Ever since Outdaughtered debuted last year on TLC, the world collectively held its breath… waiting. The family of two perky young Houstonians, a wisecracking granny, and a sweet little girl plus five quintuplets seemed too good to be true.
The family — consisting of Danielle and Adam Busby, their older daughter Blayke, and quints Olivia Marie, Ava Lane, Hazel Grace, Parker Kate, and Riley Paige — were cute and fun and relatable and loving. What could go wrong? Well, as we’ve seen with TLC in the past, a lot.
Would they fall prey to the deadly TLC curse of scandal and intrigue? Would the marriage go the way of Jon and Kate? Would misfortunes come out of the woodwork as they did for Honey Boo Boo? We watched and waited, and here’s what the year has wrought.
Read on to find out the 15 Behind-The-Scenes Scandals You Never Knew About Outdaughtered.
15. The quints came after years of painful infertility
Before there was Outdaughtered, the story of the Busy family’s exciting quint news was covered by a few regional news outlets — Oklahoma’s News 4 and KPLC 7 News— and the feature story uncovered a sad road of infertility that the Busby family had weathered for years.
The first treatments began several years prior, with the conception of their first daughter Blayke, but they started them again in hopes of giving her a sibling. The path they walked was not by any means an easy one. Adam told KPLC, “Every single week it seemed like we were at the doctor’s office doing tests… just an extremely stressful process.”
After a barrage of fertility drugs and intrauterine insemination, the pregnancy test finally came back positive months later! But the ultrasounds got more and more shocking as the baby count ramped up from one to five.
They were afraid of complications but excited for their new arrivals — the news site referenced Danielle’s blog, It’s a Buzz World. Little did everyone know that soon this family would be in the national spotlight with a TLC series.
14. Adam was accused of cheating
After the social zeitgeist of the Jon Gosling’s cheating debacle, the straw that broke the “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” camel’s back, all eyes were on Adam Busby since cameras started rolling on day one of Outdaughtered.
However, he seemed like such a sweet, funny, upstanding dude! He would never cheat on Danielle, right? When fans noticed how distant and drawn out he had grown to be on the show, they were suspicious outright — he missed Valentine’s Day and didn’t even give wife Danielle a call to say he’d be late. More and more often, Adam was saying he’d be working late.
Viewers became up in arms over this and took to social media to inundate Adam and TLC with speculative comments as to the state of the Busby marriage. As it turned out, Adam Busby was keeping a big, emotional secret from his wife after all… but it wasn’t one anyone ever expected, especially from the father of newborns– postpartum depression.
13. Adam’s extravagant drone expense
“After the whole drone debacle, I’ve decided to hire a financial planner to help us get on track and move forward on this Busby train to success,” Danielle told camera on episode 6 of season 2.
Danielle pointed to Adam and laughed when she mentioned how the rate at which they’re spending money is causing some problems. However, it isn’t really a laughing matter… with six kids to take care of, five of whom are babies, the family should be pinching pennies. So why did Adam buy an expensive and unnecessary drone?
It may have had something to do with him coping with his postpartum depression, but that’s still not an excuse for actions that impacted the whole family. Danielle should have been a bit more cross with her husband’s impulsive expenses, particularly because of the result of what that advisor had to say about the state of their finances.
12. Fans were angry at being misled about how much help the family gets
Their fans were quick to anger when they felt that the Busbys has been misleading them about exactly how much help they get with wrangling their six daughters.
However, with Adam working full-time and Danielle the sole stay-at-home parent during the day, even as the couple runs their business as part owners of a Rush Cycle franchise, many wonder how exactly they manage to get everything done. Everyone looks pretty put-together, the house is clean, and usually most are in good spirits.
Well, on an internet chat board for fans of the show, fans believe that they’ve uncovered a scandal that the Busbys and TLC don’t want you to know about. Reportedly, the couple has a nanny.
This isn’t such a big deal, but the Busbys make a point of pride again and again about how they manage everything with their kids all by themselves except when family helps from time to time. Some fans took the revelation to heart, even boycotting the show.
