Biggest Scandals In MTV’s Teen Mom History
MTV’s Teen Mom franchise all began with 16 and Pregnant back in 2009 and more than a decade later the series has evolved into of the most successful reality TV franchises on network television! With the spinoffs Teen Mom OG, Teen Mom 2, and the short-lived Teen Mom 3, fans of the franchise have witnessed endless controversies and scandals ranging from surprising to completely shocking. While some incidents happened off-screen, there is never any doubt that they will play out in the media, leaving fans with these biggest scandals and controversies in Teen Mom history:
31. Amber Portwood vs. Gary Shirley
While a lot of the other couples get into some pretty serious shouting matches and say nasty things to each other on the show, things got physical between Amber Portwood and her ex Gary Shirley in what is perhaps the most shocking moment of the series. In the midst of one of their screaming fights, Amber attacked Gary and ended up landing a punch to his head. After the fight, she was charged with two felony counts and one misdemeanor for domestic violence and battery. While the punch was seen and aired on MTV, there was another incident in which Amber apparently “choked, slapped, punched and kicked” Gary and, while their daughter Leah was present for the other incident, she was not there for that one.
30. David Eason – Teen Mom 2 Reunion
It didn’t take very long for David Eason to get himself fired from MTV, but before the network cut ties, Eason displayed some pretty disturbing behavior. In October, 2017 it was reported that filming of that season’s Teen Mom 2 reunion had to be temporarily shut down after major drama. Eason allegedly pulled out a knife after becoming enraged during the filming of the “end-of-year” party on Friday, October 20 and took out his anger on a bunch of decorative balloons. A source told the outlet, “All of the cast was drinking and having a good time while filming this party, which will be used during an end-of-the-year clips show featuring both casts. David was acting too drunk and the producers noticed it. They cut him off at the bar. When David found out they wouldn’t serve him more alcohol he got super mad.” The following day, production was delayed again when a major fight between Jenelle and David, and her ex Nathan and his then-girlfriend broke out. Following the situation with David, some of the other stars have refused to bring their children to reunions, and they refused to be in the same building with him out of fear for their own safety. In the end none of the party ended up being aired after the incident.
29. Farrah Abraham vs. Debra
Farrah Abraham has been a single mom to her daughter Sophia since Sophia’s dad, Derek Underwood, died in a tragic car accident before she was born. As a result, she relied on her parents for help and, starting in her episode of 16 and Pregnant, it was evident her relationship with her parents was very tumultuous. The tense relationship came to a head when her mom Debra slapped her while on-camera and created a huge scandal. While the issue was addressed and both agreed to go to therapy, in 2010 Debra was once again arrested after Farrah called the cops claiming her mom had choked and hit her. Debra ended up being charged with assault, but pleaded not guilty in the incident, and the pair continued to have a very rocky relationship. During the times when Debra encouraged Farrah in everything she did, they seemed to be fine, but Farrah soon turned her daughter Sophia against her own grandmother as well which hurt Debra the most. The pair continued to have a very strained and difficult relationship right until Farrah exited the series.
28. Butch and April’s Relationship
Catelynn and Tyler both had very difficult childhoods, something which seemed to bring them together at a very young age, but unfortunately for them the lifestyle also brought their parents together. Tyler and Cate had a lot to deal with when it came to their parents, but it was absolutely astounding when it was announced that Tyler’s dad Butch and Cate’s mom April had decided to get married, making lovebirds Cate and Tyler not only boyfriend and girlfriend, but step-siblings! Fortunately, Butch and April didn’t work out and the young couple could go back to being just boyfriend and girlfriend, and now husband and wife.
27. Kailyn Lowry’s Third Pregnancy
As Teen Moms, pregnancy isn’t exactly scandalous, but some of the pregnancies have still been more shocking than others. When the seventh season of Teen Mom 2 was airing in early 2017, Kailyn Lowry shocked everyone when she confirmed reports she was expecting her third child. Fans who followed Kailyn through all seven seasons were surprised for many reasons but mainly because she had just gone through a divorce from Javi Marroquin and insisted she did not want any more kids and wanted to focus on her career while he wanted a baby. In her announcement, Kailyn did not identify who the father of her baby was but did explain that a doctor told her that as she got older her chances of conceiving and carrying a child would get even less. With that knowledge, she knew she did want another baby and decided to try with the person she was with. She gave birth to baby Lux on August 5, 2017 with her ex Chris Lopez and their on-again, off-again relationship has continued to confuse fans.
