It has been a long road for Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans, and sometimes it can be hard to believe that her whole life happened to just one person. Evans has been a reality TV mainstay since 2010, and for better or worse, a whole generation of women have grown up with her.
Evans has come a long way from the party-loving girl first introduced in MTV's 16 and Pregnant. Over the years she has changed her mind about matters of parenting, publicity and her fans, appearing to fall in and out of love with fame from time to time.
More concretely, Evans has been through several relationships and had two more children since her first appearance on TV. She has also had custody battles, legal trouble and more than her fair share of arrests.
Through it all, Evans has remained in the public eye, learning to cope with the direct focused attention on her every move. Any Teen Mom 2 fan will tell you that the last year or so has been a tumultuous time for Evans. Hardly a week goes by without a shocking headline with her name in it, and, after that, a confusing fallout tends to follow.
Evans made her first TV appearance ever in 2010, in Season 2, Episode 1 of 16 and Pregnant. At the time, Evans was expecting her first child with her then-boyfriend, Andrew Lewis. Evans knew that she was having a boy, and she seemed resistant to changes motherhood would force on her lifestyle.
In her one-off episode on the show, Evans gave birth to baby Jace, then broke up with Lewis after he was arrested. Following childbirth, Evans still found every opportunity to party, relying on her mother, Barbara to help care for Jace. In 2010, she signed over temporary custody of Jace to his grandmother.
Evans next made headlines for her very first arrest in October of 2010. At the time, the teenager and her then-boyfriend, Kieffer Delp, were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and for allegedly breaking into a neighbor's home, according to a report by Entertainment Tonight.
Evans pleaded guilty to the possession charges, which put her on probation for a year and required her to take monthly drug tests.
Probation was tough on Evans, who continued to get into trouble. First she was caught on camera punching another girl in the face, believing she had flirted with Delp, whom Evans had broken up with by then anyway. She was arrested for that incident in March of 2011, and subsequently checked herself into rehab.
A few months later, Evans was arrested when she tested positive for marijuana and opioids, violating the terms of her probation. That was in August of 2011.
As all of this was going on Evans returned to reality TV in a more permanent role. MTV premiered Teen Mom 2 in January of 2011, bringing back some fan favorite from 16 and Pregnant for a more conventional reality TV format.
Evans was one of the five original cast members, so her exploits throughout these years were documented on TV as well.
Evans was next arrested in January of 2012, when she was reported for "communicating threats" and making "harassing phone calls" to her former friend and roommate, Hannah Inman. Evans claimed that Inman owed her money for rent, though she was still taken to jail, and Inman was given a domestic protection order against her.
Evans violated that order in less than a week, Inman said. She claimed that Evans called her, though Evans' attorney later denied this.
Two months later, Evans was arrested yet again when her former boss accused her of cyberstalking. Evans turned herself in on the charge, spending just under an hour in jail, according to ET.
In the midst of all this chaos, Evans had a tumultuous relationship with a boyfriend named Gary Head. In May, the two were briefly engaged before Evans broke off the engagement, reportedly claiming Head had stolen a necklace from her.
The following month, Evans called the police on Head, who then pleaded guilty to domestic violence. Evans was arrested at the same time however, and charged with possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance. In August of 2012, these charges were dropped.
Starting in the fall of 2012, Evans fell head over heels for Courtland Rogers. The two had a fast-paced romance, as both were young single parents. They were engaged in November and then quickly married in December of 2012, but in January, they split up over a domestic dispute, according to ET.
After briefly reuniting with Head, Evans went back into rehab for a full month. She emerged from treatment and got back together with Rogers, until they had yet another physical altercation.
In April, both Evans and Rogers were arrested. When police arrived to investigate their alleged fight, they arrested the couple on suspicion of heroin possession. Evans reportedly paid two separate bonds of $10,000 to get out of jail on this occasion.
Evans later revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage during her relationship with Rogers. She vowed never to speak with him again.
View this post on Instagram
Evans' next big romance did not start until over a year later. In June of 2013, she began seeing Nathan Griffith, a male model whom she met on the dating app Tinder. Like her other relationships, Evans' time with Griffith was plagued by arguments and occasional allegations of violence.
Evans was arrested in August after testing positive for marijuana in a court-ordered drug test. She was arrested again in December, when police were called to investigate a loud dispute they were having. Evans was charged with breach of peace on that occasion, and was taken away in handcuffs.
At the same time, however, Evans and Griffith did announce that they were expecting a child together.
