Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood was accused of being a bad parent after she canceled on her daughter, Leah. Earlier this season, ex-boyfriend Gary Shirley offered Amber a chance to be closer to their daughter by moving into a mobile home on their property — Amber currently lives more than an hour away from Gary in Indiana — but she declined his offer.
Amber, 30, was supposed to go to Gary’s house and do Leah’s makeup, but she canceled last-minute because she was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. “Leah gave me that and then now she hates me,” Amber told an MTV producer about a lanyard with Leah’s name.
Gary, 34, encouraged Leah to talk to her mother about the incident since she was unhappy with Amber. “She called me. She was upset a little bit,” Amber explained to the producer.
Leah wasn’t just upset about their canceled get-together, she was also hurt by her mother’s past choices. “It’s hard for her to have a full bond [with me] when she felt like — rightfully so — these men were in my life,” Amber said.
MTV then showed a clip when Amber called Leah a “butthole” because she didn’t come to dinner.
“I knew it was coming. Like, I just want to know what’s going on in my daughter’s head [about] me so I can have a relationship with her. I know what it’s like to not have a relationship with a parent and it’s hard,” she said. “This is my opportunity to get that bond with her back and if I don’t do that now it’s gonna be gone.”
Amber always talked about rekindling her relationship with her daughter but admitted that her past relationships with ex-boyfriends like Matt Baier and Andrew Glennon kept her from getting close with Leah.
Gary has always been the predominant caretaker, gaining full custody of Leah in 2011 when she was 3 years old. Amber spent more than two years in prison when Leah was a baby in 2009 after she pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic battery for assaulting Gary on Teen Mom OG. She went to prison again in 2012 after she violated her probation and was sentenced to five years behind bars. She pleaded down and was in prison from June 2012 to November 2013.
After remaining out of trouble for more than five years, she was arrested in July 2019 after a fight with Andrew. She was accused of wielding a machete while he held their baby son, James. She pleaded guilty to two felony charges of domestic battery and intimidation and was sentenced to 900 days of probation.
Fans Bash Amber for Poor Parenting
Amber was accused of being “so ridiculous” on Reddit, while other viewers were “confused” about why Amber seemed so disturbed by Leah’s reaction to her.
“Does Amber not understand why Leah is sensitive to her flaking on her?” original poster Alison_Shannon wrote. “Obviously, Amber’s logic doesn’t make much sense. But she’s chosen men over her child multiple times after missing a huge portion of her childhood due to being in jail. So clearly the girl is sensitive to feeling rejected by her mother.”
Viewers on Instagram were also critical of Amber. One of the most popular comments on the promo posted to MTV’s Teen Mom page had hundreds of likes. Some users accused the MTV personality of being on drugs again, an online rumor has persistently haunted Amber this season.
“Amber high af I don’t care what anyone says,” @Steffeditup wrote. “Pilled out.”
Another person slammed Amber because she talked about how her father abandoned her. “Amber: talking about her dad in the past and how she felt in the past. Amber to [Leah]: don’t thinking about the past think about the future,” @pommyrobyn said.
Amber Says She’s Always Been There for Leah
It was difficult for Amber to accept that Leah was upset with her. She decided to meet with her mother for lunch so she could get some guidance.
“It really hurts that Leahs having a hard time with our relationship,” the mother-of-two said in a voiceover. “I want to move past this so I’m hoping to get some advice from my mom.”
“Leah, she’s hurting a bit about my past stuff,” Amber told her mother, Tonya Portwood. “She just feels very betrayed — like a third wheel with my exes. To be honest, I can’t necessarily blame the men I’ve been with because it was up to me in the end to stop the relationships.”
“Leah told me the next time she has availability she’s going to let me know when,” she continued. “So I told her, you need to understand I’m your mom still — no matter what — and you need to look at what I’m doing now. You need to look at the future not the past.”
Tonya told Amber she needs to support Leah.
“I’ve been there for her, okay?” Amber snapped back. “If people don’t want to understand that it’s not my problem.”
Tonya, with the final word in the segment, said, “Your child is always going to be your problem.”
To find out what happens next, don’t miss Teen Mom OG when it airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on MTV.
READ NEXT: Amber Portwood Is Being Accused of Drug Use