The 48-year-old actress opened up about her friendship with Perry — who died at age 52 in 2019 after suffering a stroke — during Sunday's episode of the Whine Down podcast, reflecting on the actor's "protective" nature and how he once got into a fight with a boyfriend who had been verbally abusive to her.
The subject came up when Spelling began speaking about a social media tribute to Perry she shared last week. In the post, she wrote that her former cast mate "[w]ent to brawl literally for me when I was in a verbally abusive relationship and sat and talked me thru the most insecure moments of a teen angst girls life."
"I was in a verbally abusive relationship when I was 19," Spelling recalled to Whine Down host Jana Kramer. "Yeah, Luke hated him and was very protective. At my parents' Christmas Eve party one year, he was there and saw this ex-boyfriend, and they got into it."
According to the Saved by the Bell alum, Perry then "tried to punch" the ex.
J. Merritt/FilmMagic Luke Perry; Tori Spelling; Jennie Garth
"Jason Priestley had to pull him off," Spelling continued. "It was one of those epic stories that looking back, you're like, 'Whoa, that's crazy.' "
While Spelling now understands why Perry confronted the ex, she said she was "mad" at the actor at the time and the pair "didn't talk for a while," despite working together on 90210.
"I was 19, so I was mad at him instead of realizing, in hindsight, that this guy loved me and was like, 'I don't care. I'm gonna go to bat for her,' " Spelling said of Perry. "He was a great friend."
Spelling starred as Donna Martin during 90210's 10-season run, while Perry played Dylan McKay from 1990 to 1995 and again in 1998 until 2000.
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On Oct. 11, Spelling honored what would've been Perry's 55th birthday by writing on her Instagram, "Happy Birthday to my friend and brother Luke… You are missed so much. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. You were one of a kind."
"I remember meeting you as a young insecure teen girl. You were the first boy to ever make me feel worth as a human, a female, and a comedienne. As a friend and big brother. You stood up for me fiercely," she shared.
"You had a way of making every single human feel confident, heard, and special the minute they met you. Your energy was pure selfless love. A giver in this ungiving life. Your loving nature carried thru decades," Spelling added in the heartfelt post. "Today, and everyday we all miss you and hold you in our hearts. Everyone does. You made quite the impression on this lifetime Lukey."
Steve Granitz/WireImage Tori Spelling
During her appearance on Whine Down, the Stori Telling author explained why she wanted to publicly honor Perry with a special tribute two years after his death.
"When he passed away ... I didn't want to bring attention to me. It was about him so I didn't post stuff," she said. "He's been gone for a while now and I felt the need to put it out there. I don't know, that was my truth and I never said it."
Spelling added, "I just wanted to tell everyone to tell everyone how great he was to me and how he was family to me."
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.