Evans gave birth to her second son, Kaiser in June of 2014. The family never seemed quite stable, however, though Griffith did propose to Evans in January of 2015.
She accepted, but soon after they decided they should break-up, seeing no end to their constant arguments.
Evans' arrests did not slow down as she split with Griffith and headed into 2015. The reality star was taken into custody in February when South Carolina Highway Patrol found her driving without a silence.
In May of that year, Evans got into a physical altercation with Griffith. She was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal domestic violence, though Griffith eventually dropped the charges.
In August, Evans was arrested on yet more assault charges when Griffith and his new girlfriend, Jessica Henry visited to pick up his things from their former home. Evans reportedly chucked a glass at Henry's head, and then spent the night in jail.
Finally, in September of 2015, Evans began her tumultuous relationship with David Eason. Once again, the pair met on Tinder, and bonded over their status as young single parents.
Eason already had two kids of his own, just like Evans. At the time, Entertainment Tonight reported that he did not get along with Evans' mother from the very beginning, though Barbara was still the primary caretaker for Jace.
Thins went quiet for Evans for nearly a year as she and Eason began their lives together. In August of 2016, she announced that she was pregnant with her third child. She and Eason named their daughter Ensley Jolie Eason.
Ensley was born in January of 2017. Evans and Eason then got engaged the following month, and they got married in September.
As 2018 began, Evans and Eason finally began stirring up real controversy. In February of that year, they came under fire when Eason posted a video of his wife firing and AR-15 assault rifle at a target, just hours after the tragic Florida school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Evans later posted an apology, saying that they did not know about the shooting at the time.
The same month, Evans gave an interview on The Brand podcast. Speaking to host Vince Russo, she admitted that she had tested positive for marijuana upon giving birth to Ensley.
"I tested positive for THC, and Ensley did not test positive. I did," she said. "So [Child Protective Services] were like, 'Did you smoke when you were pregnant?' I said, 'I did within the past 30 days. I have really bad esophageal spasms and I throw up every five minutes, I can't even eat.' And they said, 'OK, some moms do that. We are not here to judge, we are writing down your information.'"
Naturally, this horrified many parents and advocacy groups. Evans continued to grumble about frequent visits from Child Protective Services, which she believed stemmed from that drug test as well as her status as a reality TV star.
As if enough had not already happened that month, Eason was officially fired from the cast of Teen Mom 2 in February of 2018. With the mounting pressure of their other controversies, MTV cut Eason from the show when he posted homophobic and transphobic tweets, even addressing other reality TV stars.
The backlash was swift and unforgiving, and Eason deleted his Twitter account. In the meantime, this made Evans' employment on the reality show that much harder, as the crews now had to work and film around Eason, not allowed to get him in any important shots.
Evans had an incident of her own in April, when she was overcome with violent road rage. While driving with 8-year-old Jace in the passenger seat, Evans became enraged at another driver who cut her off in traffic. Evans allegedly pulled a gun on the motorist, though North Carolina State Highway Patrol told ET that no charges were filed against either drivers.
The incident took place in April, then aired on Teen Mom 2 in July. Parents were horrified by the scene, particularly in the wake of the mass shooting in February. Fans began to question whether Evans should still be allowed on TV.
The road rage incident was also one of the first major stories that Evans seemed to try to re-write after the fact. Though many fans thought they could see the gun right there in the footage, Evans claimed she did not take it out. She did, however, imply that she always carries it with her.
In August, Evans began to chafe at the shackles of Teen Mom 2. The reality star posted a tweet about having "lots of offers" for jobs elsewhere, but claimed that she was locked into a contract with MTV.
"I will go do my own thing and I will get out of my contract," Evans told producers on a subsequent episode of Teen Mom 2. "Best believe, mark my f—ing words. I’m not doing it. I’ll go do my own thing. I have people offering me stuff for Netflix and Amazon right f—ing now."
Evans later gave an interview with Dr. Drew Pinksky, where she reiterated this wish to escape MTV. She told the doctor that she had PTSD from her road rage incident but also admitted that she had lied when she said she did not pull her gun out.
In the interview, Evans also complained about her husband's termination. She defended Eason, who was only growing less popular through his brazen Instagram posts. Evans felt it was her husband's right to be homophobic.
"He thinks he shouldn’t have said it the way he did, but he still stands by his views," she said. "He just doesn’t want his kids to grow up and be that way. Just like if you don’t want your kid to grow up and be a doctor. 'I don’t want you to be a doctor. I want you to be in the military.' Well, some dads are just like that."
