‘Teen Mom OG’ star Amber Portwood talks media scrutiny: ‘If I’m not authentic, I don’t want to be filmed’

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EXCLUSIVE: For Amber Portwood, being in the spotlight isn’t always easy.

The "Teen Mom OG" star stirred headlines in January after the 30-year-old was granted a restraining order against her ex Andrew Glennon amid the pair’s custody battle, People magazine reported.

Portwood and Glennon share a 2-year-old son named James. She is also a mom to 12-year-old daughter Leah, whom she shares with ex Gary Shirley. She previously opened up about her legal troubles in an episode that aired in April 2020.

"I personally believe in being honest," Portwood told Fox News. "If you’re going to be on TV, a reality TV show or a docu-series, if you’re not honest, there’s no reason for you to be on TV. We are here to either make a point or use our platform for a good reason. We all have different stories. We all have our own way of showing them, and that’s the beauty of it."


'Teen Mom,' which premiered in 2009, premiered is a spinoff of MTV's  '16 and Pregnant.' Amber Portwood joined the cast in 2009. (Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images)

"There are people that come up to us and give us amazing strength because they let us know that they feel the same way," she continued. "They’re going through the same things or even worse, and it puts things in perspective for me. I start to understand that I’m not alone as much."

Portwood has faced other personal battles while chronicling her life story for the MTV series. She was arrested in 2019 for allegedly attacking Glennon while he was holding their son, People magazine reported.

According to the outlet, Portwood was charged with domestic battery, criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old. Glennon filed for custody shortly after the arrest.

While MTV cameras weren’t allowed inside the courtroom, Glennon’s victim statement was heard through audio, the outlet shared.


During happier times:  Andrew Glennon, left, and Amber Portwood attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017, in Inglewood, Calif.

During happier times:  Andrew Glennon, left, and Amber Portwood attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017, in Inglewood, Calif. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Portwood said she has no regrets about appearing in the reality TV series. Despite the public scrutiny, she hopes her story will resonate with other young parents going through similar struggles.

"To sit here and find out that you’ve helped so many people throughout over a decade of your life – I mean, that’s a beautiful thing to have that platform," she explained. "That’s a beautiful thing to understand that you might not have a degree in something, but you’ve helped so many people… move forward. Because we need that. It’s been pretty amazing, honestly. If I’m not authentic, I don’t want to be filmed."

Portwood’s co-star Maci Bookout also told Fox News the women endure harsh criticism from the press. However, she insisted their children have always been the focus. The 29-year-old is a mom of three.

"I feel like what’s on the show is real," Bookout told Fox News. "I’ll be honest, I don’t really look at social media… I do know that in the tabloids, I’m constantly pregnant or something. I’ve had 30-something children by now. That gets annoying."


Still, Bookout said it’s been "very important" to document their lives.

Stephanie Nolasco Fox News