Teen Mom: The Most Scandalous Cast Members

MTV's "Teen Mom" is a reality show staple, having been on the air for over a decade. The show follows the lives of young mothers as they navigate the challenges of parenthood, relationships, and life in general. Despite its popularity, the show has been plagued by scandals since its inception, and the girls at the center of the show have faced their fair share of controversy and drama.

Like many reality show cast members, the "Teen Mom" cast has had their ups and downs in life, some cast members creating more drama than others. They have been arrested for a variety of offenses; including drug possession, drunk driving, and assault. These arrests have put the show under intense scrutiny, but "Teen Mom" continues to be one of the most popular shows on MTV.  Cast members like Catelynn Lowell, Farrah Abraham and Amber Portwood, to name a few, remain at the helm of the show despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles — and this isn't including raising children when you are in fact, still a child yourself! 

Whether you love them or hate them, there is no denying the impact that the show's cast has had on popular culture and the ongoing conversation about teen pregnancy and parenthood. Let's take a look at some of the most scandalous cast members of "Teen Mom."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Amber Portwood's domestic altercations

Amber Portwood, one of the original cast members of MTV's "Teen Mom," has been deemed a favorite on the show, and arguably the most troublesome. Portwood first came to national attention in 2010 when she was arrested on charges of domestic violence after a physical altercation with her then-boyfriend and baby daddy, Gary Shirley, was captured on camera. This incident sparked a national conversation about domestic violence and led to Portwood being temporarily removed from the show.

In 2011, Portwood lost custody of her daughter, Leah, to Shirley, due to her ongoing struggles with drug addiction and erratic/violent behavior. Portwood's drug addiction worsened over the years, and she eventually served 17 months in prison in 2012 for violating her probation (via Daily News). While in prison, she received treatment for her addiction and completed several programs aimed at helping her overcome her substance abuse issues. 

After being released in 2013, Portwood worked hard to turn her life around and regain custody of her daughter. Despite her efforts, she continued to struggle with addiction and her relationship with Shirley became increasingly volatile. Years later, Portwood was arrested once again, this time for domestic battery after an altercation with Shirley. The incident was captured on video and quickly went viral, causing widespread outrage. As of February 2023, Amber Portwood made the decision to leave the show, after 14 years.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Jenelle Evans has been charged with several crimes

Jenelle Evans isn't phased in the least when she finds herself at the center of controversy and drama — year after year. In 2018, Evans made headlines after she was caught on camera pulling a gun on another driver, while driving with her then eight year old son, Jace, in North Carolina. The irresponsible event was captured on camera by MTV and quickly went viral as it aired on the show, leaving many viewers questioning her parenting capabilities. According to reports, Evans was driving when another driver began tailgating and threatening her. "Are you f***ing kidding me, dude? Oh my God. Give me your phone," Evans said on the show. She dialed 911 and told them she "almost veered out of the road" after the other driver abruptly slowed. The situation was further complicated by Evans' history of drug use and abuse, as well as her involvement in a number of other legal and personal scandals with various exes and her mother.

Despite the criticism, Jenelle Evans maintained that she was acting in self-defense and that she was within her rights to carry a weapon. However, many argued that the situation was a clear example of poor judgment and that Evans' actions put her son and other drivers in grave danger. In the end, Evans wasn't charged in connection to the incident, per People. That said, she was ultimately fired from "Teen Mom 2."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Farrah Abraham loves stirring the pot

Farrah Abraham truly loves the concept of shock value. This former teen mom lives for the spotlight and is the queen of TMI. Abraham underwent three different vaginal rejuvenation surgeries between 2019 to 2020, saying that the surgery was necessary for her because she wanted to improve her sexual experience. She added that the procedure was painless and that she was pleased with the results, documenting the procedure on her Instagram Stories.

Additionally, Abraham's foray into the adult film industry caused a stir in the media, which may have been why she decided to try adult films in the first place. In 2013, she made a sex tape with adult film star James Deen, which was initially marketed as a "leaked" tape.  Abraham claimed to TMZ she was unaware, and even sent a cease and desist to Deen. The tape received a lot of negative attention, with Abraham getting the brunt of it. Eventually, she defended her decision, stating that she was a single mother who wanted to provide a better life for her daughter and that she saw it as an opportunity to further her career. In a now-deleted video, Abraham said, "So, on the real, what would you do? You have been a single mother for four years off and on dating loser-a** boys who always try to sell information, lie to you, manipulate and you've just realized you're an awesome person and you deserve someone."

David Eason caught the ire of animal rights activists

Some of these teen moms really know how to pick a husband, despite having to grow up rather quickly — note our sarcasm. In 2019, Jenelle Evans posted a photo on her Instagram account which led to speculation that her husband, David Eason, had killed their dog after it allegedly nipped at their two-year-old daughter, Ensley. Social media erupted with outrage and called for the couple to face animal cruelty charges. "It was a situation where my daughter, her health, her safety was in danger," Eason told People.

In response to the backlash, the Columbus County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation into the matter. Articles stated that the couple faced criticism from animal rights activists and celebrities, who expressed their disgust at the dog's death. Despite these controversies, David Eason and Jenelle Evans remain defiant, with Eason claiming that he did what he had to do to protect his family. In an interview with People, Eason said, "I loved that dog ... A lot of people put me down for it, they hate me for it, but like I said it was not something I wanted to do."

This wasn't Eason's only brush with the law, however. In June 2022, he was charged with pistol whipping and threatening a man (assault with a deadly weapon), but was released on bail. Like we said, these teen moms really know how to pick them.

