Over the years, MTV has transformed itself into a reality show juggernaut. With everything from The Real World to Jersey Shore under their belt, MTV is in the business of unscripted TV instead of music videos now. One of the most popular series to come out of MTV was 16 and Pregnant, an intimate look at the lives of various teenagers as they deal with the stress leading up to and immediately after having a child.
Debuting in 2009, each episode focused on a different family as they adjusted to their new lives. Released right after Juno, 16 and Pregnant presented itself as a documentary series that was giving true insight into people's lives instead of presenting it drenched in cinematic charm.
The show's success led MTV to developing a sequel, spin-off series called Teen Mom, allowing audiences to get even closer to particular families from 16 and Pregnant's past. While some of the mothers moved onto a life of reality-star bliss, many of the families ended up having to deal with some terrible things and bad luck as they adjusted to raising a child.
With that said, come learn about 15 Dark Secrets About 16 And Pregnant You Had No Idea About!
15 Valerie Fairman's OD
Valerie Fairman was an expecting mother on the second season of 16 and Pregnant, first becoming pregnant at the age of 15. Her and her boyfriend Matt had a lot of drama in their relationship, but it's clear they both wanted the best for their daughter Nevaeh.
In December of 2016, Fairman was found dead at the age of 23 from an apparent drug overdose. Staying at a friends house, Fairman locked herself in the bathroom and didn't come out for a long time, causing her friend to worry and kick down the door. She'd been arrested for drugs in the past, but her family hoped she would be able to overcome the disease.
As a result of her death, Fairman's mother Janice, who has spoken out against the show in the past for sending her daughter down a dark path in the first place, now has custody of Nevaeh.
14 Weston Gosa Received a DUI on July 4th
While Whitney Purvis and her boyfriend Weston Gosa seem to have things together by the end of the series, moving out of their family's home into an apartment of their own with their son, things have only gone down hill since then. Their son Owen has a liver issue that has injected even more stress into these young parent's lives.
On July 4th, 2012, Gosa was caught driving drunk in Georgia after crashing his car. Not only was he charged with a DUI, but he also had Lorcet and Xanax in the car, making things even more complicated for him legally. The best part of this terrible story is his sleepy mug shot, picture above, that he probably doesn't even remember taking.
13 Farrah Abraham's Legal Trouble
Of all the mothers featured on 16 and Pregnant, Farrah Abraham has been able to convert her brief time as a reality star into a career. Since then, she's had an album, a memoir - which even reached the New York Times Best Seller list, shot two adult films, and become a social media sensation with nearly 1 million followers on Instagram.
In June of this year, roughly eight years after their season of 16 and Pregnant first hit TVs, Abraham sent her co-star Amber Portwood a cease and desist letter. Abraham claims that Portwood made false statements about her to the media. While there hasn't been much more information about the legal status, Portwood is on record as saying she has no interest to talk to or about Abraham anymore anyway.
12 Amber Portwood's Stint In Jail
Amber Portwood is one of the original mommies from the show's first season. After being with her boyfriend Gary Shirley for around two years, the two of them realized they were going to have a baby. While there were a few complications with their daughter Leah's voice box, overall everything was okay from a parenting standpoint.
What set Amber apart from other mothers on the show is the fact that she would often act violently towards Gary. Her violence even reached the point that the Anderson Police Department struck up an investigation into the matter.
What ultimately put her behind bars for two years was a drug possession charge, though. Since her stint in prison, Portwood has reportedly remained sober.
11 Robinson Family Unhappy With Their On-Screen Depiction
Appearing on season four of 16 and Pregnant, Christina Cook got pregnant by her boyfriend Isaiah Robinson, the local high school football star. Because Robinson chose to stay with Cook and raise their child, he gave up his opportunity to accept a football scholarship and started working in a sandwich shop. The entire Robinson family, especially his grandmother, were extremely harsh towards Cook.
Throughout her episode, Robinson's grandma would only communicate with Cook through her grandson or try tomake her cry at the dinner table.
While the show depicts the Robinson family as being cruel towards Cook, his family has said that MTV purposefully chose mean clips to use to present the family negatively. That may be true, but they didn't forge this material, meaning the Robinson family still did those things.
10 Whitney Purvis Caught Stealing and Using a Pregnancy Test at Walmart
Whitney Purvis' boyfriend already appeared on this list for an embarrassing arrest, so it seems this couple may be a better match than they previously thought. A few months before Weston was caught driving drunk, Purvis was caught stealing from the biggest retailer in the country: Walmart.
Purvis wasn't stealing just anything though, she stole a home-use pregnancy test. Instead of just shoving it in her purse and walking out, she decided to use it in the store's restroom before leaving the scene of the crime. Unfortunately for her, the store security stopped her and pressed charges.
Not to be one-upped by one another, the couple was arrested together at the end of 2012 for damaging an unknown individual's laptop and cellphone.
9 Aubrey Wolters Gets Caught Stealing
Aubrey Wolters had an interesting arc on the show. After the birth of Austin, her and her husband Brandon Akerill get into a lot of arguments about his paternal role. Akerill wants Wolters to stay home and be a housewife while she wants to go back to school and get her GED.
In time, the couple got a divorce and Wolters ended up getting her GED. In 2014, Wolters gave birth to a baby boy with her new boyfriend.
At a Walmart in Arizona, Wolters was caught stealing $29 worth of cosmetics with her baby and a friend. As if that wasn't bad enough, when the cops searched her they found Ritalin and Oxycontin, neither of which she had a prescription for.
