MTV found a surprisingly popular niche market in teenagers who also happen to be mothers. First, there was 16 and Pregnant, but seeing as pregnancies are only a nine month stint, and capitalizing on existing characters/stars instead of casting new ones is easier and more marketable, the company moved forward with a spinoff: Teen Mom. In this series, the title speaks for itself; cameras follow along various teenage girls who have children, tracking their daily lives and drama, giving audiences an inside look at what it means to be a parent when the mother in question still needs plenty of mothering of her own.
Both series were successful, and in fact the latter went on to craft extended series' of their very own (with the aptly titled Teen Mom 2 and Teen Mom 3). The teen parent angle proved popular during its run, and audiences were happy to indulge in the tiresome lives of young mothers, but the drama that occurred on camera could hardly compare to what was going on behind the scenes (which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, considering that teenagers are hardly ever running short on emotional crises).
So, if you thought your teenage years were troublesome, maybe it's time to pull back the curtain on one of MTV's more successful properties. Keep reading to check out 15 Dark Behind-The-Scenes Secrets You Had No Idea About On Teen Mom.
15 Kailyn's Mom Is An Alcoholic
When you're raising children, it's definitely helpful to have support from your family. However, when one of the most important members of your family—your mother—is incapable of being a positive influence on her grandchildren due to an alcohol addiction, the ties that bind end up being more knotted than anything else. This is unfortunately the case for Kailyn Lowry, one of the stars of Teen Mom.
In her autobiography, which takes into account her troubled upbringing, Kailyn opens up about her mother and how she refused to look after her the way parents ought to look after their children. She even wrote that she's afraid the alcoholism might be hereditary, saying:
I’ve seen what can happen when you’re addicted to alcohol. I’m afraid the same addiction runs through my blood.
14 Leah Had An Affair
Affairs are awful experiences, but there is a certain kind of affair that may just trump the rest—the kind that happens right before your wedding day.
A few weeks before Leah Messer was going to marry the man who eventually becomes her ex-husband, she hooked up with her ex-boyfriend Robbie Kidd. According to Kidd's interview with InTouch, it started innocently enough, with the two merely having a chat about life and their respective relationships, but things got out of hand. He said:
That day, around noon, I asked her if she wanted to come over and talk. Leah didn’t hesitate. She came right over, and one thing led to another, and we had sex. We wore protection. That was the one and only time. Afterward, she said, ‘Oh, what did we do?’
13 Kailyn Almost Quit After Cheating Scandal
Nobody wants to live with a nasty reputation. Even if they deserve what's coming to them, even the foulest individuals will look after their own wellbeing. On Teen Mom, it's no different.
Kailyn had been accused of cheating on Javi Marroquin, and she was not exactly willing to indulge in the drama. Even though that was exactly what she signed up for, this particular bout of drama was off limits for her. And in fact, it was almost so much to handle that Kailyn had considered leaving the show for good.
The scandal made headlines among fans of the show, and Kailyn wasn't having any of it. However, it turns out that Kailyn had good reason to be miffed. According to Radar Online, the man that Javi caught her with was just an old friend.
12 Jenelle Has Been In And Out Of Prison
Jenelle Evans doesn't make life easy for herself, according to everything that has happened to her in front of the camera and behind the scenes. While she should have been devoting her time to being a parent, she spent too many occasions landing herself in jail—and for various reasons. She's been arrested for drug possession, breaking and entering, assault, breaking parole, the whole nine yards. No matter how many times she got herself into trouble, Jenelle never seemed to manage to learn a lesson.
In 2012 alone, she was arrested four times. On one occasion, she had made threats to her roommate, and another time, she violated a domestic protection order. The third arrest had to do with cyberstalking, and the last was for drug possession. But that was only in 2012; the future had more in store for her when it came to jail time.
11 Leah Lost Custody Of Her Kids
Time and time again, the characters on Teen Mom proved that their merits for being parents are questionable at best. After it was proven that Leah was indulging in her fair share of drug use, her baby daddy, Corey Simms, was more than a little fed up with the fact that his children were living in questionable conditions. So, he stepped up and took legal action, ultimately gaining full custody of his children.
On the matter, Simms said:
This is what’s gonna build [the twins] to be a mature adult that’s gonna succeed in life, that’s gonna go places. I want them to talk about college.
In Leah's custody, he didn't believe that his children would have had a shot at any positive life experiences.
10 Amber Went To Prison As Well
While most fans might have had high hopes for Amber Portwood, it appears that the law just couldn't aim for similar confidence. In 2013, Amber breached her parole, and seeing as the law doesn't take too kindly to such blatant neglect, it slammed its iron fist and threw her behind bars.
But how exactly did she breach parole? Drug use. Now, as a parent, she ought to have known better, but such is life under the spotlight—primed with the desperate hope for ambition, but marred with temptation after temptation. Unfortunately for Amber, the small time stardom didn't account for much when it meant standing before a judge, and before long, she was forced to undergo random drug tests, seeing as she couldn't be trusted. In an interview with InTouch Weekly, she claims that the arrests she's dealt with have done her some good.
9 Living Conditions Were Disgusting
When your primary job is to film individuals who aren't exactly "class acts," it should be fair to assume that the working conditions won't be particularly... welcoming. And on the set of Teen Mom, the welcome mat was certainly not laid out for the crew, according to one of the show's camera operators, who spilled the beans on Reddit.
Apart from painting a descriptive picture of the show behind-the-scenes, it also points out the depressing reality of the series. And not bothering to hold back, he said (via Alloy):
Every shoot i would want to call CPS. filthy houses (dog poop on the floor, bloody tampons sitting in a corner for months, weeks old food everywhere, etc) one of the worst is Leah, filthiest person i've met.
