Boo Boo is all grown up! Amber Portwood’s eldest child, Leah LeAnn Shirley, whom she shares with ex-fiancé Gary Shirley, is already a teenager. While the mother of two recently lost custody of her 4-year-old son James, whom she shares with ex-boyfriend Andrew Glennon, her relationship with her daughter seems to be improving.
Teen Mom fans watched as Amber, 32, and the tween, 13, struggled with their bond after Leah told her dad that “all [Amber] did was give birth to me.”
“Twelve years and she hasn’t really done anything,” Leah said about her mother while MTV cameras were rolling. “That’s kind of been like Kristina’s spot,” she added of her stepmother.
As a last-ditch effort, the Teen Mom OG star sent her daughter an emotional, heartfelt video apologizing for her wrongdoings, though Leah was unreceptive.
“I sent a video apology, but I didn’t get a response,” Amber told MTV producers. “I just want my relationship with my daughter. She is losing time with her mom, and she’s not wasting time with her mom.”
It appears the mother-daughter duo have turned a new leaf, however, as the Indiana native told Page Six that things are “good” between them now.
“I don’t want to mess anything up, but [things are] good,” she told the outlet in November 2021. “She’s reaching [out], and I am [so excited]. My arms are up and open.”
“She’s been asking questions. I’ve always told her the truth, as much as I could for her age,” Amber added. “As she’s gotten older, she’s learned more. With her age right now, she’s kind of like, ‘Well, I don’t like that attitude or behavior. I’m not like that,’” she continued.
“I think she has every right to be mad at me for a lot of things … I let her feel her emotions, and I understand that,” the Never Too Late author added.
Gary – who also shares daughter Emilee with wife Kristina Shirley – has tried to help facilitate their relationship despite having primary custody of Leah.
“One of my best friends in the entire world right here,” he wrote alongside an Instagram selfie with his daughter in January. “I’d say she’s one lucky girl! Has two moms [Amber Portwood] & [Kristina Shirley] and one overprotective papa!”
The police officer was originally granted custody in December 2011 while Amber was in the midst of her substance abuse problem. They returned to court following her release from prison, but Gary ultimately maintained primary custody while Amber was ordered to pay $1,200 per month in child support.
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