Reality TV star, Amber Portwood, rose to fame when her pregnancy was featured on MTV’s 16 & Pregnant. Her turbulent relationship with then boyfriend and father of her child, Gary Shirley, was a huge part of her story line, and things between the couple intensified after the birth of their daughter, Leah. Over the years, Amber’s story has continued to be featured on the spin-off series, Teen Mom, and she has definitely experienced more than her fair share of ups-and-downs. Her drug addiction has sent her to prison, left her without custody of her child, and even had her criticized for being a terrible parent. However, through it all, Amber has found a way to remain positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although she may seem like an open book, here are ten things you didn’t know about Amber Portwood.
She dropped out of high school.
When Amber was in high school, she became pregnant with her daughter, Leah. Unfortunately, Amber could not deal with the pressure and chose to drop out of high school. She dreamed of attending beauty school, and one day opening her own salon. Although she has yet to fulfill her dreams of opening a salon, she has obtained her GED. Unfortunately, Amber’s decision not to finish high school has caused a lot of negative feedback and many feel like she is a poor representation of her hometown of Anderson, Indiana. One angry resident who chose to remain anonymous stated: ““Teen Mom” is not the national image Anderson wants. The next time you see our teen mom in the store, point out that she is hurting this city. We don’t push our loved ones down stairs. We don’t take pride that our teenage girls are 16 and pregnant. We don’t all drop out of high school.”
Her younger sister passed away.
When Amber was just five years-old, her younger sister, Candace, died of sudden infant death syndrome. According to Amber: “. “[I was] four or five. I remember it like I just watched a movie yesterday. I remember a stretcher coming in, I remember my mom screaming, I remember her on the edge of the bed, I remember my dad.”
She was offered a deal with Vivid Entertainment, the company that released Farrah’s sex tape.
A few years ago, Amber’s Teen Mom co-star, Farrah Abraham, caught a lot of flack for starring in a sex tape. Well, the company who produced and released the tape decided that one Teen Mom wasn’t enough. According to Amber, Vivid Entertainment offered her a $500,000 deal to star in an x-rated film of her own. However, she decided to decline the offer. Although that was a pretty large sum of money, it’s probably for the best that Amber decided to explore other options.
She started doing drugs at 9 years-old.
It’s no secret that Amber has struggled with substance abuse issues. She told Dr. Phil that she had her first experience with drugs when she was just 9 years-old. As a result of her addiction, Amber has spent time in both jail and rehab, and has even admitted to doing drugs WHILE in rehab and being high constantly while filming for Teen Mom.
While in prison, she only saw her daughter three times.
In 2011, Amber was arrested after being caught with a controlled substance which also resulted in her being charged with violating her probation from unrelated charges. Initially, she was given a 5 year suspended sentence with the understanding that her charges would dropped after completing rehab. However, after failing to take a drug test, Amber was charged with another probation violation and the judge ruled to have her serve her five-year sentence. During her time in prison, which ended up being 17 months, Amber only saw her daughter Leah, three times.
She wasn’t actually 16 when she was pregnant.
Although the name of the initial show that made her famous was 16 & Pregnant, Amber was 18, not 16 when she was pregnant with Leah. Although she is older than the other girls who are a part of the Teen Mom OG club, Amber has definitely not made the most mature decisions.
She attempted suicide.
Over the years, Amber has admitted that she has tried more than once to take her own life. During an interview in 2012, Amber opened up about her most recent attempt and stated: “I took 30 Suboxone [which typically treats opioid addiction] within three days…The depression took over. I’d just take four to five at a time underneath my tongue, and nod out. I had more than addiction problems. I had, you know, mental problems, too.”
She admits that she was a bad mom.
Amber is definitely not one to hide from her past. Although she knows that she has made several poor choices, she seems to be learning from her mistakes, and using her story as a way to inspire others. Amber has even admitted that she wasn’t the best parent or role model for Leah, but she intends to make up for it now that she is sober and out of prison.
She has a tattoo in honor of her daughter.
Amber is all about putting her daughter first. In fact, she has a pretty large tattoo of Leah on her stomach. Lots of people have been critical of Amber’s choice to get a tattoo on her stomach, but as usual, she doesn’t let people’s opinions get to her.
(image via https://www.pinterest.com/alishamg1112/)
After ending the relationship with her former fiance/baby daddy, Gary Shirley, Amber’s love life seemed to be at a stand still. To most people who have followed Amber’s story, it seemed like she and Gary were still holding a candle for each other although he had started a new relationship. However, during the current season of Teen Mom, Amber revealed that she is in a new relationship – and the two have become engaged. Although there is a pretty big age difference between Amber and her new boo, this is the happiest she’s seemed in a long time.
(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV)