Amber Portwood on prison: “I miss my freedom and my family”
“Teen Mom” star Amber Portwood — who is currently on her fourth month of her five-year prison sentence — has opened up about her decision to opt-out of a court-ordered rehab stint and details of how her life has changed since she went behind prison bars.
According to reports, in an emotional half-hour special of “Amber Behind Bars,” Amber Portwood tells addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky that she misses the little things in life she once enjoyed before going to prison.
“I just miss being able to sleep in. I miss going to Starbucks, driving in my car and listening to music. I know those are material things, but they made me happy,” Portwood told Dr. Pinsky in the exclusive preview clip. “I miss freedom is what it is — I miss my family.”
Amber Portwood has had the chance to speak to three-year-old Leah, her daughter with former boyfriend Gary Shirley, while she’s been locked up at the Rockville Correctional Facility in Indiana. Dr. Drew Pinsky told Us Weekly that he is trying to arrange an in-person visit for them soon. Leah currently does not know her mother is in prison.
“[At the prison] they actually have visitation playgrounds for the kids. It’s really set up — she has to walk by this playground every day where other people are visiting their children. It’s very tough for her,” says Pinsky, who talked to Amber Portwood nearly three weeks ago.
As a former substance abuser, Amber Portwood needs to work hard to better herself physically and emotionally while in prison. She is also grateful that her ex-boyfriend, Gary Shirley can take care of their daughter full-time.
“She knows she’s in no shape to be parenting right now. She knows it,” Pinsky explains. “Gary certainly has stepped up. He has help with in-laws and grandparents but he’s not passing off his responsibilities at all.”
The journey of Amber Portwood into parenthood has been tough. The reality star used to be a self-declared party girl, but now discovers she has little time to do anything besides take care of her daughter, Leah. Amber dropped out of high school when she discovered she was pregnant with Gary Shirley’s child. She struggles to balance school and parenting, and her dream of opening her own beauty salon seems far-fetched now. She is also known to have many troubles with her baby’s father. Some of the issues have led to physical violence in front of her child, including an incident where Amber Portwood beat him so severely, it left permanent scars. Amber eventually got arrested for domestic violence against Gary.