26. Jenelle’s Downfall
At this point, Jenelle Evans getting in a physical or verbal altercation or even going to jail doesn’t surprise Teen Mom 2 fans anymore, but in the early seasons, everything was jaw-dropping. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for her…they did. In the first season, Jenelle met the now infamous Keiffer Delp, and the two went from fighting with Jenelle’s mom to becoming homeless to developing serious drug addictions and became criminals very quickly. After attending rehab, breaking up and making up with Kieffer many times, and continuing to fail drug tests, Jenelle always seemed to be on the brink of straightening out, only for things to get much worse. Then, of course, the end of season three brought the bombshell that Jenelle really wasn’t quite sure who Jace’s dad was because while she always said it was her then-boyfriend, Andrew, she slept with a friend at a party around the same time and even admitted that Jace looks an awful lot like the friend. While a paternity test did confirm that Andrew is Jace’s father, Jenelle’s storyline never fails to astound viewers, but the early seasons were absolutely shocking and full of never-ending scandals.
25. Catelynn and Tyler’s Separation
Out of the entire franchise, Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra are the only original 16 and Pregnant couple to stay together, but their relationship hasn’t been without its drama. After years of facing many struggles and battles together, the pair shocked fans when they revealed they were going through a 30 day separation, while expecting their third child! Due to the state of their marriage, they discovered in couple’s therapy that they needed time as individuals and to self-reflect and decided they would live apart for 30 days. As many fans assumed this meant a split, they were quick to clarify that they were not heading for divorce and were not going to be seeing other people. Regardless, many were shocked that they decided to go through the 30 day separation even after finding out that another baby was on the way!
24. Chelsea and Adam Drama
Given how much Chelsea Houska absolutely detests her ex Adam Lind now, many forget that it took her a very, very long time to let go. In the first few seasons she fought and then got back together with Adam and even hid the fact he was living with her from her dad Randy, and each time she took him back fans were shocked. Adam was not a good person or a good dad to Aubree back then and, needless to say, after they had seemingly officially called it quits, fans were floored when the pair revealed on the season 4 reunion special in May 2013 that they had continued to hook up. If that wasn’t bad enough, the pair who can’t get along on-screen, surprised fans again when on the season 5 reunion special in October 2015, that they had continued hooking up! To make matters worse, Chelsea admitted at the season four reunion that they weren’t using protection, and, during the season 5 reunion it was revealed the two hooked up while Adam was on a break from his second daughter’s mother, Taylor. While their relationship is long in the past now, Adam is no longer on the series but has continued to make headlines after it was revealed he had a serious drug problem and multiple arrests.
23. Leah and Corey’s Cheating
Some of the biggest announcements and scandals in the Teen Mom franchise have come out at the season reunion specials, but no one saw this coming. In the season six reunion special, Corey, Leah and Corey’s wife Miranda seemed to drop a huge secret when they revealed that in the early months of his marriage to Miranda, Corey had hooked up with Leah. Given the fact that their marriage broke down because of a cheating scandal and Corey always seemed like a stand-up guy, this news was incredible. As the two were bickering, Leah finally said, “Where were you at for the first few months of your marriage?” and when Dr. Drew asked if the pair had “continued relations” while Corey was with Miranda, Leah confirmed it. “Things happened that shouldn’t have happened and it was disrespectful to Miranda and I have apologized.” If it did happen at the beginning of their relationship, it means Leah was still married to Jeremy at the time as well and it became very clear why Miranda was always so short with Leah and preferred to remain mostly off-camera. Not to mention the bombshell absolutely stunned fans who thought the pair had just tried to maintain a friendly relationship for the sake of their twins.
