Leah Shirley opens up about her strained ‘bond’ with her mom, Amber Portwood, while debating if she should invite Amber to her 12th birthday celebration in this EXCLUSIVE ‘Teen Mom OG’ preview.
“Twelve years and she hasn’t really done anything,” Amber Portwood‘s 12-year-old daughter, Leah, says in a heartbreaking preview for the March 30 episode of Teen Mom OG. On Tuesday night’s episode, Amber will be trying to repair her relationship with her daughter. Meanwhile, Leah debates if she even wants it repaired at this point.
“A couple of weeks ago Leah got really upset when our plans fell through…and things have felt off ever since,” Amber says in the EXCLUSIVE teaser clip obtained by HollywoodLife, which you can watch above. The MTV star was referring to what happened in last week’s episode, which aired on March 23: she cancelled plans to do her daughter’s makeup because she was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
However, with Leah’s birthday coming up in the Season 8 storyline, Amber hopes they can “be together” as she packs a bag of makeup brushes. When the preview cuts to Leah’s home in Indiana where she lives with her dad/Amber’s ex Gary Shirley and his wife, Kristina Shirley, Leah doesn’t sound as intent on spending time together.
“I want to do something with friends and go shopping and get our nails done and go to lunch,” Leah tells Gary when her dad asks what she wants to do for her birthday. Amber is still out of the picture when Gary asks about separate birthday plans with the family. Leah says she just wants her dad, his wife, her little sister Emily and her grandma Tanya present for the family gathering.
“I don’t want to,” Leah says when Gary says it’s “important” that she spends time with her mom. When he asks if something happened between the two of them, Leah explains, “We don’t really have a bond like that. Twelve years and she hasn’t really done anything. That’s kind of been like Kristina’s spot.” While Leah doesn’t elaborate, Amber has a history of arrests and served 17 months in jail between 2012-2013. She was also arrested on felony domestic battery charges in connection to an alleged fight with her ex, Andrew Glennon, in 2019; she was eventually sentenced to 906 days in probation.
At one point, Leah says something especially sad about Amber: “All she did was just give birth to me and then just kind of left.” Gary argued that this isn’t necessarily true, and didn’t want his daughter “missing out” on a potential bond with her mom — even if she hasn’t always been there for her daughter. Leah finally makes a decision on whether or not to invite her mom to the family gathering for her birthday, which you can learn by watching the rest of the preview above.
Gary Shirley with his and Amber Portwood’s daughter, Leah (center); also pictured is Gary’s wife Kristina and their daughter Emily. [Instagram]
Gary has been wanting to Amber become closer to their daughter on this season of Teen Mom OG. He even made a grand offer on the show’s Feb. 2 episode: Amber was invited to live on a modular home on Gary and Kristina’s property, which is located about an hour away from where Amber lives. This would’ve closed a physical distance between Amber and Leah, who primarily stays with her dad and Kristina.
At the time of filming, COVID-19 cases were also rising in Indianapolis (where Amber lives). Alas, she eventually declined the offer to live on her ex’s five-acre estate. Amber also doesn’t want fans to think she’s dependent on Gary and Kristina, which she made very clear in this Instagram video rant that she posted in Jan. 2021.
New episodes of Teen Mom OG air Tuesdays at 8pm on MTV.