Teen Mom Amber tells judge she makes $280,000 salary from MTV a year

Back when Life & Style reported that the Teen Mom castmembers earned $60,000 a season, I wondered how MTV could show these kids barely scraping by, bouncing checks and relying on social services like free daycare to make ends meet. It turns out that they make much more than $60,000. Rageaholic star Amber Portword was ordered by a judge in her domestic violence case to state her salary, and it’s a whopping $140,000 for each six month contract, not the $60,000 we’ve heard. That doesn’t sound extravagant by reality show standards, but it is far in excess of what we’ve heard. MTV has so far refused to comment on the salaries of the Teen Mom stars and I guess we know why – the numbers in no way reflect the “reality” that they present on the show.

A reporter for The Herald Bulletin was inside the jail as Portwood exited. The reality star seemed surprised by the number of reporters outside, and instructed her mother, Tonya Portwood, and her grandmother to keep their chins up. She also told them not to block their faces from the cameras.

Earlier in the day, Portwood appeared before Madison County magistrate Steven Clase via a video feed from the jail for her initial hearing.

During the hearing, Portwood told Clase her occupation was a “television personality” and he asked her to reveal her annual income.

Her attorney, Kathleen Sweeney, responded, “I object.”

“You what?” Clase asked Sweeney.

Sweeney questioned the relevance of the question and Clase promptly overruled the objection, forcing Portwood to reveal that she makes $140,000 for a six-month contract with MTV.

If she works the entire year, Portwood said, the 20-year-old makes $280,000 annually.

[From The Herald Bulletin via Hollywood Life]

This explains the various new cars and spending sprees that Amber and Gary have been going on recently. In Touch reports this week that Gary has been going out to local strip clubs and regularly drops $200 a night on drinks alone. He recently purchased a new Dodge Charger, and dropped $6k on a trip to Vegas. Amber bought herself a new Dodge Magnum, along with reportedly paying for her boyfriend Clint’s rent and taking him on shopping sprees.

Meanwhile Gary has asked that Amber’s no contact order with him be lifted, but it’s not like he’s clamoring to see the mother of his child. E! Online reports that it’s probably more about ensuring he gets face time on MTV – and more cash to pay for his toys.

Amber has been reunited with her daughter, Leah, who was brought to her home by Child Protective Services on Tuesday after she was released from jail. Leah stayed overnight with Amber and was picked up by CPS and escorted to Gary’s house the next day. If Amber is convicted of any of the felonies she’s accused of, she could lose custody of Leah.

TMZ reports that a hearing has been scheduled for January 19 to determine Leah’s placement. They also have an audio recording of Gary Shirley telling a girlfriend named Ashley that Amber attacked him recently, and that Ashley should always say “no comment” to the media. It’s clear that either Shirley or his buddy made the recording and released it to TMZ. These idiotic kids are making a lot of money by fighting on camera and ignoring their toddler. At least Leah has two grandmothers that live nearby and can care for her.

Photos are from 12/11/10. Credit: Fame Pictures




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43 Responses to “Teen Mom Amber tells judge she makes $280,000 salary from MTV a year”

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  1. malachais says:

    Cancel this show already!!

  2. poopie says:

    nothing says norman rockwell and apple pie like PIMPIN’ OUT THE BABY ! MTV should be ashamed of themselves. if they could sink any lower it would be miles below the crust of the earth.

  3. lisa says:

    This whole situation is beyond disgusting. YOU have a baby.. abuse your boyfriend and you get to bring home over 1/4 of a million dollar a year. Now how do we tell young people to go into debt for college when this is the way.

    This has become the new American Dream. Make a mistake and get PAID big time. Do something stupid and become a STAR.. Look at the Kardashins, Kate G, Jersey Shore, those Housewives shows..

    MAN.. Shaking my head

  4. skilo says:

    It is a crying shame that instead of bettering their lives and the life of that little girl with an educations and smart investments they are blowing it on frivolous shit that will be worthless when they are no longer on MTV.That poor sweet litle girl, shame she has stupid trashy parents.

