'Teen Mom OG' Star Amber Portwood Reveals She Called Ex Gary Shirley With Suicidal Thoughts

Amber Portwood reached out to ex Gary Shirley for support in the days immediately following her arrest for domestic battery after allegedly attacking boyfriend Andrew Glennon. On Tuesday's episode of Teen Mom OG, Portwood learned that Glennon had filed in court to be able to move the couple's 1-year-old son, James, to California with him, wanting to put distance between himself and his alleged attacker.

Portwood admitted that learning her son could soon be taken so far from her had taken "a huge toll on my mental health," adding, "I’m sick to my stomach because of this stuff. When I found out that he was trying to take James away to California, it just killed me. It feels like a train hit you."

"[My psychiatrist] is worried about a lot of things and he does ask me, 'Do you feel like you need to be put in a mental hospital? Do you feel like you’re going to kill yourself?'" Portwood continued. "And I tell him the truth: ‘No.’"

The MTV star admitted that she had previously struggled with suicidal thoughts, but had been able to reach out to Shirley for help.

"I had a night that was bad when I found out Andrew was trying to take James to California. I called Gary because the last time I tried to do something I called him and he saved me," Portwood said, breaking down in tears. "I will always be grateful for that."

Portwood, who shares 11-year-old daughter Leah with Shirley, added that she wouldn't allow Glennon to take her son to California, insisting, "I just have to keep fighting. My lawyers will keep fighting." The reality personality would take a plea deal in October 2019 in which she pleaded guilty to lesser domestic battery charges in exchanges for 2.5 years probation.

In Tuesday's episode, Shirley also confessed to wife Kristina that he was concerned for Portwood's mental health after she reached out.

"I think this whole entire thing has taken a toll on her. The phone call was reaching out to help. She came out and mentioned she’d had some suicidal thoughts," he said. "I told her, 'Look no matter what, Leah needs you. Imagine what she would go through if something happened. Let’s say you did something to yourself, what’s Leah going to do if you’re gone? It’s going to mess her up.'"

He continued, "Obviously, I care about Amber. I would hate for something to happen to Amber and it could have been prevented."

Kristina began to tear up as she said, "My heart breaks for the kids. Leah loves her mom and she wants her to be happy and people make mistakes. You can't turn your back on somebody that needs help. It’s tough."


Teen Mom OG airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.

Photo credit: David Crotty / Contributor, Getty