What is “Teen Mom”?
With nine seasons, 169 episodes, and countless spin-offs, “Teen Mom” is one of MTV’s most popular reality series to date, The show, which was renamed “Teen Mom OG” from its fifth season onwards, follows teenage girls as they juggle motherhood with their difficult romantic and family relationships.
The first four seasons aired from December 2009 to October 2012, whereas the second run began in March 2015. The main cast members during the first run were Maci Bookout, Amber Portwood, Catelynn Lowell and Farrah Abraham, who also featured in season one of “16 and Pregnant”. Farrah was replaced by Cheyenne Floyd and Bristol Palin in the seventh season, having departed from the show after her career in the adult film industry attracted negative publicity. When Bristol left the series in April 2019, she was replaced a few months later by Mackenzie McKee from “Teen Mom 3”, who would later become a main cast member.
The “Teen Mom” franchise has been wildly successful, as is demonstrated by its spin-offs, which include “Teen Mom: Young Moms Club”, “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” and “Teen Mom: Girls’ Night In”. In May 2022, the cast members of “Teen Mom OG” and “Teen Mom 2” began filming for a combined series named “Teen Mom: The Next Chapter”, which premiered four months later.
Cast Members: Maci
Born in August 1991, Maci Bookout is an author, public speaker and now reality TV star who was raised in Tennessee. She was described by MTV as the typical popular and athletic teenage over-achiever with a bright future ahead of her; however, her aspirations were put on hold by her pregnancy.
Maci was raised by her parents, Gene and Sharon Bookout, and brought up alongside her older brother Matt. In 2009, she matriculated from Ooltewah High School, later graduating with an Associate of Arts degree from Chattanooga State Community College in spring 2015. In October 2008, Maci had given birth to her and her then-boyfriend Ryan Edwards’s son, Bentley Cadence. In 2009, she became engaged to her child’s father, but their fledging relationship ended the following year.
Following her break-up from Ryan, Maci began dating Kyle King, a childhood friend. Despite living together and making plans for the future, Kyle’s rumored infidelity brought an abrupt end to the relationship in 2012. In the same year, Maci began dating the motocross racer Taylor McKinney, and this time the relationship lasted; they announced Maci’s pregnancy in January 2015, with their daughter Jayde being born four months later.
During filming of “Teen Mom OG”, Taylor proposed to Maci in Venice Beach, California, and shortly afterwards, the couple announced that Maci was pregnant with their second child together, welcomed their son, Maverick Reed in May 2016, and married in Florida a few months later.
Although Maci and Taylor have a seemingly healthy and stable relationship, the “Teen Mom” star has had her fair share of troubles with Ryan since their son was born. In March 2018, news outlets began reporting that Maci and Taylor had filed an order of protection against Ryan after the latter allegedly left them threatening voicemail messages, and said that he’d take their son away. In May 2018, the order of protection was dismissed, with a mutual restraining order being put in place.
Despite not reaching the same level of notoriety as other cast members, Maci has carved out a successful career for herself without all the negative press. In September 2016, she became an author with the release of her first book, “Bulletproof”, which was followed up by “I Wasn’t Born Bulletproof: Lessons I’ve Learned (So You Don’t Have To)” in June 2017. The following year, she appeared in the gritty reality show “Naked and Afraid” but quit on day two. Maci and Taylor also have their own clothing brand named TTM – Things That Matter.
In October 2020, it was reported that Maci had witnessed a fatal gas station shooting. While pumping gas, she reportedly heard gunshots and a police officer shout: “Shots fired!”. Fearing for her life, Maci locked herself into the gas station bathroom without knowing what was happening outside.
The aforementioned police officer had pursued a suspect on foot, ending up at the same gas station where Maci had stopped. During the ordeal, the perpetrator was fatally shot, since when Maci has suffered from post traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – and has had trouble sleeping. In September 2022, the TV personality discussed how she copes with these harrowing symptoms, saying that she allows herself half an hour a day to reflect on her feelings. Apparently, avoiding tabloids and social media have also helped enormously, with Maci saying: “It’s kind of how you survive living your life for everyone to see all the time.”
