“Teen Mom OG” star Amber Portwood got “emotional” during an episode of “Family Reunion,” telling life coach, Dr. Cheyenne Bryant, about the death of her sister.
Bryant led an exercise where she brought out old pictures of Maci Bookout, Cheyenne Floyd and Portwood. She then asked each cast member — one by one — to talk about what they saw when they looked at the younger versions of themselves.
Portwood, 31, didn’t look thrilled when it was her turn to participate.
“I tend to always get emotional when I talk about my past,” she said in a confessional, before selling Bryant she had a “fake smile” in the picture they chose of her. “It’s just never been like a real smile my whole life,” Portwood said.
Portwood said her smile vanished when her sister died. The “Teen Mom OG” star was 5 at the time.
“I remember that night like I’m watching a movie. Sometimes I wish she was just here, you know? Like my life would be a little bit different because I would really have to watch myself,” Portwood told ex-boyfriend Gary Shilrey in a throwback clip.
“Well, you have the next best thing. You have a baby,” he said.
Portwood’s sister died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a fatal syndrome whose cause is unknown, People reported in 2019.
Portwood Visited Her Sister’s Grave as Soon as She Got out of Jail
Portwood revealed that when she was released from prison in December of 2013, the first thing she did was go to her sister’s final resting place.
“It was so f****** horrible to be honest with you. It’s like, when I got out of jail last time the first place I went to was her grave,” she said on “Family Reunion.” “So much trauma man I can’t just deal with it.”
Portwood’s first incident with the law took place in November 2010 when she was charged with domestic battery after she was shown Portwood attacking Shirley in August 2009 when their daughter, 1-year-old Leah, was present.
The “Teen Mom OG” star pleaded guilty to two felony charges of domestic battery and spent 17 months in prison, the Indy Star wrote, citing court documents.
Portwood pleaded guilty to two felony charges of domestic battery and intimidation in 2019 after she was accused of attacking her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Glennon, while their 1-year-old son, James, was present. She was sentenced to nearly three years of probation, according to the Indy Star, who cited court records.
Portwood said she didn’t know how to be a mother. “Back then I definitely was in so much pain,” she said on “Family Reunion.” “I wasn’t ready to be a mom because I just — I don’t know if it’s this guilt that I felt or what it was — but I never saw what it was really like, unless I was staying with a friend, like what parents are supposed to look like.”
Portwood Said She Struggled to Raise James
Before she lost primary custody of James in 2019, per The Sun, Portwood said in “Teen Mom OG: Unseen Moments” that she was having a hard time taking care of her son. Her fears related to her sister’s unexpected death as a baby.
“The thing is, my sister died from SIDS when I was 5,” Portwood said at the time, according to People. “She was an infant just like him. And it’s really scary for us. And I just feel like I want to be the one watching him.”
“It was hard,” she said about her sister’s death, People reported. “I remember watching them bringing her out on a stretcher. … It’s one of the worst things that I’ve ever really seen in my life.”