22. Teen Mom OG Replacements
After several seasons of increasing tension and difficulty with original star Farrah Abraham, MTV officially removed her from the series in October 2017, and took some interesting steps to fill the storyline. While many were happy to see Farrah go, fans were less than impressed when MTV brought on not one but two new moms to fill Farrah’s spot and neither were previously connected to the Teen Mom family. America’s “Most Famous” Teen Mom Bristol Palin and The Challenge‘s Cheyenne Floyd were added to the cast and many did not agree with the decision, especially due to the fact that Cheyenne was never a teen mother. After the controversy of the new additions, the drama continued when Bristol continuously slammed MTV and exited after only season, paving the way for the addition of Teen Mom 3‘s Mackenzie McKee.
21. Ryan Edwards Falls Asleep At the Wheel
Season six of Teen Mom OG saw quite the roller coaster ride for Maci’s ex Ryan Edwards. While things were looking up for Bentley’s dad as he met Mackenzie Standifer and became engaged, his story took a drastic turn when Maci revealed she feared he had an addiction problem. Eventually fans witnessed for themselves how bad Ryan’s problem was when he almost fell asleep at the wheel while driving to his wedding with Mackenzie. In the clip Ryan can be seen slurring his words and closing his eyes as Mackenzie continuously has to grab the wheel to stop him from swerving into traffic. Although the car camera was eventually turned off, Mackenzie can be heard asking Ryan if he took Xanax again, which he denied, but it was clear something was wrong. The scene was shocking and potentially incredibly dangerous and it wasn’t long afterwards that fans learned Ryan and Mackenzie rushed their wedding in order to make it official before Ryan entered rehab.
20. Mackenzie McKee – The Tape
Teen Mom 3 turned Teen Mom OG star Mackenzie McKee has had quite a few scandals starting with getting pregnant at 16 after growing up in a religious household. After marrying her baby daddy and welcoming baby number two, McKee stirred up some more controversy after apparently getting into talks with Vivid Entertainment to star in adult film star along with her husband Josh McKee. While the adult tape never happened, just before rumors about the tape circulated, Mackenzie caused a scandal when she started a crowdfunding campaign to pay for breast implants. She quickly had the page deleted after the news went viral saying she didn’t know she was asking people to pay. After welcoming another son, fans are getting ready for more Mackenzie drama and scandals as she has been added as an additional member of Teen Mom OG!
19. Kailyn vs. Briana and Brittany
If the drama on Teen Mom 2 wasn’t bad enough, things only got worse when Kailyn Lowry’s ex-husband Javi Marroquin began dating new cast member Briana DeJesus. There were continuous issues between the two women that all came to a head during the filming of the season eight reunion. The reunion saw Kailyn confront Briana in a private room and the pair were threatening to fight until it actually became physical when both came on-stage to talk to Dr. Drew. When the fight began, Briana’s sister Brittany was quick to get involved and now all the Teen Mom 2 stars refuse to appear on stage at the same time.
28. Farrah’s Career Change
At this point, former Teen Mom OG star Farrah Abraham is better known for her antics outside of life as a Teen Mom star more than anything which is of course due to her infamous foray into the adult entertainment world. At first she tried to pass it off as a leaked tape, but it was quickly made clear that the tape was professionally produced and Farrah had agreed to the project. While that was extremely scandalous for a Teen Mom star, it didn’t help that she branched out in the industry with her own line of adult toys and continued to do appearances and promotions as an adult film star. Of course, it wasn’t surprising when MTV finally decided they couldn’t have Farrah on the show any longer.
17. Amber and Matt
There really wasn’t much about Amber Portwood’s relationship with Matt Baier that wasn’t shocking. Matt was introduced in the sixth episode of season five, where viewers learned that Matt was almost 20 years older than Amber and was also an ex-addict. While she initially hid him from the cameras things changed when during his very first visit and first time meeting Amber in person, they decided he was going to move in! Of course, with such a fast-paced relationship, the surprises and scandals just kept on coming including a few episodes later where Gary revealed to Amber that Matt actually has several children she didn’t know about and all of the moms were trying to take him to court for child support. Not to mention, before successfully hooking up with Amber via Twitter, Matt first tried to get the attention of Farrah, Teen Mom 2‘s Jenelle Evans and he even bullied Kailyn Lowry before finally getting the attention he wanted from Amber. Amber and Matt’s relationship was one shocking scandal after another, eventually resulting in Matt’s relapse and a brutal breakup.
