Hidden Secrets About Your Favorite Teen Mom Stars
MTV’s Teen Mom franchise has become one of the biggest in reality TV history, and it all started on June 11, 2009 when the very first episode of 16 and Pregnant aired. The popularity of the series quickly spawned the spinoff Teen Mom OG and a decade later, the stories of Maci, Amber, and Catelynn have continued. Of course, Teen Mom 2 has its own loyal fanbase and sent four more young moms into the spotlight. From the stars who have come and gone, to the long-running stars of both Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2, check out these things you may not have known about your favorite Teen Mom franchise stars:
27. Maci – Her Parents Were Teen Parents
Teen Mom fans are well aware of Maci’s journey as a teen mom, but many don’t know that her parents also got pregnant and had her older brother Matt when they were only 16. But their story wasn’t a cautionary tale. They stuck together through it, got married and have now been married for 30 years. “When my mom and dad were teenagers, they were pretty wild. They ran with a rough crowd and partied hard. Not that they were total delinquents. Both of them had great parents and good morals. But my grandparents worked a lot, so there was plenty of time for a couple of fun-loving teenagers to get up to no good,” Maci shared in her first book “Bulletproof.”
26. Catelynn and Tyler – Wedding Number One
After so many years together and 2015’s fairytale wedding, many forget that Catelynn and Tyler were supposed to be married a few years ago after they first became engaged. It was Tyler though who ended up calling off their July 13, 2013 wedding and devastating Catelynn. “I thought I was ready, but as the time gets close, I just don’t think so,” Tyler said of his decision. The two participated on a season of VH1’s Couples Therapy which is where Tyler dropped the bomb on Catelynn, but also where they learned to work through it together and not call it quits on their entire relationship. The two were married on Saturday August 22, 2015.
25. Kailyn – Isaac’s Early Health Scare
What the 16 and Pregnant cameras didn’t show, however, was the entire day of labor she went through. After the birth, Isaac had jaundice because he was born a month and a half early and his liver wasn’t fully developed. Unfortunately, after coming home from the hospital Kailyn had another scare when Isaac was 4 years old and experienced a seizure. “Isaac was on my lap and I was trying to play with him and bond as usual. He’d laugh here and there but I couldn’t get much out of him, which was a tad on the unusual side. Was he getting sick? Suddenly, Isaac’s movements came to a halt. He went limp and his eyes rolled back. Then he threw up. I immediately dialed 911.” Isaac then had another seizure while in the hospital, and thankfully has not had one ever again.
24. Chelsea – Sisters
Although Chelsea’s dad Randy and occasionally her mom, Mary, make appearances on the show, the rest of her family has made it clear that they have no interest in the Teen Mom fame. It turns out Chelsea is the youngest of four girls. Her oldest sisters Melissa, Angie, and Emily are all in their 30s and Chelsea is the youngest at 27. Now, all of the girls also have daughters as well!
23. Jenelle – Her Childhood
Over the years, fans of Teen Mom 2 have seen Jenelle’s difficult and tumultuous relationship with her mother Barbara play out again and again; however, her childhood and her father, Robert Evans, remained largely not spoken about. In early February 2016, however, Jenelle launched her new website/blog and in her very first post opened up about her father. She noted that her parents were together until she was 5 or 6, but they were always fighting both verbally and physically and, although she was close to her father, he quickly disappeared from their lives. Barbara then opened up about Jenelle’s father stating he basically just abandoned them. “Our house burned down in 2000. We lived in a hotel for six months. Me and my three kids had to live at the Marriott Residence Inn in Scranton. My ex-husband did not offer my kids a pair of underwear, didn’t offer clothes, didn’t offer us dinner, didn’t offer us a place to stay. When we had that fire, and he didn’t offer my kids anything, not a meal, not a sandwich, not a crumb of food, or clothes, that says it all right there.”
22. Briana – VH1’s Family Therapy
Teen Mom fans might not have known that Briana DeJesus and her sister appeared with family members on an episode of Vh1’s Family Therapy, and some bombshells were dropped. It turns out that Briana and Brittany are only half-sisters, and for the first part of her life, Brittany was raised by Briana’s biological father and she believed he was her father as well. Brittany’s aunt Christina revealed to her that her father was killed when she was three when he was shot while his back was turned.
