“Teen Mom” star Gary Shirley agreed to help Amber Portwood in her custody battle for her son, James Glennon — Shirley revealed that he didn’t want his daughter, Leah Shirley, to lose her half-brother. He testified on Portwood’s behalf in her custody hearing for James.
Leah is the daughter of Shirley and Portwood, and James is the son of Portwood and her ex-fiance, Andrew Glennon.
Glennon was seeking primary custody of James.
“It wasn’t too bad because I’ve already been through this sort of thing,” Shirley told his wife, Kristina Anderson, on the September 20 episode of “Teen Mom: The Next Chapter.” “They asked like a lot of Leah stuff like with me having physical custody and what not. It wasn’t perfect. We had our issues but I see the turnaround Amber made.”
Shirley saw the changes Portwood has made.
“You know, she has a relationship with James that she didn’t have with Leah. Um, it’s been seen — even by Leah,” he told his wife.
Portwood isn’t allowed to post photos of James on social media and the 4-year-old isn’t allowed to appear on “Teen Mom.” Anderson said that could impact people’s perception of Portwood’s relationship with her son.
“I think the hard part about Amber being able to prove to everybody that she is a good mom is No. 1 James isn’t allowed to film, she’s not allowed to post photos,” Anderson said. “People don’t realize she does take care of him and she just can’t show that side of him.”
Shirley Worried How The Custody Decision Would Impact Leah
Glennon wanted primary custody of James so he could move to California with his son. Shirley, who is based in Indiana, was afraid of what distance like that would do to Leah’s relationship with her brother.
“Leah has been very good with James and they have a bond if he’s taken away — it will disappear,” Shirley said. “I’m scared of the worst-case scenario.”
“My thing is you got a brother-sister bond that’s there so I hope they don’t take that away,” Shirley added.
Portwood feared how her mental health wore fare if the judge ruled against her. “I couldn’t imagine if he was gone what would happen to me mentally,” she said.
The Judge Ruled Against Portwood
In real-time, viewers learned that Portwood lost custody of James.
The “Teen Mom” star said she was devastated over the court’s ruling.
“I’ve worked so hard to better myself and improve my relationships with my children,” Portwood wrote on July 28. “While I’ve always been candid about my substance abuse and issues with mental health, a person should have a chance to redeem themselves and not be tethered to their issues from the past.”
“People who’ve done therapy, and taken classes, and made efforts to change should not continue to be punished for past mistakes,” she continued. “I’ve spent years rebuilding my bridges and did everything that was required of me, including completing 21 negative drug tests and multiple psychological evaluations.”
To find out what happens next, don’t miss “Teen Mom: The Next Chapter” when it airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.