Maci Is Divorcing Taylor?!! 😢😮 Read the article below!
Cast Members: Farrah
Farrah Abraham was born in May 1991, and became one of the breakout stars of “16 and Pregnant”, later using her fame to get a foot in the entertainment industry. The exuberant brunette was born in Nebraska but raised in Iowa, and is of Syrian, Italian/Sicilian and Danish descent. Her parents divorced in 2010, and her mother, Debra, remarried in 2017. Farrah’s stormy relationship with her half-sister Ashley Danielson has also been well documented, as both spent many years in the spotlight.
Farrah was selected to appear in “16 and Pregnant” in 2008, when she was actually 17 years old. Her pregnancy placed a considerable strain on her relationship with Debra, as the latter didn’t allow her to have an abortion. While pregnant, Farrah was forced to stop cheerleading, and had to cope with the loss of her child’s father, Derek Underwood, who was killed in a car accident during filming.
Sophia Laurent Abraham, Farrah and Derek’s daughter, was born in February 2009. Later in the same year, Farrah was cast in “Teen Mom”, with the series premiere airing at the end of the year. Farrah and Debra’s relationship didn’t improve with time, as the latter was charged with assault after hitting her daughter in January 2010.
During her “Teen Mom” journey, Farrah began seeing a therapist to discuss her complicated emotions surrounding her mother and Derek’s death. Although Derek’s family at first wanted no dealings with Sophia, as they didn’t believe her to be Derek’s daughter, Farrah proved that Derek was the father via a paternity test. Derek’s mother then filed a lawsuit for grandparents’ visitation rights.
In 2011, Farrah began attending Florida’s Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and obtained an associate degree in culinary arts and management. She later developed and launched her own pasta sauce line named “Mom & Me”. In August 2012, her debut studio album, “My Teenage Dream Ended”, was lambasted by contemporary music critics; undeterred, Farrah released a memoir of the same title just two weeks later.
When the original “Teen Mom” ended, it didn’t take Farrah long to launch herself as a pseudo-celebrity. She was cast for season four of “Couples Therapy” in January 2014, but her then-boyfriend, Brian Dawe, claimed that he was actually a hired actor and shared no prior relationship with Farrah. As Brian didn’t appear in the show, Farrah became the only cast member in its history to undertake therapy without a partner, they instead focusing on healing the ever-growing rift between herself and her mother Debra.
The press release announcing Farrah’s second sex tape, “Farrah 2: Backdoor and Moor”, didn’t go down well with MTV or the show’s producers. Nevertheless, she appeared in the TV special “Being Farrah” and was criticized by her other cast members, who deemed her an inappropriate influence on their children. Ultimately, Farrah was fired from the franchise in October 2017 by producer Morgan J. Freeman.
In April 2021, Farrah made headlines yet again after filing a report to the Palm Beach Police Department in which she accused Dominic Foppoli, the then-mayor of Windsor, California, of sexual assault, including audio, video, and photographical evidence in her filing. As of May 2021, the case was under criminal investigation, and to date, Foppoli has been accused of sex crimes by no less than nine women. He resigned hours after reporters began asking him about Farrah’s allegations. Farrah herself was arrested in January 2022, for reportedly allegedly assaulting a nightclub security guard.
Cast Members: Catelynn
Catelynn Baltierra was born in March 1992, in Algonac, Michigan, and raised by parents April Brockmiller and David Lowell. In 2008, she became pregnant with her and Tyler’s first child, a daughter born in May 2009, and named Carolyn Elizabeth “Carly” Davis by her subsequent adoptive parents.
Catelynn and Tyler’s relationship stood the test of time, as they eventually married in August 2015, and since then have had three daughters – Novalee Reign, Vaeda Luma and Rya Rose. A few months before their wedding, Catelynn and Tyler released “Conquering Chaos”, their first book.
The “Teen Mom” star has struggled with her mental health over the years, as in November 2017 she confessed to experiencing suicidal thoughts for which she had been seeking treatment. After a distressing miscarriage, Catelynn returned to treatment for a third time in early 2018, and cites childhood trauma as the main cause of her mental health issues.
