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TravelGuides – Amber Portwood says relationship with daughter Leah is ‘better’

TravelGuides – Amber Portwood says relationship with daughter Leah is ‘better’

Their future looks bright. 

Amber Portwood told Page Six in an exclusive new interview that her relationship with 13-year-old daughter Leah is “so much better” these days after a series of struggles aired on the latest season of “Teen Mom OG.”

“I don’t want to mess anything up, but [things are] good,” the MTV personality, 31, said. “She’s reaching [out] and I am [so excited]. My arms are up and open.”

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As viewers witnessed, the pair spent months apart as the middle-schooler — whom Portwood shares with ex-fiancé Gary Shirley — began questioning her mother’s past, marred by a prison sentence, addiction and anger, all of which have been detailed on the reality show and covered by the media for more than a decade. 

“She’s been asking questions. I’ve always told her the truth, as much as I could for her age,” said the mom of two, who also shares son James, 3, with ex Andrew Glennon. 

Amber Portwood and daughter Leah
Amber Portwood exclusively told Page Six that her relationship with 13-year-old daughter Leah is “so much better” these days.
MTV

“As she’s gotten older, she’s learned more. With her age right now, she’s kind of like, ‘Well, I don’t like that attitude or behavior. I’m not like that,’” she continued. “I think she has every right to be mad at me for a lot of things … I let her feel her emotions and I understand that.”

This is why, Portwood said, her time away from Leah was more “methodical” than fans may have realized. 

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“I [needed] to give her her space because I know what my past was,” she explained. “And one day, she’ll come back and [we’ll] move forward.”

Though Portwood sparred with Shirley, 35, during Tuesday night’s first installment of the “Teen Mom OG” reunion, expressing disappointment that he quietly put Leah in therapy without her knowledge, the “16 and Pregnant” alum said that she is grateful for his help in mending their mother-daughter bond. 

“Gary and [his wife] Kristina [Anderson] have been a big help,” she acknowledged. “We try to be one big, blended family, which is so hard to do — and I’m sure a lot of people know this  — but we still try.” 

Amber Portwood and daughter Leah
The “16 and Pregnant” alum shares Leah with ex-fiancé Gary Shirley.
MTV

In addition to laying the groundwork for a better relationship with Leah, this last installment of “Teen Mom OG” has seen Portwood make massive strides in other areas of her life.

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“What you’re seeing is a woman who is literally trying to live a new life, trying to experience all of these new feelings at the same time — right in front of your face — in a very vulnerable situation and in a very vulnerable light,” she said of the rebirth she experienced on-camera.

“I’m opening [up] a lot to people today because I feel that’s my path in life right now.”

The Indiana native is presently committed to maintaining her sobriety and on track to successfully completing probation following a 2019 arrest. She is also enjoying her online studies at Purdue University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology in applied behavior analysis — and considering going after her doctorate. 

“I am setting myself up for a good future,” she said, beaming. 

Portwood ardently advocates for people suffering from mental health disorders (she has been diagnosed with five herself) on social media and in her forthcoming memoir, “So, You’re Crazy Too?” — her second book, slated for a February 2022 release, following 2014’s “Never Too Late.” 

Amber Portwood's book, "So, You're Crazy Too?"
Portwood’s memoir “So, You’re Crazy Too?” hits stores in February 2022.
Instagram

“The one thing that I am most passionate about,” she said, “is to keep encouraging people through my books.” 

In her literary follow-up, Portwood plans to uncover more details of a prominent storyline that played out on this season of “Teen Mom OG” — her decision to come out as bisexual. 

“People have been open to me in the [LGBTQIA+] community and it’s been really nice. I see a lot of rainbows now, more than I did before, which is really cute. And I’ve actually had some girls ask me out,” she said of the aftermath of her revelation.

“Maybe I can help another 31-year-old bisexual woman [or] man,” she added. 

Amber Portwood
The MTV star worked hard to mend her bond with Leah on the latest season of “Teen Mom OG,” while also coming out as bisexual on the show.
MTV

On the reality TV front, Portwood will beef up her MTV resume with appearances on the network’s upcoming “Teen Mom” spin-offs, “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” and “Teen Mom: Girls’ Night In,” which will premiere back-to-back on January 11. 

In the meantime, she has launched a line of merch called Portwood AF, featuring items emblazoned with such phrases as “Zen AF” and “Fighter for Life” — phrases that share a succinctness with her reflection on her time in the spotlight to Page Six: “I’m blessed.”

TravelGuides – Amber Portwood says relationship with daughter Leah is ‘better’

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