16. Maci Quits
It seems for the majority of fans that if they had to pick, they would definitely choose Teen Mom with Maci on it over Farrah, but the opposite almost happened. After season 4 of Teen Mom ended in 2012, MTV focused instead on Teen Mom 2, having just a “special season” of Teen Mom OG airing in 2013 and 2014, dedicating a catching up episode with each mom before season 5 of Teen Mom OG started up in 2015. As everyone is well aware in that time, Farrah turned to the adult entertainment world, which did not sit well with some of her co-stars and audiences and she was initially kept off the show, but quickly brought back, presumably because of the drama factor she added. In any event, Maci was not happy about this and got extremely angry about MTV’s decision to bring Farrah back. Maci strictly told producers that if Farrah was on the show, she was done because the reason she agreed to filming was because she was told Farrah was leaving the series. Maci doesn’t say things just to create drama, so she really had fans worried that it was the end of her time on the show, but fortunately she reconsidered even when Farrah stayed.
15. Kailyn vs. Javi
After the domestic violence incident between Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley in Teen Mom OG, it seemed history had repeated itself when Kailyn Lowry and her husband Javi Marroquin got into such an intense argument, she ended up striking him. The two also moved fairly quickly in their relationship and the incident occurred shortly after they made the decision to move in together. Even after she struck him, the pair continued to work on things and amid all of their constant arguing, it was surprising when they revealed they were expecting, and married before the birth of their son Lincoln. Instead of getting better, things only got worse for the couple as trust issues drove them apart until they finally split after suffering a miscarriage. What fans couldn’t believe is how lightly the incident was taken after what happened between Amber and Gary.
14. Jenelle’s 911 Call
After a history of domestic abuse in most of her previous relationships, many have had a difficult time believing that the same thing hasn’t been happening in Jenelle’s marriage to David. In October of 2018, it seemed what everyone feared had become true when Jenelle called 911 to report that her husband had thrown her to the ground while they were outside having a fire with friends and thought her collarbone was broken. Jenelle ended up transporting herself to the hospital and refused to press charges. A few days later she posted a YouTube video denying any domestic violence and explained it was all a misunderstanding and claimed David just tripped as he came up to her and took her down with him. Despite denying any domestic violence, fans can’t help but be concerned that Jenelle and David’s relationship is an abusive one.
13. Ryan Edwards – Drug Use
After it was revealed that Ryan and Mackenzie Standifer rushed their wedding because Ryan was going to rehab, fans knew Ryan was battling an addiction but they didn’t know how bad it was. After Ryan completed 21 out of the 30 days of rehab, he admitted in an episode the following season that his addiction wasn’t just to prescription pills like many had thought. Ryan admitted that his drug of choice was heroin. The news shocked everyone who didn’t realize that Ryan was using very hard and dangerous drugs. In the time since his first rehab stint, Ryan has continued to struggle and many were very surprised when he was seen continuing to drink despite his addiction battle.
12. Catelynn’s Treatment
While self-care is never scandalous, Catelynn Baltierra has endured endless scrutiny for her decision to go away for mental health treatment several times. After suffering with anxiety and depression for years, Catelynn’s battle only got worse after welcoming daughter Novalee in 2015 and she eventually sought help in a treatment center in Arizona. Following a miscarriage in 2017, Catelynn went back to treatment and shortly after returning home, had to leave again. While in and out of treatment in Arizona, Tyler had to keep everything together at home with Nova, and many began to attack Catelynn for leaving her family so often. It only got worse after Tyler opened up about how the pressure of being the strong one was getting to him and he admitted he was unhappy in his marriage. Things got so bad between the two that many thought they were definitely headed for divorce.
11. Amber’s Downfall
Amber Portwood has dealt with many issues through her time on Teen Mom, and while a lot of the focus was on her anger issues, there was the underlying problem of her addiction to prescription pills. While there was speculation about there being a problem, it wasn’t until after she went to jail and got herself clean did Portwood explain just how bad the problem was. She admitted she was high on opiates almost 24/7 while filming the show and the addiction began after appearing on 16 & Pregnant and being prescribed Klonopin to relieve post-birth anxiety. Things got worse for Amber after Leah was removed from her care following the domestic violence incident with Gary. In the end Amber knew she had to choose jail over rehab because she knew it was the only way she was going to save herself which revealed just how bad her addiction had become.
