You thought your divorce was bad! -

You thought your divorce was bad!

Her ex’s lovefest with Tori Spelling is on TV. Who better to write a post-split survival guide?


You thought your divorce was bad!If anyone has been goaded into writing a balls-to-the-wall avenging divorce memoir, it’s Mary Jo Eustace, who was tossed over in 2005 by her husband of 12 years, Dean McDermott, for Hollywood princess Tori Spelling. The skeezy details alchemized into tabloid gold: McDermott met TV mogul Aaron Spelling’s daughter on the set of a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Three weeks later, Eustace, a former co-star of the TV cooking show What’s for Dinner, was blindsided by McDermott leaving her: they had just moved to Los Angeles from Toronto for his acting career and were adopting a seven-month-old baby girl, a little sister for their eight-year-old son Jack.

It gets worse. Unlike other women who have to ferret out information about their ex, Eustace only had to turn on Entertainment Tonightto view his “truly, madly, deeply, Tori” tattoo or pick up People, which devoted six pages to the couple’s “magical” 2006 wedding in Fiji, to read her ex say of Spelling: “I’ve never had as much of a desire to get married and make a woman my wife as I’ve had with her.” Since then, there has been the Tori & Dean reality-show domestic lovefest with their two children on which to gag.

But Eustace is too clever to get caught in tell-all divorce memoir gridlock. Rather, she has strip-mined her misery putatively for others’ benefit in an often funny, sometimes poignant survival guide, Divorce Sucks: What to Do When Irreconcilable Differences, Lawyer Fees, and Your Ex’s Hollywood Wife Make You Miserable. Many will take comfort that their split isn’t half as horrific as Eustace’s—her daughter’s adoption was nearly derailed, pitying women offered her money on the street, and, in the ultimate humiliation, tabloids reported her age as 62 when she was 44.

Sitting on a white sofa in the cozy living room of the Spanish-style house she bought after returning to L.A. from Toronto last year, a tanned and toned Eustace appears mended from a split she confides was more hellish than she depicted: “It’s the tip of the iceberg.” Still, post-divorce-shock embers glow. She says remarriage isn’t something she wants and expresses relief that Jack, now 11, isn’t lured by his father’s lavish new life. He attended his half-sister’s first birthday party, she says, a blowout with 500 guests, $3,000 gift bags and make-your-own pottery stations: “He came home and said, ‘Whoa, this is not for me,’ and I said, ‘Thank God.’ ”

The book’s directive to “love your children more than you hate your ex” pre-empts overt dirt-slinging. But Eustace is a master of the pin-in-the-voodoo-doll jab, beginning with the cover line “My husband left me for Tori Spelling . . . (and you thought your divorce sucked).” She knows readers will expect some dish and she delivers, writing of her first meeting with Spelling, who showed up at her house wearing skin-tight jeans and thigh-high boots, her hair in pigtails. “Vulnerable and passive,” is how she recalls the woman of whom she writes was her “Hiroshima.” (In her memoir sTORI Telling, Spelling claims that she dressed down to meet the 12-years-older Eustace in a baggy sweatshirt and sneakers, and carried a kitchen knife in her purse.) And she shares that her son, his face shielded by an “X,” appeared on Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood without her permission.

Eustace knows that, like her ex, she’ll be accused of capitalizing on the Spelling connection. “It’s fair game,” she says. “But on the scale of exploitation I’ve been offered, it’s nothing.” Her public divorce has made her a “get” in the thriving spurned ex-wife industry. She turned down a chance to appear on Ex-Wives Club, a reality show co-hosted by Marla Maples, Shar Jackson and Angie Everhart. She even took a meeting with a big-name producer who pitched a reality show produced by Spelling and McDermott on which they’d help her look for love. “It’s so twisted and warped,” she says. She said no and warned she’d sue if Jack appeared on camera again. “It’s the most abhorrent thing to put your child in a reality show.”

Eustace insists she wants to move beyond the “Tori & Dean” loop, as difficult as that may be. She’s working on a new TV show, Second Acts, about women who redefine their lives, for the W Network. “I’d rather be remembered as a woman who survived a bad divorce than the woman who was left for Tori Spelling,” she says. But she’s shrewd enough to know the chances of that are slim (Divorce Sucks has already hit the tabloids: Star claimed Spelling “collapsed” over the “tell-all”): “As long as there’s Google, probably not.”


