Tori Spelling Opens Up About Daughter Stella's 'Painful' Bullying Experience and Panic Attacks

Tori Spelling shares how 13-year-old daughter Stella's new modeling gig helped her overcome school bullying, which she says caused her to develop panic attacks at one point

Tori Spelling is sharing how her teenage daughter rediscovered her inner drive after experiencing bullying.

On Saturday, the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum shared images from a photoshoot her 13-year-old daughter Stella Doreen 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.

"How Stella got her groove back… thx to @petitenpretty - Her 1st modeling shoot as a teen girl," Spelling, 48, begins. "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."

stella mcdermott
tori spelling / instagram; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Spelling — who also shares Liam Aaron, 14, Hattie Margaret, 9½, Finn Davey, 8½, and Beau Dean, 4, with husband Dean McDermott — recalls that Stella was bullied in fifth grade but the "boy that bullied her and other girls & boys wasn't stopped." She says they even felt bullied by a staff member at their formal school.

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"I know i've talked bullying before. But, worse than that was the bullying she faced from her own principal," she writes. "With Stella's bullying came health issues. She developed headaches, stomachaches, panic attacks, & her asthma increased. Emotions can be pretty powerful & manifest into physical ailments. She missed a lot of school due to this. But, what did remain was her drive & passion for baking, cooking, & crafting."

"She wants to open her own bakery one day. ... She got her dream of being on @gordongram Master Chef. Except this principal said NO (SHE had to sign to allow her). Why? Bc your kids miss too much school. After all stella had been thru w/the boy this principal refused to expel, she wouldn't let Stella fulfill a day of her passion? So sad," says Spelling, who adds that she "begged the principal" to allow them to do the MasterChef opportunity.

"[The principal] finally said 'I'll sign if your family leaves this school next year'. Wtf? My 4 kids had all been there since kindergarten. Stella was graduating next year!" the mom of five says. "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!"

Tori Spelling and Stella
FOX Image Collection via Getty

Spelling adds 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!"

"Your fire is back @stella_mcdermott08 You are a fierce female. So proud of U Buggy!" she concludes.

In February 2020, Spelling opened up about how Stella and Liam "have been thru so much bullying" that she felt she could "no longer not share and express ourselves."

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"Between her last year at her elementary school or the 1st year at her middle school this human has endured enough bullying for a lifetime," the actress wrote of her older daughter at the time. "Her old school in Encino, we were told she is acting like 'patient zero' and 'she's playing the victim' & 'we are talking to the parents of that said bully' and 'he is trying to change.' He never did! Never any consequences for his actions towards my daughter and other kids."

She said they moved Stella to another school, but that didn't change matters, according to Spelling.

"This time, my daughter was bullied so bad (including comments about her weight and sexual things he said that my daughter didn't even know about)," she wrote. "This school did the right thing and expelled the boy but the damage had been done."

Spelling shared a heartbreaking note about the toll the bullying has taken on Stella, revealing that "she now associates her education with boys that have been so horrific to her."

"She wanted to empower others girls and be a business leader," the star continued. "She now has panic attacks and doesn't want to return to school. This girl, 2 years ago told me she wanted to be President or work to empower women daily."

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