21. Leah – Secret Boyfriend
Given how quickly Leah’s relationships progress, it seems she was determined to keep her first boyfriend following her split from Jeremy a secret. Back in June, 2015 rumors quickly flew that less than a week of being officially divorced, Leah was already dating personal trainer T.R. Dues, 32, and as much as she tried to hide it, it quickly became evident that they were living together, which apparently angered Jeremy quite a bit. By late January 2016 however, Leah tweeted she was single, and it seemed the whole relationship was swept under the rug.
20. Gary – Played Guitar
Many forget about the early days to Amber and Gary’s relationship, but in her book “Never Too Late” Amber shared just how sweet of a boyfriend he was. “He played the guitar for me. I love a man with a guitar, but he was very, very good. He’s probably the best guitar player out of any of the guys I’ve been around. The way he plays is just so gentle, and he has a beautiful singing voice. […] We had something special.” It is interesting for fans to see Amber talking about Gary that way and revealing his secret talent, and she also went on to reveal that the pair were both virgins before getting together.
19. Taylor – Respect
There is no doubt in the minds of Teen Mom fans that Maci’s husband Taylor McKinney is a very sweet guy, but according to Maci he might have been a little too sweet when they first met. Maci revealed that after several times hanging out and flirting, Taylor never made a move and she began to think nothing was going to happen between them. She started to get worried about things not moving forward so she confronted him about why he hadn’t tried to kiss her and he responded with, “I just respect you and what you wanna do, so I’m not gonna push you to do anything.” Afterwards, they decided to take things slow. Maci and Taylor had a long distance relationship for over a year before they finally reached an ultimatum — they had to either break up or move closer to one another, so Taylor decided to uproot his life and move all the way to Chattanooga.
18. Amber – Personal Tragedy
Amber has only spoken briefly about the passing of her sister Candace on camera, but it is something that weighs heavily on her life. When she was only five years old, Amber’s younger sister, Candace, died of sudden infant death syndrome. Amber has spoken about the event saying she still remembers it. “I remember a stretcher coming in, I remember my mom screaming, I remember her on the edge of the bed, I remember my dad.” Then in 2014 Amber’s father Shawn Portwood Sr. passed away at the age of 50. Amber spoke about the death on Teen Mom revealing he died after undergoing liver surgery.
17. Tyler – Sexual Assault
In recent years, Tyler has opened up about how truly difficult his childhood was including a very terrifying suicide attempt when he was around 13. Something he doesn’t talk about that often however is a sexual assault he experienced when only nine years old. Tyler admits he was a hypersexual kid who was doing things earlier than he should and a lot of it comes from the fact that he was molested when he was nine. It was an older girl who was friends with his older sister. He’d gone over to her house with his sister to hang out, but somehow it ended up being just the two of them, and he shared the story in his memoir with Catelynn called “Conquering Chaos.” “For the next several hours, while we were alone together in her house, it was sex act after sex act after sex act. It went on all day. She had us doing everything she could think of, one thing after another. There’d be a break and then it would start up again. And when it was finally over, I didn’t know what the hell had happened,” he said. Tyler didn’t truly understand that what happened wasn’t right. It wasn’t until he began hearing concern from adults that he clued in to it being inappropriate.
16. Farrah – College Grad
After all of the drama both on and off screen that ensued in Farrah Abraham’s life, many Teen Mom fans not remember when she moved away from her family to attend culinary school in Florida. She has an associate degree in culinary arts and management from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida and in 2012 launched her own line of pasta sauce with her mom and grandmother.
15. Ryan – Previous Life
The lives of all of the Teen Mom franchise stars have changed drastically over the years, especially for Ryan Edwards. During their episode of 16 and Pregnant and in early seasons of Teen Mom, Ryan Edwards clearly had a job, and it turns out he used to work as a lineman. It isn’t clear when Ryan stopped his work on the power lines, but it seems he no longer has a full time job.
14. Cole – Hard Working
Chelsea’s husband Cole DeBoer has opened up more and more with each season he has appeared on Teen Mom 2, but it is clear that he wants to keep the details of his life away from the cameras. Despite being on the show, Cole has kept the job he had before he met Chelsea and is often seen meeting up with her for appointments after work and as it turns out he works as a traffic control specialist for North Dakota.
13. Cheyenne – What’s In A Name?
Cheyenne was actually born Kristyn Cheyenne Floyd, but it seems she dropped her official first name years ago, preferring to go by Cheyenne, and for those who watched The Challenge, they know she hates when someone mispronounces her name and her Instagram handle is even cheynotshy. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampton University in Public Relations and headed to Are You The One? almost immediately after graduation.
