Dean McDermott had a tough conversation with his and wife Tori Spelling's oldest son, Liam, when the 12-year-old started to be affected by negative comments from social media trolls. McDermott, 52, explained on Monday's episode of his Daddy Issues podcast that online commenters body-shamed Liam and his siblings on a post Spelling shared earlier this year promoting Entenmann's Little Bites baked goods.
"So she did this post about, you know, having a snack with the family, and all the moms got up in arms. 'You feed your kids this? ... No wonder they're obese,'" he recounted on the podcast. "So, Liam saw this. He saw it on my phone, and he took me aside, and he said, 'Dad, am I obese?' And I said, 'Dude, no. You are not obese.'"
“I took him aside, and I said, ‘Look, you know what? People are going to say horrible things. We’re in the spotlight, Mom and Dad. People know who you are, and people are going to say nasty things. So you can fire back at them, or you can stop and think and send them some love,'" McDermott continued. "'Because think of how horrible their life must be if they’re gonna take the time to go on Mom’s account, look at it, and write something horrible about somebody they don’t know. How messed up is their life? How sad are they? They probably live in their mom’s basement. They probably have no friends.’ So I said, ‘We can get mad about this, or we can take the high road, send them some love because they’re hurting.’"
"Liam’s 12, going on 30. So, you know, he really got it," he said.
The Slasher star used oldest child Jack, his 20-year-old son with ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace, as an example.
"I said, 'Look at your brother, Jack. Your brother Jack is 6-foot-4, and he’s, like, 170 [lbs]. He’s, like, beautiful, tall and thin, and he went through a phase where he wasn’t.’ I said, ‘Remember your brother Jack, when he went away to Canada and came back two months and he grew a foot?’ I said, ‘It’s in your DNA. Look at that. You’re not obese. You’re gonna sprout out, and you’re big and beautiful. You’re fantastic. Just never mind these haters.'"
While his calm words may have helped put Liam's mind at ease, McDermott's was another story.
"You know what, I went in the room, and I wanted to put my first through the f—ing wall," he said.
McDermott has four other children with Spelling, 46, who he has been married to since 2006: daughters Stella, 11, and Hattie, 7, and sons Finn, 6, and Beau, 2.