Grieving the death of a loved one and living your own life are not mutually exclusive. And, c’mon, no one should have to explain this while they’re grieving. Yet, Jennie Garth clapped back at fans angry over a perceived slight against the late Luke Perry, making it abundantly clear she has no patience for judgmental attitudes — especially where it concerns the loss of her friend and former co-star.
Garth understandably wasn’t expecting a controversy when she posted a photo of her three daughters for International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8.
“These women,” Garth captioned the snapshot of her kids, Luca, 21, Lola, 16, and Fiona, 12, adding “#internationalwomensday #sisters.” As sweet as the post was, though, some fans felt as though Garth should have reserved her social media space for a tribute to Perry, who tragically passed away last week after suffering a massive stroke. While many of Garth and Perry’s fellow Beverly Hills, 90210 alums have posted such tributes, Garth hasn’t posted anything since news of Perry’s death broke.
“I chose to post a pic of my girls today,” Garth commented in response to the unwarranted criticism. “Because they are my life. Because today is a day to celebrate all women. It took a lot for me to want to celebrate anything. I thought about it and I know that’s the way my dear friend would have wanted it.”
She continued, pointing out that Perry of all people would have respected her decision to do so. “His kids were his life,” she said of Perry’s son Jack Perry, 21, and daughter Sophie Perry, 18. “And anyone who knew him knows that and knows he didn’t give a f**k about social media. So please don’t assume or judge or make rude comments. That’s really uncool. Sincerely, Jennie.”
“Not cool,” Garth then underscored to another fan who suggested she wasn’t saddened by Perry’s death. “It’s obvious her and [costar] Tori Spelling didn’t have a relationship with him,” the fan wrote. “People who did have had something to say. They may be shocked but they’re not mourning.”
It goes without saying — but, clearly, needs to be said — that just because something isn’t shared on social media doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Garth’s grief for her late friend is not diminished by the fact that she didn’t post a tribute to him on Instagram. For that matter, you can’t co-opt someone’s grief. Garth’s grief over Perry is hers and hers alone, and she shouldn’t have to justify how she feels to anyone.
For the record, though, Garth did publicly express her sadness over the loss of her friend and former co-star. Shortly after his death, she released a statement to People, saying, “My heart is broken. He meant so much to so many. Such a very special person. I share my deep sadness with his family and all who loved him. Such a terrible loss.”