  5. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    MTV needs to pay me $280,000 to watch this crap.

  6. the original bellaluna says:

    And THIS is why this crapfest needs to be off the air! I didn’t think it was even possible, but I’m even more disgusted than I was previously with this whole Teen Mom/16 & Pregnant mess.

    Mr. Bellaluna & I both work full-time (or more!) and we make a fraction of what this lazy, talentless, violent, no-parental-skills-having bitch & her disfunctional, passive-aggressive blob are being paid to memorialise their ignorance & stupidity on MTV! NOT OK.

    (Yes, I realise I just made a convincing argument for anyone who is like these two slobs to get a “reality” TV show; but I, for one, have boycotted anything remotely related to MTV. And I won’t watch “reality” TV on any other channel, either. It’s a source of great pride to me that I’ve not watched one episode of AI, Survivor, any Real Housewives of…or any other “reality” show on A&E, TLC, or any of the rest of the trash TV programmes on air.)

  7. Kate says:

    My two college degrees and I are simmering with rage over here. It’ll take me almost a decade to make that, and all she had to do was not bother to use a fucking condom.

    And yet they still live in squalor, I guess trashiness really can’t be helped, no matter how much money you make.

  8. poopie says:

    @kate : no amount of money can buy CLASS and this is proven here with this trailer trash group.

  9. Kim says:

    I’m not feeling the rage here. Neither of them have any discernible skills and that money will run out almost immediately. If they’re able to squeeze one, MAYBE two more seasons out of their arrangement with MTV, that’s like $600,000, which is not exactly enough to live on for long when you’re blowing it on strippers. These two idiots need all the help they can get, as does that poor little girl.

  10. mel says:

    All I will say is WOW what does this say about our society!

  11. happygirl says:

    @ Johnny Depp’s Girl – LMAO! So true…

  12. the original bellaluna says:

    @ Kim – The point of contention is that these two wastes of human skin are getting that kind of money at all. Stupidity isn’t supposed to be subsidised. When hard-working, educated people (a la hubby & me, and @ Kate, here) don’t make that kind of money until after YEARS of hard work, how is it that these tools are rewarded for their selfishness, stupidity, and ignorance? Why should these ignoramuses be rewarded for their stupidity (no discernible skills; no money put into a college fund for the baby, without which they wouldn’t be on this stupid show; not even bothering to get college education themselves?!?) with the kind of money most of us won’t be able to earn, even WITH our considerable education/skills?

    I’m pretty sure that’s where most of us are coming from…if I’m wrong, please enlighten me.

  13. spinner says:

    This is disgusting as well as insulting. Why are people watching this? Are they just showing us what we really want to see? Don’t watch this shit & it will get taken off the air, people.

    It really makes you think…why…is stuff like this being glorified & rewarded.

  14. Samigirl says:

    …ohh man. I’m a great mother to my son, bust my ass 6 days a week waiting tables, attend 14 hours of classes a week, and I don’t make NEAR what this piece of trailer trash gets. I shoulda gotten knocked up 4 years earlier.

  15. the_porscha says:

    That poor, poor child.

  16. Kristin says:

    To everyone above who said they were “wasting” the money….don’t you think they’d also spend money on stuff for Leah too? Everyone is jumping to the conclusion that they only buy stuff for themselves, plus a better home and car is something that benefits Leah as well.

    —-> Honestly, if I was in any of the Teen Mom’s shoes, I would do the show as well. That’s a lot of money and regardless of whether or not they’ve “earned” it, it’s better than if MTV never came calling at all — Amber might still have abused Gary and neglected Leah, but in a situation where money was much, MUCH tighter and where justice may not have been served and Amber could have kept on going. Without that video footage, who would have believed it?

  17. Kate says:

    @Kristin – Because it took CPS taking Leah away for Amber to buy her a freakin’ bed. Kind of a good indicator on where their priorities are in terms of spending the money on their child rather than themselves.

  18. chasingadalia says:

    Ugh, why am I finishing my undergrad and working part time right now? I should just spread eagle and find a way to turn it into a show.