The controversy turned inward in October, when Evans and Eason had their first domestic violence allegation. At the time, Evans called police and an ambulance to her home but later canceled the ambulance and sent the cops away. She was still taken to the hospital in a private car.
Evans tried to explain this incident in a bizarre Instagram video the following week. She filmed herself talking inside of her own closet, claiming she did not want her children to overhear her.
"I know everyone's concerned about me, and I know everyone wants to know, 'Is she OK? How are the kids?'" she said. "Everything's fine. You know, I’ve been in so many domestic violence situations in the past that I would not put up with it now. So I don’t know why you guys would think that I would continue to stay in this relationship if I was being abused."
In February, the alleged violence between Evans and Eason made it to TV on an episode of Teen Mom 2. In it, Evans made an agonized 911 call to police, believing that she was badly hurt.
"My husband, he just assaulted me. He pinned me down on the ground, I’m sorry, in the yard," she said. "And I think I heard my f—ing collarbone crack. I can’t move my arm."
Evans later called this whole incident "a big drunk misunderstanding." On the show, she told her mother that she had had too much to drink while Eason was hunting at night. She was frustrated that he was not returning her calls, so when he came home she said that she drunkenly confronted him in the front yard.
According to Evans, she tripped in a hole in the ground while yelling at Eason. She said that she grabbed him and dragged him down on top of her, but in her drunken stupor she believed that he had knocked her to the ground himself. Still, fans were suspicious of the whole ordeal.
View this post on Instagram
Nugget... I’m crying everyday. I love you so much and I’m so sorry. I’m speechless. You were my side kick and knew the moment I felt bad and would cuddle with me. You still had a lot to learn and a lot to grow from your lessons. Everyday I wake up you’re not here, when I come home you’re not here, when I go to bed... you’re not here. You’re gone forever and there’s no coming back. #Heartbroken #Distraught 😓😪💔
Fast-forwarding to May of this year, Evans and Eason had perhaps their most controversial moment yet. In a confusing turn of events, Evans accused Eason of shooting and killing her beloved pet dog, Nugget. Evans made her claim in an Instagram post, and Eason seemed to confirm it in his own. He wrote that Nugget had tried to bite Ensley's face, and he had been acting to protect her.
This story, too, changed over time. Evans was fired from Teen Mom 2 over this incident, which was reportedly a surprise to her. After that, Child Protective Services removed all three children from Evans and Eason's custody — Kaiser, Ensley and Eason's daughter Maryssa.
However, in July police said that they believe Evans and Eason had actually fabricated the entire story of Nugget's death. The speculated that the stunt may have been for publicity, and said that Evans' account of the ordeal changed over time. Evans later told TMZ that she has "no idea" whether Eason killed Nugget.
"After David went outside with the dog, I walked over to him, and he was by the edge of the woods and he said, 'You don't want to come over here.' And I said, 'Why?' And he said, 'Your dog is not here anymore,'" she recalled. "So I assumed that was my dog being dead. [So] yes. I mean, the dog isn't here. I mean, I don't know what happened. And she hasn't been around since, so I don’t know."
Crying in tears of joy. 😭😭😭— Jenelle Eason (@PBandJenelley_1) July 3, 2019
Whatever the fate of Nugget, Evans and Eason stayed together, and they improbably got custody of their children back. While Jace remains in the custody of Barbara, all three children removed by Child Protective Services were returned to Evans, against the vehement wishes of Kaiser's father.
Evans celebrated the occasion on social media, where she still has a massive following despite no longer being a reality TV star. However, these days her posts are often met with scorn and vitriol, to the point where Evans disables the comments on many of her Instagram posts.
View this post on Instagram
For the time being, there is not much hanging over Evans' and Eason's heads. The couple faces disdain whenever they pop up on social media, but they appear intent on staying together and raising their children themselves.0comments
Since getting their kids back, Evans and Eason added two Anatolian Shepherds to their family. The dogs draw plenty of outraged comments whenever they appear in the family's Instagram posts, alongside their growing collection of chickens and other farm animals.
So far, there is now word of Evans appearing on a program for Netflix, Amazon or any other outlets.
Hold on! Did you subscribe to GroupChat, PopCulture.com's official reality tv podcast yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
Listen to GroupChat Episode 3 as we delve into 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', baby 'Flip Flop', Farrah Abraham showing off all her assets and how Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvintsev are dealing with being cut from 'Dancing With the Stars'! Don't miss an episode and join in on the conversation with #GroupChat. Make sure to tap that subscribe button now so you don't ever miss an episode!