8 Leah's Lack Of Care Made A Cameraman Cry
The production of Teen Mom was so discouraging at times that the camera operators almost couldn't hold back their emotions. The conditions were so vile that one cameraman couldn't help but cry on certain occasions. According to the Reddit thread, Leah was once again deemed the worst of the worst. He wrote:
...when feeding her twins she would spill a bunch of cheese puffs on the nasty carpet and the girls would crawl around and suck up the cheese puffs, no hands involved. this made me cry a few times. the production company rule was to file your complaint with production manager. if the production manager felt that they were legally bound to submit the complaint to the authorities they would. of course they never did. it took a lot of alcohol to fall asleep. i couldn't take it half way through the 3rd season and quit.
7 Farrah Falsely Accused An Uber Driver Of Rape
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that a false rape allegation is a controversial subject, but far be it from Farrah Abraham to coast along in safe waters. In 2015, while she was sitting passenger in an Uber, she falsely accused her driver of rape—something she quickly tried rescinding once the truth ultimately overpowered her claims. On the Nik Richie podcast, she made the attempt to explain what actually went down, but the explanation was just as muddled as her accusation.
First, she starts off by saying that she wasn't raped, but then adds, "I felt like I was getting raped," claiming that even though there was no physical interaction, the way her driver was looking at her was enough to warrant the allegation. She continued, "You’re violating me by looking at me. Don’t act like a rapist. I have a severe problem with that." Yikes.
6 Amber's Ex Was Arrested, Needing Two Handcuffs
Amber Portwood is unfortunately all too familiar with the law—even when it's not directly aiming itself at her. Gary Shirley, her ex, was arrested for driving without a license, and instead of accepting his actions, he decided to fight back. To make matters even worse, though, Shirley proved to be so difficult for the arresting officer to restrain that it required two separate sets of handcuffs just to keep his arms bound.
Amber and Gary's relationship was never exactly healthy, and it just so happened that one of their arguments is exactly what led to this arrest in the first place. They were arguing in the car, police took notice, approached them, and—voila!—the discovery that Gary was driving without a license. If ever there was proof that most of life's problems are avoidable, this one deserves to be the ultimate example.
5 Most Of The Teen Moms Went Back To School
Success and fame is something to which a lot of people cling. They have high hopes and oftentimes unrealistic ambitions, but once fame actually finds them, it can seem like the ultimate reward. Sadly, though, especially for the cast of Teen Mom, it's just another hurdle for them to add on top of their parenting duties. With kids, filming, and their questionable lifestyles, finding time for school isn't exactly a genuine aspiration for many of them.
Thankfully, though, there is a silver lining to this dark reality, seeing as most of the moms have decided to change course and attempt school. Kailyn graduated from Delaware State University, and even Jenelle finish school, graduating from Miller-Motte Technical College. So, even when things get dark, there does appear to be hope after all.
4 Abusive Relationships
Though babies are products of love, that can't exactly be said for everyone—least of all Teen Mom's Chelsea Houska. She had been dating Adam Lind when he got her pregnant, but sixteen months after their daughter's birth, love was certainly not in the air. Though to this day, they still try their damnedest to keep their relationship healthy for their daughter, Lind doesn't seem too keen on having anything to do with either of them.
Lind once sent Chelsea a text message that referred to her as a "fat stretch mark b*tch," and another text that referred to their daughter "a mistake," according to Us Magazine. Though Chelsea is trying to look out for the better interest of her daughter, it's safe to say that Lind may not be a great example of positivity in a young girl's life. But that's for them to decide.
3 The Girls Still Fight On Social Media
Now, if you had high hopes for the cast of Teen Mom, then prepare to have your dreams dashed. This cast of young mothers, who you may have assumed might have learned a little something during their time on the show, are still just as savage towards each other today. Farrah is throwing shade at the entire cast, Jenelle is cyber-fighting with Chelsea's dad, and Amber is fighting with Farrah. Will it ever end?!
Though there doesn't seem to be much of a chance for these women to fix their problems with each other, their social media fights may help draw attention to their personal brands, which in turn might help maintain some relevance. That may not be healthy for their children, but to each their own. They are adults, after all.
2 Jace Has Never Lived With Janelle
If nothing else, Teen Mom proved that some women just aren't fit for motherhood. Even though being a parent is exactly what the show is based around, it also proved that parenting isn't for everyone (even in legal terms). When Jenelle's son, Jace, was just a baby, she signed over his custody rights to her mother, Barb. And to this day, no matter how hard Jenelle tries to fight, it looks like it's going to be Jace and Barb from here on out.
After Jenelle's several run-ins with the law, the courts have determined that she is simply unfit to parent, and to this day, Jace has never lived solely with his mother. Unfortunate though it may be, Jace's better interests are being taken into account, not Jenelle's—and that may be for the best.
1 Farrah's Turn In The Adult Industry
Teen Mom is like any other show in that its fans have their favorite characters, but it's safe to say that Farrah Abraham was the most divisive. In fact, when it comes to being a maternal role model for her children, her personal choices were clearly on the more questionable end of the spectrum. Once the fame of Teen Mom got to her head (as fame tends to do for individuals not entirely familiar with its vicious allure), Farrah really got ahead of herself. Forgoing a more humble approach to motherhood, she went ahead and starred in an adult film titled Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom—a title that, for the most part, speaks for itself.
It's safe to say that the fame she was hoping to garner from pornography didn't really do the job she thought it might've promised, but life experiences are life experiences. If she didn't learn something from the show in which she starred, maybe something was learned through the porno.
Can you think of any more dark secrets from behind the scenes of Teen Mom? Sound off in the comments!