12. Javi – True Life
Over the years, fans have watched Kailyn Lowry and Javi Marroquin’s relationship go through many ups and downs. For quite some time Kailyn made it known that she was tired of people calling her a bully and Javi the victim in their relationship, and it was only just recently she opened up more about the lies that started their relationship. Kailyn revealed that Javi had actually been selected to be on the MTV series True Life in an episode about getting back with an ex, but the girl he was supposed to do it with refused, ending his shot at reality TV fame…until he sought out Kailyn. “Javi definitely did,” Lowry said of men looking to cling on to her fame. “Because he got picked for a different show on MTV before he met me, and the girl said, ‘No,’ so it’s like, so convenient that he’s running into me at my job at the mall.”
11. Corey – The Reason He Stopped Filming As Much
Many Teen Mom stars have spoken out against MTV’s editing tactics, and doing anything to get ratings, and it turns out Corey Simms also had enough of how he was being portrayed. Corey reportedly thought they didn’t handle Leah’s potential drug problem back in season six properly, and made him out to be the villain. “He thinks they had a perfect opportunity to show viewers, ‘This is what happens when you get on drugs, this is the reality.’ Instead, they made it seem like Corey was constantly attacking Leah for no reason,” a friend of Corey’s told Radar Online. As a result, Corey and Miranda decided to take a step back from the show, with Miranda not being filmed at all and Corey only filming small segments. “Corey told MTV what he thought about the situation, and said that he and Miranda would not film nearly as much as in past seasons,” the friend said at the time.
10. Maci – Corporate Job
When Maci found out she was pregnant at 16, she put finishing high school at the top of her priority list. She graduated through an accelerated program and started college the following January to get her Business Administration degree, but only lasted a year because she wasn’t interested in what she was learning and as a young mother it became more important to pay the bills than to go to class. She changed gears and began the Media Technology program. Maci graduated with an Associates degree and a concentration in Media Technologies and later worked as a Social and Digital Media Specialist in the marketing department of a corporation whose owner was the founder of multiple satellite businesses.
9. Cory – MTV Star
Cory Wharton was a new addition to Teen Mom OG after Cheyenne Floyd was added as a main cast member. Cheyenne revealed that she never told Cory she was pregnant and wasn’t sure Ryder was his so Cory didn’t find out he was a dad until Ryder was six months old. Now, he is one of the most charismatic Teen Mom stars — and it seems he was made for Reality TV. Cory got his start on The Real World: Ex-Plosion and went on to appear on several seasons of The Challenge (where he met Cheyenne) and also appeared on Ex on the Beach where he met his current girlfriend Taylor! In five years, Cory has appeared on four different MTV reality series.
8. Jo – Career
After Jo Rivera’s brief rapping career in early seasons of Teen Mom 2, it wasn’t exactly career what career path he had taken. In a 2018-2019 season of the series, Kailyn Lowry revealed that Jo had started his own business which is why she thought he took her to court over back custody payments. As it turns out Jo became a real estate agent and started his own real estate business while his wife, Vee is one of the realtors!
7. Jeremy – Facebook Friends
It seems like it has been a very long time since Jeremy and Leah’s relationship first began only one month after Leah’s divorce from Corey was finalized. While many were stunned by the whirlwind romance, it also isn’t widely known how the relationship began. Jeremy began messaging Leah on Facebook as her divorce was going through — and it turns out their mutual connection on Facebook was Corey! It turns out Corey and Jeremy had several mutual friends and have even “ate a Quaker Steak one time” together before Jeremy began making the moves on Corey’s ex-wife.
6. Kailyn – Previous Pregnancy
In season seven of Teen Mom 2, Kailyn revealed she suffered an emotional miscarriage with her then-husband Javi; however, in her autobiography, Kailyn shared extremely sad insight into her previous traumatic experiences which included rape and an abortion. She documented the first time she had sex, which was when she was only in the eighth grade, and it was outside on the sidewalk, writing, “I was too young to understand that I wasn’t ready, physically or emotionally, for sex.” She then revealed her sexual experiences only got more traumatizing as she wrote that in the ninth grade she was raped by a new boyfriend when they were alone in his house. “Toby wouldn’t take no for an answer. I didn’t want to sleep with [him], but he persisted.” She noted she asked him to wear a condom but he ignored the request and a few weeks later discovered she was pregnant at 15, and after telling her troubled mother, Suzi, she was adamant that Kailyn have an abortion which she underwent on her 16th birthday. When she again became pregnant at 17 with Isaac she knew she couldn’t go through another abortion. “The experience had been so horrific for me that I couldn’t really bear to consider it as an option again.”
