“Teen Mom OG” fans had a strong reaction to Amber Portwood when a sneak peek of the new season was released by MTV on September 2. Portwood cried to her 12-year-old daughter during a FaceTime call and apologized for not being around as much as she could have.
Leah lives with her father, Gary Shirley and his wife, Kristina. Also in the home is Leah’s half-sister, Emilee.
“I’m so sorry for everything I did that kept us apart,” Portwood says during the call. She was on her couch and her head was down most of the time.
The next scene cuts to Leah having a conversation with her father. “I don’t know if I can forgive her,” she says.
The preteen first started to show resentment toward her biological mother on the previous season of “Teen Mom OG.” She started to create boundaries and didn’t want to hang out with her mother for a solo event after she neglected to come to her birthday party.
Some fans were surprised to see Portwood was still taping from her couch in Indiana. Others said their hearts were breaking for Leah.
“If Leah doesn’t want a relationship with her mom that is her choice and if she changes her mind that is fine too,” one of the top comments on MTV’s YouTube page said.
Portwood Was Warned Leah Might Not Forgive Her
Since Portwood’s relationship with Leah had been strained after she canceled on her birthday, she reached out to On Your Feet Foundation, an organization that helps women mend their mother-daughter relationships.
“Remember that it’s hard to get forgiveness from people in this world,” Vicki Twomey, the leader of the organization, warned Portwood. “It could be now, it could be five years from now, it could be on your deathbed.”
Portwood admitted that Leah was angry but she didn’t take responsibility for her daughter’s feelings. “[My mom] was never really around but I never had the courage like Leah did to tell me [how she feels],” Portwood told Twomey. “[Leah’s] angry. It’s not even about me, honestly.”
The leader of the organization disagreed with Portwood, saying: “But it is. Because this relationship with Leah is about you. She’s looking for something from you, right?”
Portwood Blames Shirley for Her Strained Relationship With Leah
Shirley met with his own mother, Carol Zizak, to discuss Leah’s fractured relationship with Portwood. He’s been a champion for the relationship, trying to get Leah to visit with her mother.
“It’s a very hard situation that I’m going through right now,” he said on “Teen Mom OG.” “Amber and I co-parent a beautiful young kid. We had Leah’s birthday party and afterward Leah was a little upset that she didn’t come so Leah wants time for herself and space.”
“Then Amber got upset with us thinking it was something that we were doing or saying so it’s been an ongoing thing,” he continued. “But she needs her mom even though she might not know it or think it.”
Zizak then reminded her son of all the times Portwood let Leah down in the past; this wasn’t the first time she didn’t come to an event. In fact, she was surprised it took her granddaughter this long to “explode” on her mother.
Portwood went on to blast Shirley’s wife Kristina Anderson at the tell-all, telling host Dr. Drew Pinsky that Anderson was “horrible.”
Shirley admitted Portwood could be envious of Anderson’s relationship with Leah. “I feel she is jealous of the relationship Kristina has with Leah,” he said. “[She’s] seeing someone else taking care of her daughter.”