Although Catelynn and Tyler have been criticized for giving-up their first-born daughter for adoption, the young couple have also been praised for allowing Carly to grow up in a more stable environment than they could have provided for her. Over the years, Catelynn and Tyler have maintained a close relationship with Carly, although communications with her adoptive parents have been complicated at times.
Cast Members: Amber
Amber Portwood, who has become one of the most controversial cast members of “Teen Mom”, was born in Anderson, Indiana, and raised by her parents Tonya and Shawn Edwin Portwood Sr. Tonya and Shawn had two other children named Shawn Jr., a US Army veteran, and Candance, who died aged one year old.
According to Amber, her mother began neglecting her during her adolescent years when Tonya embarked on an illicit affair while still married to Shawn Sr. After becoming pregnant by her then-boyfriend Gary Shirley, Amber dropped out of Anderson High School, and in November 2008, gave birth to Leah Leann Shirley. The couple separated following a brief engagement, and Gary was granted full custody of Leah in December 2011. He later became a police officer and found love for a second time with Kristina Tinch; the couple share one daughter named Emilee Grace Shirley.
From 2014 to 2017, Amber was engaged to an amateur DJ whom she met on Twitter; the relationship ended for unknown reasons, then in the same year, she began a relationship with Andrew Glennon and became pregnant; the couple welcomed James Andrew Glennon in May 2018.
The “Teen Mom” alum, who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder, has had her fair share of legal run-ins. During the show’s filming, Amber’s violent behavior towards Gary led to her and MTV being criticized, as the network failed to intervene or report her physical assaults to the police. Weeks after the incidents occurred, the police department of Anderson, Indiana, and Child Protective Services launched an investigation after concerned viewers alerted the authorities.
The episode in question saw Amber punch, slap, choke and kick Gary in the back, which sparked hundreds of viewer complaints. Searching Amber’s apartment, police found evidence requiring further investigation, including a large quantity of crack cocaine and marijuana. In November 2010, Amber agreed to Indiana CPS monitoring her for up to six months in exchange for maintaining custody of Leah.
Just a week later, Amber was charged with three counts of domestic violence connected to separate incidents of on-camera abuse. Amber pleaded guilty to two felony counts of domestic battery in June 2011 and was hit with a two-year suspended sentence and two years’ probation. Unable to stay out of trouble for long, she was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance just a month later, and charged with violating her probation. Some of the terms of her probation included setting up a college fund for her daughter, obtaining a GED certificate, and completing six months of anger-management training.
— Jenelle Evans (@PBandJenelley_1) July 27, 2022
Amber was held in Madison County Jail without bond until January 2012; the next month, she was given a five-year suspended sentence on the condition that all charges would be dropped if she completed an extensive rehab program. In March of the same year, Amber again violated the conditions of her suspended sentence, upon failing to take a required drug test. She was later required to complete 30 days of daily drug tests, and subsequently dropped out of her rehabilitation program, and was charged with the third violation of her probation.
After being given one chance too many, Amber began serving her five-year sentence in June 2012. In December 2013, she appeared in “Dr. Phil”, explaining that she had obtained her GED certificate and been released early due to good behavior. The controversial celebrity also confessed to being high on illegal and prescription medication during most of the filming of “Teen Mom”.
Years of silence ensued until Amber’s arrest in July 2019, where she was charged with one count of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and two counts of domestic battery. According to reports, she had struck her then-boyfriend Andrew Glennon in the neck while he held their son in his arms, threatened to overdose on clonazepam, and used a machete to break into the room where Andrew and their son were hiding.
Making bail the following day after posting a $2,000 bond, Amber was released from jail and hit with a no-contact restraining order from Andrew. She was sentenced to 906 days of probation in October 2019 after pleading guilty to two felony charges of domestic battery and intimidation. If Amber were to violate her probation, she would be sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
It’s safe to say that of all the “Teen Mom OG” stars, Maci is the most well-balanced despite not being the best-known. The TV personality currently boasts over 4.3 million Instagram followers and regularly updates her feed with adorable snaps of her family. She also spends plenty of time promoting her and her husband’s clothing brand and other ventures.