Has-been Tori Spelling has gained an inordinate amount of publicity from her “revelation” that she has was contacted from the great beyond by the ghost of Farah Fawcett. The late Fawcett, who became one of teleivsion’s immortals with her gig on the 1970s TV series Charlie’s Angels, died of on June 25, 2009 from anal cancer.
Charlie’s Angels was produced by Aaron Spelling, Tori’s father. Her reality TV series, Tori & Dean: Inn Love , was canceled last year after a two-year run. She is in need of publicity as she recently published a book, sTORI Telling.
Tori Spelling made her claim in an interview with Out Magazine, a publication targeting gay males. The revelation came at the end of a discussion of her life since the cancellation of her reality TV show and dealt with the publication of her memoir.
Spelling says she met “the world-renowned psychic” John Edward and he suggested that he give her a reading. Edward’s shtick is talking to the dead, and the actress told Out she wanted to contact her late father, Aaron Spelling (1923-2006), who had cast her in his Beverly Hills, 90210 back in the 1990s.
According to his web site, John Edward charges $750 for a private reading. He gave Tori her reading over the telephone.
Tori was famously cut out of her father’s will and has had a running battle with her mother Candy Spelling, the executor of her late father’s estate. She told Out that her situation with her mother had gotten better. (The celebrity gossip site TMZ reports that Candy and Tori have ended their feud and spent Mother’s Day together.)
Rather than getting in touch with the late producer, John Edward announced to her that Farrah was “coming through.” Farrah, according to Edward, wanted Tori to deliver a message from her to Redmond O’Neal, her 25-year-old son with Ryan O’Neal.
Tori and Farrah had been neighbors in Malibu.
Spelling told Out that she wrote a letter to Ryan O’Neal, Farrah’s long-time companion, explaining what had happened. In the letter, she pleaded with O’Neal for understanding, telling him that she wasn’t crazy but was “just passing on information.”
She described the incident as “bizarre and “surreal” but said she was a believer in psychic phenomena.
Spelling does not explain why she did not write to Redmond O’Neal directly. Nor does she say whether Ryan O’Neal ever responded to her letter.
That Tori’s “revelation” comes so close to the one-year anniversary of Fawcett’s death suggests that she is cynically exploiting the tragedy. The fact that the psychic who put her in contact with Fawcett is the controversial Edward also suggests that there is a high sleaze factor in Spelling’s claim.
Born John MaGee, Jr., John Edward has been the target of many accusations that he is a fraud who uses “cold reading” and “hot reading” techniques to bamboozle the bereaved. He had a TV show on the SciFi channel, Crossing Over, in which he allegedly talked to the dead. His reputation took a public battering when he tried to cash in on the 9/11 crisis by saying he was going to pass over the souls of those lost in the terroist attack on New York’s World Trade Center.
In 2005, he went on the Fox Network to claim he was in contact withTerri Schiavo, who was in a coma. Despite her being in a vegetative state with little brain functioning, Edward claimed she was aware of what was going on as he could communicate with her soul.
Crossing Over moved to the We TV Network in 2006. His scam is to talk to the departed relatives of people. During the taping of the show, he asks scores of questions of a person. The resulting answers are edited down to make it appear as Edward seamlessly has managed to contact the dead, rather than act like an attorney or detective cross-examining a witness.
Stage magicians, gypsy fortune tellers and con man successfully use cold and hot reading techniques to wow an audience or trim a mark. John Edward is unique in that he has generated so much publicity and income from so shamelessly trying to cash in on national tragedies or other people’s pain, such as that of the Shiavo family and now the Ryan O’Neal family.
Like Edward, Tori Spelling is a hustler. She admitted to Out that she has turned her entire life into a public spectacle, to cash in.
According to People Magazine, the O’Neal family — Ryan, Redmond and Ryan’s daughter Tatum O’Neal by actress Joanna Moore, visited Farrah Fawcett’s grave on the anniversary of her passing. Redmond O’Neal was on a 24-hour furlough from a drug rehabilitation facility, where he was remanded by a judge.
Attending the opening of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, Redmond spoke to People about the family vigil.
“I saw my mom’s gravesite for the first time today,” he said. “I miss my mother so much. I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore. I know she’s looking down on us.”
He told People that he was determined to stay sober to honor his mother’s memory.
Redmond was arrested on drug charges in 2008. Violating his parole landed him in a sober-living facility for a year.
Ryan O’Neal, who lived with Farrah for 25 years, told People “I wish I could talk to her. Having Farrah gone has been very hard. It hurts,” he said. “I don’t know what Redmond is going through. He is quiet about it, but he must be suffering terribly.”
The Farrah Fawcett Foundation’s mission is to promote research into alternative cancer therapies.
Out Magazine, “Catching Up With Tori Spelling”
People Magazine, “O’Neal Family Commemorates Anniversary of Farrah Fawcett’s Passing”