Despite demands that Amber Portwood be fired from MTV, the OG has made the cut, and she’s been permitted to join the cast of Teen Mom: The Next Chapter.
Like her co-stars Amber has not been a teen in a very long time, but unlike the others, we probably won’t be seeing her doing much mothering on the show, either.
Portwood lost custody of her four-year-old son James back in July following a lengthy legal battle with ex-fiance Andrew Glennon.
And to make matters worse (or better, if you’re a TV producer seeking a dramatic storyline) Amber’s relationship with her daughter, Leah, has also become deeply strained.
In fact, Amber is officially estranged from Leah after the 13-year-old decided their relationship would benefit from some distance.
“We’re working on our relationship and I’m being patient,” the 32-year-old revealed during the Tuesday’s premiere episode The Next Chapter.
“Last year, my daughter asked for space and I’m doing my best to be present for her while respecting her boundaries.”
The episode documented Amber’s attendance at Leah’s 13th birthday.
And while the occasion went smoothly enough, mother and daughter didn’t exactly hit it off, either.
“I want us to be friendly together and not have any issues or anything. I don’t want to have any tension or for it to be awkward with her,” Leah told her father, Gary Shirley, after the party.
“I feel like we’re taking a big step. It is still awkward because I don’t know what to say most of the time, but we’re taking a big step into having something.”
Amber was considerably more optimistic and seemed to think that the party had brought her and Leah much closer to a conventional mother-daughter relationship.
“It seems like we’re moving pretty close to where we need to get to. We’re moving at least. We are just trying still. We’re trying to really find where we’re at and where we want to be at,” Portwood said in a confessional.
At the time the episode was filmed, Amber had not yet lost custody of James.
“I’ve worked so hard to better myself and improve my relationships with my children,” the troubled reality star said in a statement issued after the ruling.
“While I’ve always been candid about my past substance abuse and struggles with mental illness, a person should have the chance to redeem themselves and not be tethered to their problems from the past.”
Portwood admitted her past mistakes, but argued that she had taken significant steps toward repairing the damage she’d done.
“I’ve spent years rebuilding bridges and did everything that was required of me, including submitting 21 negative drug tests and undergoing multiple psychological evaluations, if your road has not been perfect, but you’ve worked hard to become a better, more stable and caring person today, keep moving forward as I will,” she continued.
“I’ll never stop fighting for my children who I love more than anything.”
Of course, Amber has also been arrested for multiple acts of violence, and while most people deserve second chances, there’s never a guarantee that trust can be regained.
And that’s particularly true in cases where there are lingering questions about the safety and well-being of children.
While the odds are against her, here’s hoping she’ll continue to work toward rebuilding her relationships with her kids.