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Spelling fortune touches off family feud

He was the big name behind many of the biggest TV dramas: from Love Boat," and " Fantasy Island" to " Beverly Hills 90210."  Now, Aaron Spelling's death -- and his estimated half-billion estate -- has touched off something of a family feud. By CNBC's Jane Wells
/ Source: CNBC

He was the big name behind many of America’s, and the world’s favorite TV dramas. Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Beverly Hills 90210 – the list goes on and on. But now that Aaron Spelling has gone to the big production studio in the sky, his family is left, playing the feud. It’s a case of Beverly Hills.

At stake: her Dad’s estate worth an estimated half billion dollars. Aaron Spelling died leaving a widow and two kids, but Tori, the most famous of those heirs, went very high profile with an interview in US Weekly claiming that she saw her dad for the first time in nine months two weeks before he died.

She also said that her mother did not update her on his health, that mom was spending time with a male friend, that she found out her father died only when a friend blackberryed her, and that her mother and brother left her name off the family statement after Spelling’s death.

That set off a public fight between mother and daughter like something out of Dynasty. Widow Candy Spelling calls the comments “mean spirited and hurtful”. And then there’s the money. Aaron Spelling’s rags-to-riches story was something his daughter never had to suffer. The son of immigrants tried his hand at acting, a career his daughter pursued. But, Spelling senior made is fortune producing the original ‘Must See TV’, helping him build the biggest house in LA –  56,000 square feet.

Soon, there may be no room to rent. Candy Spelling is reportedly trying to sell the house for $150 million dollars. Later this month Spelling’s will is to be filed. How will it all end?

“I’m told that Candy Spelling will be the executor of the estate. Tori will get some money, but when it comes to discretionary money, Tori’s mother is cutting her out and Tori is very upset about it”, said US Weekly’s Ken Baker.

Whatever happens, it will end up in the tabloids, maybe even in the courts. In a story Aaron Spelling might have loved to produce.