Amber Portwood of Teen Mom is out of jail after 17 months, finally achieved sobriety


The story of Amber Portwood’s incarceration is a bizarre and somewhat heartening one. Unlike another Teen Mom who easily comes to mind, Jenelle Evans, Amber was not in denial about her drug addiction or emotional problems. She knew she had issues and she voluntarily chose to go to jail for five years (which was of course commuted) after she failed a drug test while on probation. Amber claimed that she did this to achieve sobriety after rehab had failed for her. It was a rare moment of clarity and self-awareness for a reality star, especially an abusive one with a drug addiction.

After 17 months inside, Amber was released yesterday. (You can see photos of her release here.) Earlier this year, her brother wrote about Amber’s decision to go to jail. He said that she wanted to save herself, that she took anger management and addiction courses while inside, and that she’s changed as a result. Here’s what he wrote, thanks to Radar Online:

Bright-eyed and grinning, Amber Portwood looked like a new woman as she left prison after serving a 17-month sentence on Monday morning. Portwood told reporters that she’d found the strength to stay clean inside prison walls, after initially struggling with the terms of her drug program. And now, has learned, Portwood’s brother Shawn Portwood is revealing just how much of a transformation he’s seen in his sister since she surrendered herself to the mercy of the court.

The former Teen Mom ”has had a lot of negative press in the past, which has portrayed her as a very hateful individual,” her brother wrote in an emotional blog post earlier this year. “And she was for a while. She did not know how to control her anger or even shut up when she needed to. But now I am happy to say that I absolutely believe that it is all behind her now.”

Amber had asked an Indiana judge to throw her in jail for five years to deal with her addiction issues, and the judge complied.

“After Amber was sent to prison, she had a lot to think about and a lot to change about herself,” Shawn explains. “…In one of her first letters to each other, Amber wrote and said, ‘I just hope you guys understand that I chose prison to help me, and to pretty much save me from myself.’ She told me that she cried often …”

But she chose that route, he says, “because she did not have the strength to survive on her own and stay clean.” Portwood had struggled through a stint in rehab, as well as a hospitalization following a suicide attempt.

In prison, she finally found that inner strength through the CLIFF drug rehabilitation program and anger management treatment.

“That is the one difference that I see in her most,” Shawn says of her anger. “She does not get nearly as angry as she used to. In addition, she nearly never curses, and when she does, it is not that vulgar.”

In one letter to the family, he reveals, his sister wrote, “I make sure I laugh or smile everyday here. I feel emotions: happiness, anger, and sadness, but that is still better than before when all I felt was high.

“These programs have helped her immensely,” Shawn writes, “and changed her thought process, which is something she told me needed to be changed.”

[From Radar Online]

Amber’s brother Shawn also claims that Amber developed a work ethic while in jail, which she’d never had before. Amber’s turnaround is very impressive, and I hope she has the strength to stay sober and to keep her emotions in check. I remember how she wailed on her baby daddy back in 2010, in footage that I don’t think MTV should have aired. Amber had many subsequent run-ins with the law and a suicide attempt. The fact that she accepted responsibility and chose jail is somewhat amazing to me. However, as I was looking up our old coverage of Amber, I saw that her brother has been making excuses for her for years. This time, I really hope he’s right.



Photos are from 2010, 2011 and 2012. Credit: FameFlynet and PacificCoastNews

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23 Responses to “Amber Portwood of Teen Mom is out of jail after 17 months, finally achieved sobriety”

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  1. bns says:

    I thought this was CELEBitchy?

    • Anon says:

      But then where will I get my updates? My favourite celebitchy posts are when they cover Thor anything, teen mom anything, Leanne rimes drama, Miley drama and goop. Wait who am I kidding? I read it all. It’s not blocked at work! 🙂 I actually love reading about the d listers like the real housewives, Kate plus eight, etc

  2. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I’m here to be annoying and point out the typo.
    Should be “sobriety” not “sobrity”.

    The ever-vigilant (English) Professor Kitten

  3. Lauren says:

    Run Gary Ruuunnnn!

