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September 1, 2014

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Q+A: Candy Spelling talks daughter Tori Spelling, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford and more

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Charles Sykes / AP

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott.

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Candy Spelling.

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Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott.

Candy Spelling was married to one of Hollywood’s richest and most powerful TV moguls. Before he died after suffering from Alzheimer’s, Aaron Spelling produced everything from “The Love Boat” to “Dynasty” to “Beverly Hills 90210.” At one point, they owned the largest mansion in California, so big that Prince Charles hosted a charity event there for 2,000 guests.

Candy and Aaron were Hollywood royalty with their own “Charlie’s Angels.” Candy also is the mother of tabloid TV reality star Tori Spelling and confesses to a very troubled on-and-off relationship with her daughter who also starred on “90210.”

Tonight, Candy, still one of the richest women in America, will be in Las Vegas to sign copies of her new book “Candy at Last” at the Barnes & Noble on North Rainbow Blvd. She also will candidly discuss some of the no-hold’s-barred revelations in its pages.

She gave me a preview of its disclosures, including that Elizabeth Taylor was her life-long competitor in owning some of the world’s most expensive pieces of jewelry.

“The competition between us was inevitable,” she said. “Aaron was obsessed buying me the most important pieces as was Liz owning them. So when we met, she was cool as a cucumber — but we eventually grew friendly over the years.”

Candy also disclosed the quirks of screen legend Joan Crawford: “She always insisted on getting dressed right in front of whatever man happened to be in her home. She loved to force feed her guests with food they didn’t like. Once Barbara Stanwyck admitted that Joan had force fed her chicken liver. She force fed me blueberry yogurt.”

Candy has insider tales of Michael Jackson and his children and the odd story of how singer Dean Martin tried to bribe her to give up going out of town on a Mexican cruise to stay with him in Hollywood in exchange for a Rolls Royce.

Candy is single, going on dates for the first time since she was a teenager and enjoying her favorite role as grandmother to six grandchildren. She candidly admits a very rocky relationship with daughter Tori.

Her new bombshell book has reignited the long-simmering mother-daughter feud. “I am by no means saying that I am the perfect mother or that I didn’t make mistakes when my children were growing up, but I also believe that there comes a time when you have to stop blaming your parents and start taking responsibility for your own actions and attitudes.”

Candy says there have been long periods when Tori did not speak to her or her late husband even by phone. Tori did turn up with her then new husband Dean McDermott at Aaron’s funeral, but more uncomfortable run-ins garnered tabloid headlines.

“It is hard not to take what was being written personally. During the year we were estranged, it was excruciating not hearing from Tori and not being able to get ahold of her.

“We have never discussed that painful period in our lives when we didn’t speak. We just tried to carefully move past it. I like to think that it was her pregnancy that paved the way for us to resolve our issues. Tori and I are a work in progress and probably always will be. When I denied Tori an extravagant purchase, it resulted in radio silence.

“The more my self-esteem expands, the less patience I have for the pursuit cycle she creates when she shuts me out. We have a pattern, and until we can break it hand-in-hand, this is going to be the little dance she and I do together.”

“Candy at Last” is an engaging memoir filled with Hollywood revelations about the stars and the inner workings of the world’s TV capital complete with the on-and-off reconciliation of the mother-daughter duo.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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