    @Bellaluna – It was only once they started pairing reality tv and food that I got sucked in. Mmm, Cupcake Wars.

  19. the original bellaluna says:

    ROTLFMAO @ chasingadalia, on both points!

    I was a teen mom, and if MTV had come calling, I would have refused. I saw my baby as a child, not a paycheck; nor did I see him as someone/thing to be exploited. (Baby or not, he was still a person. As MY baby, he deserved my protection, and as his mother, I provided it. At great cost to both of us.)

    That’s the bottom line here: if you, as a parent, aren’t looking out for the best interests of your child, who is? F the money, F the “fame”; self-respect has no price. No “reality” show, trashy network, or popular opinion will convince me otherwise.

  20. melinda says:

    @ the original bellaluna- Forget about college education, amber cant even be bothered to put in the work to get her GED. Did you see the episode where she wanted to know if there was such a thing as “smart pills” to help her out? These people have zero work ethic. This money will be gone with in the next 3 months spent on trips to vegas, various people’s rent, and all the Gucci fanny packs (yes they exist) they can fit in their closets!

  21. the original bellaluna says:

    @ melinda – No, I’m sorry to say I missed that piece of classic TV. 😀 Yeah, if at 20 she STILL doesn’t have her GED, it’s probably never gonna happen. (OMG @ Gucci fanny packs – tell me you’re kidding!)

  22. guesty says:

    no thxs on this franchise either. over it.

  23. original kate says:

    whoo-wee! and here i bothered wastin’ my time getting all educated-like when alls i had ta do was spread mah legs and make 280 grand! i is one dumb edumacated gal now.

    *cue sad banjo music*

  24. melinda says:

    I am not kidding about the Gucci fanny packs! I saw them in the Gucci store, turned to my friend and said who would buy that? She promptly responded, “LOTTERY WINNERS!” That’s basically what these clowns are.

  25. LolaBella says:

    If nothing else this should prove why having this show on the air is a terrible idea.

    I can just see some teenage girl who will see this as an incentive to get pregnant so she too can be a ‘star’ and be on TV and in the tabloids.

    It burns me that we (MTV, Viewers etc.) reward girls like Amber by paying her $280,000 while those of us who slaved to put ourselves through school will NEVER make that kind of money in a year!!

    This whole world is fucked up!

  26. jc126 says:

    Disgusting. Beyond disgusting. Now does anyone still wonder whether some girls will try to get pregnant on purpose, and act all dramatic, to get on this show?

  27. December says:

    While it’s disgusting that someone like Amber could make this much money, the only good part about this is that she’ll blow through that money after six months of not being on the show.

    Also, why is it that CPS will try to take children away from homes where they are truly loved and cared for, yet when there is undeniable proof that Amber is a horrible mother, they make no attempts to bar her from seeing her child and putting Leah into a stable and loving foster home?

    MTV has to have a part in this, probably because Amber helps bring up the ratings for this truly trashy show.

  28. padiddle says:

    I now more than ever believe that I graduated cum laude from a respectable state school (TCNJ, any other alumni out there?) for absolutely nothing.
    I make 30 k a yr and have 50k in student loans. I proved I was competent in my chosen area of study…Amber hasn’t even proved she is competent at her job, which right now is being a mother.

  29. craigc says:

    I’m gonna F-in shoot myself!!!!

  30. niki says:

    You got to be kidding me!!! I’m struggling with a full time job and college courses and student loans and she lays on her back and gets paid for it just because it was unprotected!!….wow

  31. Anon says:

    I totally agree, December! A friend of mine called children’s aid on a couple who was abusing their children, and she had seen it first hand (an example was leaving their almost 1 year old in his crib for the entire day, unchanged and with just a bottle, so they could sleep). CA did NOTHING. All they required was a note from their physician saying the children were healthy (which came from a 5 minute exam). It was really sad, and I feel sorry for the two young boys who are going to have to grow up in that household.