5. Amber – Mystery Man
Amber’s book “Never Too Late” made it quite clear that Teen Mom fans only see a small sliver of the star’s lives, and that is never more evident than when Amber opens up about one of the loves of her life…Dan, who Amber never speaks of now, and fans didn’t even know about. “One night, I dragged my friend Sallie out to this bar called Jimmy’s, and we were talking and drinking and having fun when these two dudes walked in with a girl. One of these guys was f–king hot. He was just chiseled to the core. Like a country boy with the body of a Greek god, I swear to you, and these beautiful blue eyes!” Amber describes how she and this guy, Dan, got together and how amazing everything was. “We ended up getting together and having a beautiful relationship. We were so happy. We never fought. We made love five times a day, whenever we could. It was insane. Perfect, really.” Despite being happy, and even though he was a “good influence,” Amber was already “beyond reach,” and she writes, “The amazing thing about Dan was the he stuck by my side as long as he did. In another life, I think we could have had something special. Unfortunately, we weren’t cut out for making it together in this one.”
4. Catelynn – Briefly Lived in Detroit
Not long before Catelynn and Tyler got pregnant, Catelynn was forced to move to Detroit with her mother and little brother because her mother’s ex-boyfriend (the one who was addicted to crack and tried to attack Catelynn) scammed his way back into their lives by telling April he only had a few months to live. The neighborhood they lived in was so rough that she didn’t even feel safe going to school there. After a scary experience with some kids down the street, Catelynn decided she was not living there and moved back to Marine City to couch surf, leaving her mother and little brother behind. She moved in with Tyler and his mom, who was okay with it as long as Catelynn went to school. Unfortunately, the school wouldn’t let her enroll without her mother, so they tried to hide it from Tyler’s mom as long as they could. When she eventually found out, Catelynn was shipped off to Florida to live with her grandma. This was the perfect example of why Catelynn felt like her life was not stable enough to raise a child.
3. Jenelle – Siblings
Over the years, Jenelle has casually mentioned her siblings, and her sister was even seen once, but all in all the extent of Jenelle’s family that is covered on the show is her mother Barbara. In her book, Jenelle revealed she has a brother, Colin, and a sister, each with their own issues. According to Jenelle, her sister became “weird” and was known around town for her “unusual behavior” which made it difficult for Jenelle as many thought she would be just like her sister. Additionally, it was her brother Colin who ended up burning their house down when they were kids. “Later we learned he set a toy car alight, then tossed it onto his bed, which then caught the entire attic on fire […] God only knows how long the fire was burning before he finally came and told us what he had done.” Jenelle recalled that this caused Barbara to send Colin away. Colin ended up in a special group home in Texas for nearly two years. I don’t blame my mother for sending him away like that. It is a hard decision, yet I would’ve done the same. He still lives in a special group home. Turns out, not only does Colin have the family issue of anxiety, he is also developmentally challenged […] My mother had to make some more hard choices when it came to what was best for him, and one of those was placing him in a permanent group home where he could get the kind of care he needs.”
2. Cheyenne – The RUU
In 2014, she started the online clothing boutique called The Ruu which was named after Cheyenne’s grandmother, Ruby, and the description read: “As a child I would play in her closet, and pretend to be a supermodel. Wearing her timeless pieces I felt invincible. I have always attributed my love for fashion and design stemming from her. The RUU is a collection of fitness wear and intimates. The brand will cater to both women and men. The pieces are [gorgeous] and affordable, yet classy. The store will also feature essential items. The RUU will continue to grow and evolve, so make sure to check in often!” It seems the boutique is no more however as the website is now nonexistent.
1. Maci – Choosing the Name Bentley
Maci and Ryan chose Bentley’s name while sitting in the parking lot of a fast food joint! “We met at Sonic whenever we had a chance before his shift started, and that was where we chose the baby’s name. We were sitting in the parking lot with a baby name book, and at the time we didn’t even know if we were having a boy or girl. But when we saw the name Bentley, we immediately knew that was what we wanted,” she said.