Leah Messer's tumultuous relationships

Teen mom Leah Messer has been vocal about her struggles with anxiety, depression, and addiction. She's also been vocal about her tumultuous romantic history. Messer had an emotional breakdown on "Teen Mom 2" and admitted to having cheated on husband Corey Simms with her ex-boyfriend Robbie Kidd — a week before their wedding! She revealed that she had been unfaithful, but did not seem regretful; noting that she had too much to drink the night of the hook-up. Messer's admission of infidelity caused a great deal of controversy and made her the subject of public scrutiny. Needless to say, Messer's marriage to Simms barely lasted a year.

Messer and Robbie Kidd ended up dated on and off, but their relationship was plagued with drama. They broke up multiple times, and their tumultuous relationship was frequently documented on "Teen Mom 2." In 2012, Messer married Jeremy Calvert, with whom she has a daughter named Adalynn. However, the couple's marriage also ended in divorce in 2015 — with Messer cheating again!

Messer has since moved on from Simms, Calvert, and Kidd, and is, as of this writing, focused on raising her three daughters and planning a wedding with fiance Jaylan Mobley. She has been open about her struggles with mental health, addiction, and co-parenting with her ex-husbands.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Adam Lind was arrested for domestic assault

Chelsea Houska's ex-boyfriend Adam Lind's troubled past made him a controversial figure on the show and in the media. Lind and Houska started dating in high school, and their dramatic relationship was the center of the storyline on "Teen Mom 2." Lind was known for his poor treatment of Houska, including cheating on her and failing to provide for their daughter, Aubree, resulting in Houska trying to get him arrested for not paying child support.

His legal troubles also made headlines as can't seem to stay out of jail. In 2017, he was arrested for domestic assault and violating a no-contact order with his ex-girlfriend, Stasia Huber, per Radar. The incident led to Lind losing custody of his daughter Paislee, whom he had with his ex-girlfriend, Taylor Halbur. Additionally, his criminal history also includes charges of driving under the influence, drug possession, and multiple traffic violations. Lind is also a known drug addict, which he has been accused of spending all the money he has on drugs — instead of his children. A source told Radar, "He has the potential to be a good dad when there aren't obstacles in his way," the source said. "At the end of the day all that matters though is his actions and his effort and it's just not there. He only works on his cars and sleeps a lot." Yikes.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Briana DeJesus filed a defamation lawsuit

Briana DeJesus broke the golden rule: never date a friend's ex! Briana DeJesus and Javi Marroquin's relationship has been quite the shifty subject since Javi Marroquin is the ex-husband of "Teen Mom 2" star, Kailyn Lowry. DeJesus first appeared on "Teen Mom 2" in 2017, following her time on "16 and Pregnant," and later, "Teen Mom 3." 

While on "Teen Mom 2," DeJesus made headlines for her rocky relationships with both her baby daddies and her ongoing issues with her ex, Devoin Austin. In early 2021, rumors began to circulate that she was dating Marroquin, another cast member on the show. This caused a major riff between Lowry and DeJesus, even causing DeJesus to file a defamation lawsuit against Lowry when she thought she was spreading false information. According to Us Weekly, DeJesus even threw a party when she won the lawsuit against her costar.

Marroquin, who had previously been married to Lowry for about three years and shares a son with her, had been a controversial dad on the show since his first appearance in 2012. His tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife (Lowry) had been a major storyline on the show, with viewers watching as they struggled to co-parent and reconcile their differences. The two were teens, after all!  

Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra's tax troubles

Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra have been one of the most beloved and endearing couples of the "Teen Mom" franchise, having first gained fame on the show "16 and Pregnant" before transitioning to "Teen Mom OG." The two are one of the few couples that have actually stayed together throughout some major ups and downs. The couple faced their fair share of financial challenges over the years, including bankruptcy filings and a string of failed business ventures. In 2019, it was revealed by Us Weekly that Lowell and Baltierra owe over $800,000 to the IRS.  The pair got slapped with a federal tax lien for $535,010 fo the 2016 and 2017 tax seasons. Unfortunately, that's not all. They were then presented with another lien for over $300,000 bringing their total to $856,799 in unpaid taxes. 

The pair has been open about their struggles with money on the show. In a 2018 episode of "Teen Mom OG," the couple discussed their financial woes, including the fact that Baltierra was getting tired of always having to provide for Lowell when he felt she wasn't pulling her weight.  Lowell and Baltierra also launched a short-lived children's clothing line called Tierra Reign, which they had hoped would provide them with a steady income stream. However, the business struggled to gain traction, and they eventually decided to close it down — but they forgot to file annual paperwork, and even had to deal with a lawsuit with one of their investors (via Radar).

Ryan Edwards' substance abuse problems

Ryan Edwards is no stranger to the inside of a police station. According to Radar, on March 12, 2017, Edwards was arrested for possession of heroin. In the Red Bank City Court documentation obtained by Radar, it stated that he was caught with 14 hypodermic needles (one was loaded with heroin), and a bag found in the middle console with a dark substance inside. Since then, he's been in and out of jail for the following few years — all of which has been documented in a timeline by Us Weekly. This all led to him getting the axe from the "Teen Mom" franchise in March 2021.

Edwards' multiple arrests have once again shone a light on the issue of addiction among reality TV stars, and the challenges they face when it comes to maintaining sobriety in the public eye. Many have followed his struggles with addiction as "Teen Mom OG" story lines have been centered around this — almost like a car crash you cannot look away from. Viewers would watch in agony as he struggled to stay clean and maintain a stable relationship with his wife Mackenzie Edwards. The duo has faced numerous challenges over the years, including Edwards' stints in rehab and his strained relationship with his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, Maci Bookout.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).