Pop Goes The News — Photos of actress Tori Spelling snuggling up to her Canadian stepson have come under fire on social media and in at least one celebrity magazine.
On Instagram, Spelling’s followers have described the two images as “creepy” and “inappropriate.”
The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star sparked debate last month when she posted what appeared to be a selfie taken by Jack McDermott, the 17-year-old son of her husband Dean McDermott and his ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace.
The photo shows Jack kissing the back of Spelling’s head while her hand is extended back and holding his neck.
“Me and my amazing stepson @montypowerglory aka Jack McDermott,” Spelling captioned the photo on Instagram. “I LOVE this man!! #LuckyWoman #StepMamasRule.”
(Jack shared the same photo on his Instagram with the caption: “Dinner with my fav” accompanied by two pink hearts.)
Reaction was swift among Spelling’s 563,000 followers. “This is very strange,” one person commented. “Sorry no explanation works here.”
“This is so bizarre,” another person opined.
One commenter said Jack “looks more like a lover” than a stepson. Another wrote: “Wtf seriously is she screwing her stepson??? Wow this looks so inappropriate.”
“This is not a typical step mom and step son photo,” someone wrote. “Creepy.”
A week later, Spelling posted another selfie snapped by Jack — this time showing the two holding each other close.
“My Amazing and Beautiful inside and out stepson @montypowerglory aka Jack who just made the #HONORROLL #SOPROUD #ILOVEYOU,” wrote Spelling.
Cue more outrage.
“Next time pose shoulder to shoulder,” one follower suggested, “not boobs on his chest.”
One woman commented: “I have 3 step boys and I would never pose like this with them. This is the 2nd picture I’ve seen like this and from a mothers perspective I feel it’s inappropriate.”
“Too sexy of a pose for a step son,” wrote another. “Your last picture with him was inappropriate as well…yuck!”
In the new issue of Star magazine, the photos appear with the headlines “Tori Spelling smitten with stepson?” and “A step too far?”
“No one could blame Tori Spelling for falling for someone else,” reads the short article, “but what if that other man was her own stepson?”
Quoting an unnamed source, Star suggested Spelling has “lost it.”
“The fact that she doesn’t see anything wrong with these photos proves she’s unstable.”
On Instagram, concerned mother Stephanie Volp-Hopkins offered Spelling her take on the photos.
“I am not here to bash you, but I am going to judge the photo you displayed for all to see,” she wrote. “You’re obviously a very proud Step-mom to your son and that’s fabulous but this photo doesn’t come across that way. It’s looks as though you’re behaving inappropriately with your step-son. Your expression, and his, the closeness between you… It’s just all kinds of wrong.
“If you had just put the photo out there without any caption we (your followers) would have thought this was a possible new romance. Honestly this photo should be deleted… Mom to mom…”
Of course, not everyone is bothered by the two photos. Each has more than 6,300 “likes” and among the hundreds of negative comments are a handful of supportive ones.
“You are all sick and stupid for suggesting such a thing,” wrote one. “The woman helped to raise him. You all are pathetic.”
Another opined: “I think this is sweet. My family is very close and affectionate nothing wrong with showing love. It’s only creepy that people think that way.”
Others downplayed the physical contact depicted in the photos because Jack is openly gay.
“I personally wouldn’t pose with him like this,” commented one, “but he seems kind of dramatic and Tori loves her gay men!”
No excuse, some countered.
“Gay or not it’s a creepy pic,” wrote one.
Commented someone else: “What does his being gay have to do with it? Parents shouldn’t sexualize their kids or themselves with their kids.”
Spelling married Jack’s father a year after they had an affair while making the TV movie Mind Over Murder in Ottawa in the summer of 2005.
Spelling’s husband Charlie Shanian filed for divorce after only a year of marriage. McDermott divorced Eustace, best known for What’s For Dinner, and was given joint custody of their son.
McDermott and Spelling have four children together: Liam, almost 9, Stella, 7, Hattie, 4, and Finn, 3.
The couple has starred in several faux-reality shows, including one in which they pretended to be moving to a cabin in Ontario. McDermott recently hosted two seasons of Chopped Canada.
In 2013, McDermott and Spelling made headlines over an alleged tryst he had in a Toronto hotel room with a young woman named Emily Goodhand. The woman has never come forward and several media outlets — and McDermott’s ex-wife — have claimed she does not exist and the affair was fabricated for Spelling’s show True Tori.
Spelling has disputed the allegations.