Jon Kopaloff/WireImage; torispelling/Instagram
Tori Spelling’s daughter Stella McDermott is graduating from college, a major achievement in more ways than one, the actress says.
Tuesday, 49 Beverly Hills, 90210 alum celebrated the moment with a heartfelt Instagram post.
“Stella McDermott GRADUATES!!” Spelling wrote alongside a photo of Stella, 14, winking at her 90210 character Donna Martin, whose friends shouted “Donna Martin graduates!” while protesting school officials forbidding Donna from graduating for drinking during prom.
Commemorating the “bittersweet” milestone, Spelling said the teenager graduated despite all the obstacles she faced along the way.
“So proud of how hard she fought to graduate amid bullying, COVID, adversity, migraines, severe anxiety, and sadly, teachers and counselors who didn’t think she was. ‘She could do anything in time to graduate…she proved them all wrong!’ spelling added. “So beyond proud, but I still look up to this stadium 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 – hailed the ‘drive’ and ‘caring spirit’ of Stella, telling her: “You can do absolutely anything you want to do! i love you @stella_mcdermott08 with all my heart and soul bff.
In July, Spelling opened up about Stella’s “painful” bullying experience and her 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… thanks to @petitenpretty – Her first modeling shoot as a teenager,” Spelling began. “Stella is an amazing human. A heart of gold and always leads with kindness. She is innovative, creative and full of fire. That’s why as a mother it was so painful to see the fire in a young woman mitigated by intimidation.”
She shared that Stella was bullied in fifth grade, but “the boy who bullied her and other girls and boys was not arrested,” adding that they even felt bullied by a staff member of their formal school.
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She spoke about Stella’s dreams of one day opening her bakery, sharing that Stella had the opportunity to compete on Chefhowever, Stella’s manager at the time refused to sign a required release “because your children are missing school too much”.
The spelling is said after “beg[ging]“, the principal changed her mind on one condition: that the other children of Stella and Spelling leave the school, which they had been attending since kindergarten, the following year.
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“I accepted in tears so that Stella could do Master Chef. Well, Stella WON!! I had never seen her confidence like I did that day! [fire] was back. This is the lesson we should teach! To encourage our children to find their individual passions and thrive!” Spelling recalled.
She added that “unfortunately the principal followed” and Stella “would never graduate with her class. I wish I had the strength to challenge them! Took a note of 90210 ‘Stella McDermott graduates!’ But I didn’t. Power and money won. But, thanks to @petitenpretty Stella had her powerful and fulfilling ‘school’ moment! Her confidence is now skyrocketing!”