10. Jenelle’s Custody Battles
Jenelle Evans was not ready to be a mother when she welcomed Jace in August 2009 when she was only 18. After continuing to party and neglecting her responsibilities as a mother, it was up to her own mother Barbara to take care of the baby. While it was very clear Jenelle wasn’t ready, it was still shocking when she signed over custody of Jace to Barbara. It was the best move for Jace, but she has continued to surprise everyone with her inability to keep her life together long enough to regain custody. Over the years, Jenelle has entered numerous court battles with her mother, but it has now been complicated by additional custody battles involving her second son Kaiser with her ex Nathan Griffith. In 2019, Jenelle made headlines again when she and her husband David temporarily lost custody of their daughter Ensley, Jenelle’s son Kaiser, and David’s daughter Maryssa after David allegedly shot the family dog, Nugget.
9. Kailyn vs. Jenelle
There have been many feuds within the Teen Mom family over the years and quite often Jenelle has been involved, but one of the biggest was between Teen Mom 2‘s Kailyn and Jenelle. After blasting each other back and forth on social media concerning Kailyn’s opinion that Jenelle’s husband David need a psychiatric test, their feud literally exploded. In a “peace offering” Kailyn sent Jenelle as well as the other Teen Mom ladies sample products for her new hair care line and in response Jenelle lit them on fire and posted the video to social media. Incidentally the highly publicized incident ended up faring better for Kailyn who had one of her best days of sales after Jenelle posted the video.
8. Teen Mom 2 Replacements
Before Teen Mom OG had to replace Farrah Abraham with surprising new cast members, Teen Mom 2 decided to expand its storylines from four moms to five. In June 2017 MTV confirmed that former Teen Mom 3 star Briana DeJesus had been added to the cast of Teen Mom 2 and while fans had mixed feelings, it seemed the original stars weren’t thrilled about reduced storylines and camera time. The drama of cast additions and replacements continued in 2019 after Jenelle Evans was fired and MTV announced that Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant‘s Jade Cline had been added to the cast in Jenelle’s place.
7. David Eason Fired
While 2019 saw a new level to David’s seemingly aggressive, violent and dangerous behavior, he was fired by MTV back in February of 2018. David enraged fans and social media users when he took to his social media to share his homophobic and racist opinions and many soon petitioned for him to be fired. In a post that started out as a discussion on gun control as David and Jenelle own several guns, David responded, “And just what makes you think you have the right to tell me how to be a parent. Because you think you know me? LMAO, why don’t you tell the homo and transgender parents to start teaching their kids better morals. Oh, I forgot, that’s supposed to be normal.” When asked if he was going to teach his children to hate transgender or gay people, he added, “No. I’m going to teach them not to associate with them, or be that way…If you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.” His incredibly offensive and unbelievable remarks led to his immediate removal from Teen Mom 2. “David Eason’s personal comments do not reflect the views of MTV. With six weeks left of production on ‘Teen Mom 2,’ effective immediately, we are ending our relationship with him,” the statement read.
6. Jenelle’s Arrests
Jenelle Evans has easily been in the most trouble out of all of the Teen Mom stars. Since 2010 Evans has been arrested more than 10 times, three of which were in 2013 alone, and has been involved with the cops on several more incidents where her boyfriends have been arrested. Unfortunately a lot of her interactions with police have been because of domestic violence incidents with several of her boyfriends where she has been not only the victim but also the attacker in some instances. While many of her arrests have been shocking, her drug addiction was also one of the biggest scandals on the show and truly terrifying to watch. When Jenelle was with Kieffer Delp, the two became very involved in heroin, resulting in the couple actually passing out from the high while being filmed for the show.
