues,” Spelling was uncharacteristically at a loss. “Dean’s cheating is completely devastating to her on so many levels,” a friend said at the time. “But she’s not going to give up without a fight.”

Not surprisingly, that fight is going to be very, very public. Spelling, 40, has decided to put her marital strife on television, airing her heartbreak in a new Lifetime reality show, True Tori, in which she stars as the wronged heroine. The six-episode docu-series, which premieres April 22, began filming just days after McDermott, 47, left rehab. “It was all Tori’s idea,” says a close friend. The past few months “have been an emotional roller coaster for her, and the fallout has been horrible,” adds another insider. Why put all that trauma on display? “The show is about wanting to get some control of the situation,” says the insider.

Clearly a little self-discipline is in order. During a counseling session filmed for the show, McDermott admits he “was out of control,” calling sex “an escape, just like drugs or alcohol.” That fessing-up, according to sources around the couple, is the only thing holding the badly strained marriage together. For Spelling, “if she can believe that his addiction has nothing to do with her, then maybe they can move on,” says the longtime friend. As for McDermott, “there’s no way he wants to be humiliated on television for cheating on his wife,” says the friend, “but he will do anything she says right now.”

Is Spelling relishing his televised torment? The answer is complicated. “Her absolute nightmare came true,” says the friend, adding that Spelling was vocal about concerns that her husband might one day be unfaithful. (The pair infamously fell in love while they were both married to other people.) But Spelling’s decision to film the experience, says the friend, “is not coming from someone who is in a solid, good place. Tori is very, very upset and angry. A part of her wants to completely humiliate him and make him suffer in front of millions of people. She wants him to truly feel the pain of what he did to her.”

Spelling sees herself as both the family’s breadwinner and a homemaker. Friends say she has long strived to be the perfect wife. Even as the pair had more children, insiders say the actress always paid special attention to her sex life with her husband. “Early on, their connection was a lot about sexual chemistry and experimenting,” says a McDermott source. “Dean would brag how perfect Tori was physically and how she turned him on.” Sex was “something that was really important to him, and she’s tried to accommodate that,” adds her friend. “But it’s not that fun to be adventurous [in bed] when you have four small children who need your attention at all hours of the day.”

Now, even Spelling herself admits that her efforts might have been for naught. “I can never give him enough sex. He’s never going to be happy with just me,” she confided to the therapist in the series, adding, “I’m really mad. I’m well aware that this might not have a happy ending.”

But as she faces the possibility of raising their children – Liam, 7, Stella, 5, Hattie, 2, and Finn, 1 – as a single mom, friends say Spelling is trying to get past the hurt and realizing that reconciling might be what’s best for everyone. “Tori doesn’t want to raise four kids by herself or for them to grow up with divorced parents,” says the friend. “She wants to be married to Dean, and she wants him to never have cheated on her. But of course, that’s not the case.”

Whatever happens next, it probably won’t play out behind closed doors. For better and worse, Spelling and McDermott’s personal drama has long been public property. While they thrash through their issues, McDermott is currently living at the family home “for the kids,” says a Spelling source, although the couple do not consider themselves together. “To her, going through this incredibly emotional and raw phase in her life on a reality show is a good solution. And it might be the right decision for her,” says her friend. After all, “if he does this for her and is truly remorseful, then maybe on some level she can forgive him.”

A Harsh Dose of Reality

Coping with McDermott’s cheating scandal “is going to be very difficult,” says an insider. “But Tori never talked about ending the marriage and wanting to break up the family.” By publicly sharing their efforts to salvage the marriage, “Tori wants to have some sort of justice,” adds the close friend. “He’s going to have to live through what he did in front of an audience.”

PDA and TMI

From Mexico to L.A., the couple have never held back when it came to their sexual atrraction. “They were so in love,” says a friend. “She was open to him introducing her to a new world.”

WHO IS THE REAL

STEPHEN COLBERT?

Church, charity and Shakespeare? While Stephen Colbert, 49, is best known for his egomaniacal blowhard on The Colbert Report, come 2015 – when he replaces David Letterman as the host of CBS’s Late Show – his true persona will be revealed. So who is this bespectacled man really? “Most Sundays you see him at church with his family,” says a neighbor in his quaint New Jersey town of Montclair, where he lives with Evelyn, his wife of 20 years, and their three kids. (The Northwestern University theater grad founded the town’s film festival in 2012.) Giving back is important to Colbert too: He donates over $1 million in proceeds from his Ben & Jerry’s flavor, AmeriCone Dream, to charity. Says Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless: “He’s a creative genius – and a gentleman.”

GWYNETH PALTROW & CHRIS MARTIN

LIFE AS AN UN-COUPLE

Skeptics of “conscious uncoupling” may be reconsidering. Two weeks after Gwyneth Paltrow, 41, and Chris Martin, 37, announced the end of their 10-year-marriage, the couple happily stepped out with their children Moses, 8, and Apple, 9, to Robert Downey Jr.‘s birthday party April 6 in L.A. “They held hands and were playful and laughing,” says a source. Two days later, Paltrow wished her son a happy 8th birthday by posting a photo of them that showed her wedding band. According to psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, who originated the term “conscious uncoupling” (but has not worked with the couple), a ring can be “a gesture that we are transitioning, not severing.” On April 12 the family celebrated Moses’s birthday at their L.A. home. “No one said this was an ugly situation,” says a source. “Showing themselves to be a family is very important to both of them, and that won’t change.”

GAME OF THRONES‘ JACK GLEESON

TV’S BADDEST BOY KING MOVES ON

SPOILER

ALERT!

Hours before #Joffreyisfinallydead began trending on Twitter, Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson walked into the Independent Theatre Workshop in Dublin for a chat with his first acting teacher, Gillian Oman. “He was in good form,” says Oman. “He said he had really enjoyed Game of Thrones, but he was done. He’s just focusing on his college work and enjoying his life.”

For three years Gleeson, 21, played King Joffrey Baratheon on HBO’s Thrones. On April 13 the loathed monarch met his end, foaming at the mouth after he was poisoned at his own wedding. (Karma, anyone?) While fans cheered his character’s demise, they weren’t thrilled about Gleeson’s retirement. The Cork, Ireland, native, who began acting at age 8, told Entertainment Weekly that he stopped “enjoying it as much as I used to.” Freed from Joffrey’s ruthless power-mongering, Gleeson is finishing his theology and philosophy degree at Trinity College. After that he’s not sure what’s next. “I wanted to be an academic,” he told EW. “But I’ve gone off that idea. The lifestyle is kind of lonely and isolated.”

Whatever he decides, his future will be a bright one. Says Thrones director Alex Graves: “He could start his own space program, cure cancer or end up onstage in Richard III. Or all three. Sky’s the limit.”

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