MTV has turned into something of an anomaly for people of a certain age. Not to get all grandma on you, but when I was a kid, the channel just showed music videos. All day. The only shows they aired involved music in some way. I suppose “The Real World” changed all that, but now the only music to be found on the network is played over a sixteen year old whining about how her parents didn’t get Bieber to sing at her birthday party, or similar.
But I digress. One of the channel’s most popular shows involves teen moms and their struggles with parents, boyfriends, and school while raising a child. And while I applaud the show for giving young people a glimpse into the not-so-easy life of a young mom, it also may play a part in one mother in particular having some issues with drugs and violence.
22-year old Amber Portwood, mom to a 3-year old daughter, has built up quite a rap sheet since first appearing on the show, including being arrested for felony domestic violence after beating up her daughter’s father while the cameras were rolling. And while she clearly has issues outside of the show, some think that Portwood’s sudden thrust into the spotlight didn’t help things.
Now, Portwood has been sentenced to five years in prison after opting out of a drug rehab program; she was arrested in May for violating probation and failing a drug test. She had the option to either join rehab or have her probation revoked, and she chose not to go to rehab. Many were left wondering why she would volunteer to go to jail and leave her daughter behind, but prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he thinks she didn’t understand the ramifications of her decision.
“I just don’t think she knew opting out meant five years in prison,” he said.
Portwood is now in a county jail but will be moved to a state facility soon; if all goes well during her prison time, she may only have to serve half of the five year sentence.