    Amber or Gary do not deserve to have custody of Leah. Neither of them are fit parents, and all it takes is watching 1 episode to realize this. When I saw Amber freak out and start hitting Gary, I didn’t understand how MTV could show that level of abuse on television and not do anything about it. So I am glad that something has finally happened, and hopefully they make both of them take parenting classes or something similar to help benefit Leah. She is such a cute little girl!

  32. Cakes says:

    Wow. Just when I thought this oompah-loompah couldnt get any more disgusting. 280 grand to have a kid, drop out of high school, and not work.

  33. Lindsay says:

    Ha, if she “works” all year. They are filming her life, it’s not like she even pretends to be nice or a good parent in front of the camera.

    December – It seems to me it takes way too much to get child protective services involved and a ridiculous amount more for them to remove a child from their home. Who are these loving, caring parents losing their kids?

    But are they told to act poor? Why are they all so concerned with money and getting government assistance? Something is off about this whole thing.

  34. Isabel says:

    Well, fuck me running, if that isn’t the most disgusting thing I’ve heard today.

  35. Hakura says:

    ITA with Kate (#17) in response to Kristin (#16).

    It’s hard to assume anything positive about Amber when it’s been so obvious how selfish she is. Not even giving her baby a bed until she was forced to, for Christ’s sake.

    I don’t even think it was Leah’s being taken away that upset Amber & prompted her to get the bed. I think she was upset by losing the only reason MTV has to film her. No baby, no show/fame, no money.

    You can’t look at this situation & think justice has been served. If so, Leah wouldn’t be living with Amber. Amber would be getting her shit together, not getting a (Fugly) tattoo of her daughter instead of doing right by her as a mother.

    MTV is paying these girls insane amounts of money, giving them a show, & taking advantage of a very negative situation. MTV has NO morals. They are creating a situation in which the pregnancy looks profitable. & like others have mentioned, they don’t interfere even when there’s abuse or neglect, & continue to pay these people (not reporting them to the law).

    There’s a special place in hell for people who value ratings above the welfare of children.

  36. april says:

    their paycheck should be a college fund for their baby and a fund for their child to open when they are 18. then they would still have to work regular jobs, and what we would be seeing on tv would be the reality of a real teen mom.

  37. april says:

    their paycheck should be a college fund for their baby and a fund for their child to open when they are 18. then they would still have to work regular jobs, and what we would be seeing on tv would be the reality of a real teen mom.

  38. JQ says:

    Absolutely disgusting. That’s what this is. For those of you who worked so hard to go through college respectably (like me), remember that these losers will burn through this money in a heartbeat and will have nothing to fall back on when their 15 minutes are up. They have no skills and will probably wind up working in a fast food restaurant. It’s a shame that MTV gives this money to the idiot, neglectful parents. Instead, they should pay that money to Leah. The money should be overseen by the grandparents with instructions not to give any to Amber or Gary. Now that would be wonderful.

  39. Dhavy says:

    MTV did not put crap like this back in the 80s when I watched it

    This is beyond disgusting, if I was a parent I would block that channel

  40. Hakura says:

    @JQ – The very unfortunate thing is that when they do blow through the money without making any good investments, it’s Leah (and Amber’s future children, however many she ends up with) that are going to be paying the price for it.

    If MTV really wanted to do the ‘right thing’, they would have arranged to put half of the money paid into a fund specifically for the child’s health & education, that could not be accessed by the parents.

    These people obviously aren’t going to make this decision on their own, they need big new SUVs, and to drop hundreds of dollars at strip clubs, when Amber had to be *forced* to buy Leah a bed. MTV should have at least tried to do right by the children.

  41. Bethany says:

    Stop with the jealousy already.

    Having more money doesn’t equate to a better life.

  42. Cletus says:

    Jealousy? There is nothing about that woman’s life that I could ever want- she can certainly keep her ill-gotten gains. That poor baby, my god.

  43. Chickie Baby says:

    HATE this show. Please don’t watch it and let MTV know you don’t watch it. The first season was a novelty, but like most things on “reality TV”, it grows old quickly.

    The youngsters on this show are attention-mongers and they don’t deserve it.