8 Josh and Ebony Rendon Lost Their Child
Ebony Jackson and her boyfriend Josh Rendon both had dreams of joining the armed forces. Unfortunately, when the high school senior realized she was pregnant, things changed for both of them. The two even started bickering at prom about the stress involved with her pregnancy and the new life.
Ultimately, the two had a baby girl named Jocelyn in 2009. Two years later, the couple's home in Jacksonville, Arkansas was raided by members of the Department of Human Services. Both Ebony and Josh were arrested on charges of child endangerment. The official arrest report states that every room in the house was covered with human and dog feces on both the floor and walls.
As a result of this, Jocelyn was taken into DHS custody and the couple eventually filed for divorce.
7 Jennifer Del Rio Keeps Popping Them Out
Having one child wasn't enough for Jennifer Del Rio. After first appearing in season three of 16 and Pregant alongside her boyfriend Josh Smith, Del Rio has had a lot of things happen to her. Not only was she charged with assaulting Smith, the father of her twin children, but the two of them split up after numerous tension filled moments. One famous moment between the two of them that foreshadowed the end of their relationship included him kicking her out of a car and driving off with the kids.
Well, twins wasn't enough for this young lady. This June she announced she's expecting her fourth child with her current husband Luis Gutterrez. The couple already have one child together, Sebastian, who is now three years old.
6 Jordan Cashmyer's Illegal Profession
Appearing on season 5 of 16 and Pregnant in 2014, Jordan Cashmyer was kicked out of her house by her parents after getting pregnant by her boyfriend Derek Taylor. The couple essentially end up homeless for a little bit and the show presents Derek as unwilling to get a job. Even after the birth of their daughter Genevieve, things don't improve for the couple.
This year it was revealed that the 22 year-old has been working as an escort posting online photos to attract clients.
Based on the tattoos present in those pictures and pictures Cashmeyer has posted of herself on social media, it is obvious that person in the escort adds is, in fact, the same person.
5 Mackenzie McKee Doesn't Think Girls Should Sign Up For New Seasons
Appearing on season four of 16 and Pregnant, Mackenzie McKee was a 16 year old cheerleader from Oklahoma when she got pregnant. In time her and boyfriend Josh McKee end up having three children together and doing their best to raise a family. She was chosen to be a cast member on the follow-up series Teen Mom 3, giving her a prolonged period of being a reality star.
While there are certainly perks of being on reality TV, McKee cautions young women to not sign up for the new seasons of the show. She says the show has become more of a spectacle for MTV as they hope to cash in on nostalgia for the series.
McKee claims the show doesn't do a good enough job of highlighting the sacrifices these young mothers have to make, like her giving up cheerleading back when she first became pregnant. Now, after having seen how famous some of her co-stars have become, she's worried young girls will try to become pregnant just for a shot at fame through the show.
4 Joshua Drummonds Forged Checks
Even if his bangs still look the same, Joshua Drummonds has changed quite a lot since his time on season two of 16 and Pregnant with girlfriend Nikkole Paulun. While he seems like a loving father on TV, off screen he has gotten into some trouble.
In 2011, at the tender age of 19, Drummonds was arrested for stealing and forging checks out of his mother's checkbook. In all, the five checks he forged only went up to $270 but that didn't stop his mother from calling the police on her son.
Drummonds was also arrested this June for felony assault charges in Texas and he can be seen wearing a Suicide Smock in the above photo because he was considered at risk for suicide when he was first admitted.
3 Stillbirth Controversy
Nikkole Paulun is a 15 year old girl from Michigan who first met her boyfriend Josh Drummonds at 13. When she was 16, they had a son named Lyle but the couple eventually breoke up when he stopped trying to help take care of the baby.
Years later, about three weeks before her next child was to be due, she received word that it no longer had a heartbeat. During the emotional period, Paulun was slammed with internet reports calling the whole situation a hoax. To deal with the backlash, she decided to release her medical records to shut down the haters once and for all.
As if that wasn't hard enough for Paulun, in August, she fired an order of protection over fear that her baby daddy Drummonds would attack or even kill her. Due to previous incidents involving Drummonds like domestic violence, escaping the police and trespassing it seems Paulun is smart to take as many precautionary measures as she can.
2 Controversial Abortion Special
Season two of 16 and Pregnant included a special episode called "No Easy Decision" a look at abortion in the world of teenage pregnancy. The beginning of the special focused on Markai Durham, a 16 year old from Florida who ends up having a child with her boyfriend James Worsham. The special followed the two of them as they tried to figure out whether or not they should terminate the pregnancy.
The special was extremely fair in the way it discussed the girls decisions and the medical facts about different procedures. With Dr. Drew at the helm, the special did a good job of presenting the facts clearly and ethically. A surprise to everyone, the special even received rave reviews from the media, with everyone from Slate to EW calling it a success.
1 Study Shows Viewers Have Unrealistic Views on Motherhood
While the show may have been originally designed as a program to try and show people the downsides of becoming a mother at a young age, it seems for a lot of viewers it had the exact opposite effect. According to a study conducted at the Indiana University Bloomington in 2014, fans of the show tend to believe teen mothers have an enviable lifestyle.
Additionally, because some of these teens on the show had engaged families, a lot of individuals reported believing moms have a lot of time to themselves to either work or go back to school because their family is taking care of the baby.
The 15-seconds-of-fame from being on the show were a big factor in why people perceived the moms as having good lives. Some of the mothers, like Farrah Abraham, ended up developing careers out of their television experience, but others ended up crashing and burning.
Do you have any secrets about 16 and Pregnant to share? Sound off in the comments!