11. Financial advisor told them to start worrying
“I went through the information and everything that you guys sent to me. Right now, with what you’re spending currently, I guess in a way it should scare you a little bit… but really, it should just make you think,” the financial advisor told them on episode six of the second season.
After Adam’s impulsive drone expense led Danielle to worry after the financial security of their household of eight, she hired a financial advisor and the news wasn’t great for the Busbys. Adam looked shocked at the assessment of their finances, most likely feeling some guilt in hindsight for his unnecessary drone expense.
Danielle confessed that Adam “hates” financial talk. “It’s definitely easy to get overwhelmed when you start thinking about every new little milestone that they hit, it’s going to be some new purchase that you’re gonna have to make,” Adam said.
Some suggestions that the advisor gave had to do with potential school expenses for the future. The couple were horror-stricken to realize that college alone would be almost 2 million dollars. To manage that, they’d need to save around $6,000 a month.
10. Hazel is falling behind
When her parents noticed that quintuplet Hazel Grace was having some trouble catching up to her sisters, they hired an occupational therapist to come in and help her try to learn how to walk among other things like hip stability and core muscle building.
The therapist used a ball to help Hazel try her muscle development and also worked with her on reaching and grasping for toys. When Danielle asked the therapist about her concerns with Hazel being able to catch up, the woman said, “You know, each child develops at their own rate. Depending on the skills that she has, I see her walking probably within the next couple months.”
Danielle expressed her frustration that it would take that long, however, but conceded that Hazel had to take her time at her own pace. The reason for Hazel’s slow muscle development might be because of the eye problems she had to have careful corrective surgery for.
9. Adam has postpartum depression
After Adam told his wife the situation of his precarious mental health, he had to tell the other family members in his life… including his own father, an interaction Adam was particularly worried over. The cameras caught some of the anxiety and the eventual exchange.
“I don’t know why, I just don’t feel like myself,” he confessed to his dad. “I mean, I definitely don’t feel like the Adam that I used to be with work, with friends, relationships. It’s caused some issues between me and Danielle, just because sometimes I want to check out.”
However, for all his worrying, Adam didn’t have anything to fear in the end. His father took his admission in stride and did not attribute any of the stigma that some of society puts on men with mental illness, especially in some areas of the American South.
“Part of the stuff that you’re experiencing is normal parenting — times five,” Adam’s father told him. “And you and Danielle… I know there has to be days where you don’t feel that way, [but] I’m sure people would feel that if y’all grabbed your shirts and opened them up, there’d be a big S [for superhero] right there.”
8. Danielle feels “broken” because Adam hid his depression
“I think Danielle and I are great, being able to manage and take care of the kids and stuff like that… but then you get through half the week and you realize you’ve barely told your wife ‘hi’ because you’re just so busy. And then by the time all the girls are down to sleep, you’ve got to clean up the kitchen, wash dishes,” Adam confessed on camera. “You’re just exhausted and done.”
Adam’s struggles took a large toll on Danielle as well. Adam explained that he didn’t want to burden her with the information, but the mother of six confessed to feeling hurt and “broken” after Adam his his postpartum depression from her.
7. Hazel needed delicate eye surgery
Hazel Grace has a condition called nystagmus which causes her eyes to flutter and move back and forth. Danielle and Adam were terrified at the prospect of their young baby going in for a delicate eye surgery.
“There’s risk involved with that. Hazel could even get an infection. She could lose her eye sight,” Danielle said. “This surgery fix is not even about her vision — it’s more so to correct the placement of where her eye goes to focus better so she doesn’t have to turn her neck, which is a huge deal.”
Before Hazel went into surgery, her parents got understandably emotional. “Everything that you do and tell yourself to prepare for this surgery can never really prepare you enough for seeing your baby in her hospital gown and then giving her away,” Adam said.
6. Grandmother Mimi pressured to move out of the house
After everything Danielle’s mother Michelle “Mimi” has done for them and the babies, it came as some surprise that the Busbys were in such a rush to push her out of their house.
