‘Teen Mom’ Amber Portwood leaned on her ex Gary Shirley when it came to her custody hearing for their son, 4-year-old James.
Shirley and Portwood have one child together, 13-year-old Leah, and Portwood and her ex-fiancé Andrew Glennon have James together.
Portwood lost custody in 2019 after a domestic violence incident ensued. Portwood pleaded guilty to two felonies and was sentenced to three years of probation, which she completed.
To regain custody of James, Portwood asked Shirley to testify on her behalf.
“The court case for my custody agreement with James is coming up and my attorney asked me to find someone to testify for me, so I asked Gary,” Portwood told Teen Mom. “Gary and I are in a good place so I hope he will do it for me.”
Shirley vowed to tell the truth on the witness stand. “I don’t mind, but, you know, I can’t lie or anything,” he said. “There’s good and bad, you know.”
Portwood wanted Shirley to be the one to defend her because he would be honest, not anyway.
“It’s good to get out of your mouth because obviously you’re going to be honest and they’re going to see that,” she said. “Damn, I did a lot worse to your ass. I don’t even know how you deal with half the things I did back then.”
Shirley asked Portwood how to prepare for her day in court.
“I think what they’re going to ask is more like what you’ve experienced and I know me and Jame just have a really good relationship and there’s only so many people that can see it – and that’s family.” , she said.
“I appreciate you honestly doing this for me,” she continued. “It hurts to think that James is broken up with me. I’m afraid.”
In real time, an Indiana judge awarded Glennon full physical and primary custody of James. That means Glennon could move from Indiana to California as desired after his split from Portwood in 2019.
Portwood was heartbroken by the court’s decision.
“I’ve worked so hard to improve myself and improve my relationships with my kids,” she said.
Portwood has a history of substance abuse and five mental illnesses, and she believes the court used her past against her.
“I’ve worked so hard to improve myself and improve my relationships with my kids,” she said on Instagram. “A person should have the chance to redeem themselves and not be tied to their past problems.”
“People who have been in therapy, attended classes, and made the effort to make changes shouldn’t continue to be punished for past mistakes,” she continued. “I’ve spent years rebuilding my bridges and doing everything that was asked of me, including completing 21 negative drug tests and multiple psychological assessments.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Portwood was still sober. According to The Sun, an Indiana court said her drug test results were on hold as of Aug. 22, though Glennon still presented negative test results.
To find out what happens next, don’t miss “Teen Mom: The Next Chapter” when it airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on MTV.