5. Leah’s Personal Issues
For many seasons, Leah was one of the most stable on the show, and she worked through the struggles of co-parenting as well as her daughter Ali’s severe health issues very impressively, but after welcoming her third child, Addie, with ex-husband Jeremy Calvert, things seemed to go downhill quickly for Leah. As she began to take medications for her anxiety, there were major changes in Leah and fans were shocked as she nodded off, slurred her words and even nodded off while chatting with her brother and holding her niece, all of which seemed to point towards a drug problem. Things escalated to the point where Corey confronted Leah about her drug use and even said people have been telling him that she was addicted. While Leah always denied she had a problem, it was scary and surprising to see her essentially break down after holding it together so long. Eventually, Leah admitted she became “dependent” on drugs that had been prescribed by doctors. “Not only was I losing my kids but I was basically losing my life, my husband, everything,” she said on her podcast. “Everything was crashing down on me.”
4. Ryan Edwards – Jail and Second Baby
Ryan Edwards has gone on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs over the past few years which has included his surprise wedding to Mackenzie Standifer, his admission of having a drug problem, a couple of stints in rehab and more than one arrest. After missing the birth of his first son Jagger due to being in rehab, Ryan’s life got turned upside down again when he was arrested for not paying a $40 bar tab and violating his parole. As a result of the arrest, he got sentenced to three months in jail which once again disrupted his marriage to Mackenzie and spending time with his young son. After Ryan’s release, his struggle to adapt back to regular life was documented on the show, which made it even more surprising when Mackenzie revealed in early July that she and Ryan were expanding their family! With their baby girl due in January, everyone is hoping Ryan has straightened out his life for good.
3. Farrah Abraham’s Exit
In typical Farrah Abraham fashion, her exit from the show was anything but amicable. The discussion between Abraham and Teen Mom producer Morgan J. Freeman was aired on the series and it was very tense as Morgan explained to the longtime OG star that her adult entertainment career wasn’t in line with the family values of the Teen Mom franchise. Months later, Abraham filed a $5 million lawsuit against Viacom, Eleventh Street Productions, Anxious Eleven, and Teen Mom producer Morgan J. Freeman claiming harassment, wrongful termination based upon gender discrimination and retaliation based upon gender discrimination. In the documents, Abraham claimed that Freeman and the Teen Mom OG production crew “harassed, humiliated and discriminated against, disrespected, ridiculed and sex shamed” her during the meeting. After a back-and-forth in the media between Abraham and Viacom, she ended up dropping the lawsuit after the two parties reached an undisclosed settlement.
2. David Eason – Shooting Incident
If David Eason’s comments and behavior wasn’t shocking or concerning enough, it got much worse in May of 2019. Reports quickly circulated that Jenelle had left her home after her husband David shot and killed her bulldog Nugget. Shortly afterward both Jenelle and David seemingly confirmed that it had happened with Jenelle posting an emotional tribute to her dog and David posting a now-deleted Instagram post in which he defended his actions by saying the dog snapped at their 2-year-old daughter Ensley. As a result of the alleged shooting, the pair temporarily lost custody of Kaiser, Ensley, and Maryssa and Jenelle was fired from Teen Mom 2. Despite the severity of the situation, Jenelle did not leave David, and by July authorities said they had closed their investigation and even stated Jenelle had made the story up for publicity. It seems that as the investigation continued, Jenelle changed her story after previously stating she heard a gunshot after David took the dog outside. As a result of there being no witness to the incident and no evidence of the dead dog, the case was closed. “Jenelle stated that the reason she filed the animal cruelty report was for the publicity and because she did not know where her dog was,” a news release from authorities stated. “The evidence collected indicates that the allegations of animal cruelty were fabricated. Therefore, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is closing this investigation. No charges will be filed in this case.”
1. Amber Portwood- 2019 Arrest
After years of self improvement, becoming sober and seemingly entering her first stable relationship, it seemed that Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood had completely turned her life around — until her shocking 2019 arrest. In the early morning hours of July 5, 2019, Amber was once again arrested and charged with domestic battery, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and domestic battery in the presence of a child after her boyfriend Andrew Glennon called police to report that she had attacked him while he was holding their young son James. In the days that followed more details about the incident came out with reports that Amber actually threatened him with a machete and Andrew told 911 operators he feared for his own life as well as his son’s. While Andrew was granted temporary emergency custody of James, the order was lifted for Amber to have supervised visits, and only time will tell what consequences come from the violent and shocking incident.