  4. Patricia says:

    I hope she really has changed for her daughter’s sake. And I really really hope she does not get involved once again with the baby’s father, who is a lazy slob and just goads her anger and insecurity for fun. He didn’t deserve to get physically abused, obviously, but if you watch the show you see that he likes to egg her on. He’s a sick dude.
    I wonder if we will hear from her some more or if she will just go live her life quietly. I have to admit that I find her interesting. When she is in a pleasant mood she is funny and self-possessed and seems to have a world of potential. She just struggles with her demons, compounded by having a baby far too young.
    Rooting for you, Amber! Just live your life for your little girl and stay on the right path!

    • BravoCueen says:

      THIS a million times! No words can express the disgust I felt watching Amber wail on Gary. It was dead wrong. However, his lying, manipulating, goading ways. . . he knew just how to push her (seriously defective) buttons and become her victim. Nobody deserves to be hit EVER, but I hope Amber stays far away from him. He will drag her right back into that cycle.

    • shannon says:

      Agreed. Some relationships are just toxic all around. They should coparent and that’s it.

  5. Sarah says:

    I hope she’s really changed. She was a mess and she and Gary were toxic for each other. Her daughter is so cute though. Maybe she’ll do it for her.

  6. KathDay says:

    I live in Indianapolis and Baby daddy Gary lives in the nearby city Noblesville. Anyways he often is out at bars and clubs aroun here. Women are always around him and I for the life of me cannot understand it. It’s sad to me to see the value that “fame” even at the F list level holds for some people. Oh and before Amber went to jail I would see her on shopping sprees at Kohls and Target. She was so orange. It must have been both sunless and the tanning bed. The deep tangerine hue was so jarring.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Well, they do call it “Nobletucky” for a reason..

    • Andrea says:

      GARRYYYY….My bf says his name in the funniest voice. I do not find Gary attractive in the least. He was just as abusive and antagonizing as Amber. Give me Russell Brand, he seems to have charisma, but Gary??? pshhh I guess some people are really willing to do anything for “fame”. LOL

  7. nicegirl says:

    Hoping for a continued positive outcome. Great work, Amber. KEEP IT UP!

  8. RJ says:

    I really hope for her daughter’s sake she pulls it together. Addiction is so hard to beat, and I do wish her well. The best thing she can do is stay away from cameras and focus on her family, herself, and volunteering/working to help others facing similar demons.

  9. An says:

    Rooting for her!

  10. MeowuiRose says:

    I followed the original teen moms and I was really sad for her. She had so much pain and insecurity. Her train wreck wasn’t fun to watch….. just sad and scary. I really hope the best for her and her daughter.

    • Hautie says:

      I watched that first set of Teen Mom’s too… and remember thinking that they were all so immature. Even for 16 year olds. And adding a baby to it… way before they had the coping skills for daily struggles with being that young with a baby to raise.

      So Amber actually realizing that she would not get sober if left to her own devices… gives me hope that she will move away from all the crazy. Pick up her sh*t and be gone. Find a new state.

      Because there was all kinds of crazy family issues from both her and the boyfriends daily life. Which if not left behind will drag her back into a big pile of dysfunctional crap.

  11. Dawn says:

    Ya know this is what I hate about the “new” American celebrity which are nothing more than “reality people”. I don’t like teen mom as it makes girls out there think this might be their shot at stardom if only they can get on the show. I was hoping that it would show something else like how hard parenthood basically alone truly is but it missed that boat by a mile. But then I don’t like most reality shows like the Kardashians, the Housewife series, the Jersey Shore, and so on. I do like cooking shows and renovation shows but that’s about it. I do wish this person good luck but I doubt she will remain sober as long as she is still considered and part of the Teen Mom series.

  12. Zigggy says:

    Wow. I didn’t realized she requested incarceration.

  13. TherapyCranes says:

    I really hope that she can withstand the temptation to fall back into old habits and be a better example for her child.

  14. Anon says:

    Thanks for posting this. I know celebitchy goes a lot by comment count when they choose to cover a story or not. I really like when you cover the teen moms because I like learning what happens to them and if they get it together or not. So thank you for covering this and Farrah. I don’t normally post but I read this blog daily and hope you’ll continue to cover these d listers for me. Thanks cb!

  15. Mandy says:

    Unfortunately, sometimes prison can be the best thing to happen to someone. I think this is the case with Amber. She has a long road ahead of her, but I wish her the very best.