You thought your divorce was bad!

  1. "in the ultimate humiliation, tabloids reported her age as 62 when she was 44."

    Really? That's the *ultimate* humiliation?! That has to be one of the more shallow and disheartening lines I've read in some time.

  2. Right, you don't want anything to do with the ToriandDean brand but you write a tell-all-self-help divorce book…. yup someone needs attention ohh and that Spelling Money..

  3. "Divorce Sucks is not a tell-all book. It is a poignant, humorous and heartfelt look at how much emotional devastation there is after a divorce and how it impacts the families left behind. Mary Jo is an inspiration to women because she came through a HORRIBLE divorce with dignity and grace. She has every right to tell her side of the story publicly since her ex and Whori Spelling put the dissolution of their marriages in the tabloids. Tori made a lot of derogatory comments about Mary Jo that were completely un-called for and humiliating.
    I do believe Mary Jo will be the winner in the long run. She got rid of that lazy, vapid, self-absorbed, two -timing jerk of a husband and she knows a marriage built on the grave of another is never built on solid ground! Sixty percent of second marriages end in divorce. Keep on smiling Mary Jo! And thanks for writing such a GREAT book!

  4. Unless you have gone thru divorce and being left for another person, you have no idea how hard that is!

    My heart goes out to you to have to live thru that in the public eye. That happen to me too and it was horrible, so I can’t imagine doing it so so openly, my former husbands now wife actually, went to a reality show called “Taking it Off” is a canadian show about overweight people, and to me that was therapy, I realized for the first time how lucky I was to find myself in the position of rediscovering who I was and be free to enjoy my life… At first friends and family were worried about my kids and I being exposed to such a thing, but really, we all realized that it was a blessing in desguise!!

    Good luck to you and be happy! And always remember your son, because I am sure you want him to grow up whole and happy, so it is for him to decide if this dad is a good dad or not, I am glad that I have choseen that approach and has served my kids well, I am thankful to my former husband for the experience and you go girl, the world is yours to conquer!!

  5. Many divorces are not really the result of irreparable injury but involve, instead, a desire on the part of the man or woman to shatter the setup, start out from scratch alone, and make life work for them all over again. They want the risk of disaster, want to touch bottom, see where bottom is, and, coming up, to breathe the air with relief and relish again.

  6. McDermott is a creep. She's better off without him.
    And Spelling? Ugh.

  7. I think Mary-Jo needs to move on and not capitalize on Tori Spelling's name which is what she is doing. She seems to enjoy being nasty.

  8. I remember thinking that Mary Jo Eustace was a breath of fresh air when she was on a cooking show with Ken. I always wondered what happened to her and was sorry to learn of the divorce. I am delighted; however, that she has kept her irreverent sense of humour. I wish her and her children well and look forward to seeing her outlasting her ex in whatever she decides to pursue

  9. Good for you MaryJo – you were a riot on your cooking show. Hard to believe your ex would have left you for that fake blonde homely spoiled brat. Must have been some sort of sick adolecent fantasy of his – or her "money".
    Regardless – it's great to see you laugh at what happened & to capatalize on it. Good for you. To those who suggest it'w wronng for you to do so just don't have a sense of humour or fairness. Go for it!
    He was ugly anyway, & looks like a lazy slob. Good Luck in you future endeavors.

  10. Not a big fan of Mary Jo…she always kind of scared me on her cooking show.

    But frankly, what was her ex thinking? Marrying Tori? The girl who tortured us so many years of 90210, and removed the only saving aspect after a year, and then decided to torture us with it yet again this past year. The girl who I suspect Henry the 8th was talking about when he claimed she had the face of a horse. And he couldn't have been more excited about spending the rest of his life with her? I suspect he drank some of Jim Jones Kool-aid and survived.

    Mary Jo, you're better off without that retard. Seriously, just kick him in the balls so that the rest of us don't have to be afflicted with yet another Spelling generation and accept the Nobel price for doing it.