Having your mother underfoot in an already far overcrowded household can’t be an easy thing. Besides which, Mimi can’t cook — as the Busbys made very clear as they described an awful sweet potato casserole they’d like to forget — and, while she’s been helping with the kids, she’s mostly staying with them because she’s been out of work.
The issue came to a head in episode 10 of season 2. Adam was the one to broach the subject. “Don’t you want to get out of here?” she asked her.
Mimi said she’d be interested in moving out, but seemed a bit hurt that they were so quick to ask her to leave on such short notice. She looked taken aback that they’d already found some places for her to look at.
5. Adam and Danielle argue about Danielle going back to work
It’s not easy to bounce back from giving birth to five babies in one go, but Danielle Busby has done it. The next thing on her list is her fervent desire to take back her identity as more than just a mom. “I’m really looking for the cycle studio to help me become me again,” Danielle told the cameras on Outdaughtered. “I feel like I’m the woman that’s known as that lady who has half a dozen girls, but I had a career [before all that]… and I loved my job.”
Danielle and Adam are part owners of a franchise of Rush Cycle, and she has not been shy about asserting her wish to get back to work and out of the playpen. Adam took her declaration during a meeting with some trepidation, however.
4. Fans speculate that Adam is gay
After the cheating rumors were put down, fans and conspiracy theorists jumped on the rumor mill once again to wonder whether Adam Busby was, in fact, secretly a gay man. The father of six has been under much speculation on social media and chat forums alike.
However, based on how much Adam gushes about his wife of 11 years, however, this doesn’t look like it has any base in reality.
On social media alone, he’s said that Danielle “still makes my heart flutter when she walks in the room,” “the view here is amazing, but who cares when I get to look at [Danielle] all day,” and “the best thing about me is her. Seriously can’t get enough of my Danielle.”
3. Fans wonder if Danielle had reconstructive surgery but it was all diet and exercise
There wouldn’t be any shame in having reconstructive surgery after carrying and giving birth to five babies — many mothers of multiples do it and it’s not a big deal at all.
Indeed, fans wondered amongst themselves about her amazingly fast bounce back to slimness, but Danielle has always been pretty darn adamant that she got her body back through good old fashioned diet and exercise.
Her oddly defensive insistence that she didn’t have surgery might have something to do with the fact that it wouldn’t be that great for business — she and her husband are part owners in a Rush Cycle franchise location.
It’s possible that she wants to use her inspiring fitness story as a boon to business, and we can’t really find the wherewithal to blame her. Talk about a before and after picture to frame over the mantle.
2. Mimi lost everything in Hurricane Harvey
Tragically, just as Danielle’s mother Michelle was clambering slowly but surely back to her feet the disastrous Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas. The Busbys took to social media to explain how Danielle’s mom was faring after the storm, and it wasn’t looking good.
With her house flooded in over a foot of water, she managed to get to safety before she was in too much danger due to a prompt evacuation. Now that the storm is over, the Busbys and their extended family worked together to try and piece Mimi’s house back together and clean up the damage.
“We have thrown out MiMi’s entire house today, it’s devastating,” the Busbys said on Facebook two months ago. “Though stuff is just stuff and can always be replaced, it’s not easy tossing your belongings. One thing is for sure, we all stick together and will make it through.”
1. Hurricane Harvey “devastated” Danielle and Adam
Danielle gave an update on her blog as to how they were doing to put worried fans at ease: “Both Adam and I grew up in Louisiana and have experienced hurricane after hurricane all our years there… but never have we had to experience a hurricane with our kids, not even with Blayke.”
“We thankfully did not have to evacuate during Harvey but what we did have to do was find TONS of ways to keep these kids entertained hour after hour, without being able to [go] outside. This was super challenging because, on just a normal day, these kids have to get out of the house daily so we don’t all go bananas. So it was activity after activity, upstairs, downstairs… back up stairs,” she said.
Even if things had gone south, however, the Busbys were confident that they’d come out okay, citing their gratitude at living in a two-story house.
Can you think of any other secrets about the cast of Outdaughtered? Sound off in the comment section!
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