Highlights from Amber Portwood’s Dr. Phil interview


Former Teen Mom cast member Amber Portwood gave her first post-prison TV interview with Dr. Phil and the mother of daughter Leah was extremely candid about her addictions, the decision to forgo rehab for prison, her relationship with Leah’s father Gary Shirley and her depths of depression that lead to an attempt on her own life.

Dr. Phil’s official website provided videos from the episode which you can see here. We’ve picked out highlights from the episode and provided a transcript for you. We’ll include the videos when they make them available to embed.

AMBER: My dad was an alcoholic, it was terrible. The first time I started doing drugs I was like 9. After I had Leah, Gary and I started fighting more and I started doing drugs again. I was addicted to opiates; hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine… That stuff. I can’t remember half of what happened on the show… When I hit Gary. I was high every single time.

Finally I got into drug court and I ended up using within a couple of weeks. So I made the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my entire life. I said I’m opting out of drug court and I opted for 5 years of prison.

I’m absolutely never going back to prison.

Dr. Phil: You say it’s hard to watch that [clips of her on Teen Mom). How do you feel when you watch yourself?

AP: It’s embarrassing. I’m watching myself act like a complete fool.

DP: Do you feel badly for beating on Gary?

AP: I feel terrible for hitting him, I really do. I love Gary with all my heart. He’s an amazing person who’s sweet, funny… he’s a great guy. We’re just toxic together. It was an amazing relationship in the beginning. I was with him for 7 years.

DP: I know in June of ’11 you had a failed rehab in there and you tried to take your own life. Did you really want to die?

AP: I didn’t care. If I woke up great. if I didn’t it was alright too. Everything in my life then, what I thought is that everything is — excuse my language — sh*t. I have nothing anymore. What am I even here for? I never got to see Leah, and once again I’m not saying this to bash Gary because he’s a great guy but, I didn’t see Leah ever.

DP: Should you have seen Leah if you were high all the time?

AP: No. Thinking now, no.


DP: Had you tried to kill yourself the night before you went in there [court to option for prison]?

AP: Yeah, it’s just hard to talk about. I thought in my head that she [Leah] would be better off without me, which is stupid by the way. This was the first time that Gary actually went with me because i knew I was opting out that day. I knew I was going to prison. I had him come with me kind of for support because I was terrified. I walked in and I remember being in front of the judge and I said, “There’s not a program out here that’s gonna help me, send me to prison.”

The option that I had was it’s either death or prison. Now which one’s worse?

DP: Did you miss Leah?

AP: When I was sober, it turned into hell. The worst part about being in there was missing people.

DP: Why will you not relapse?

AP: Because I’m clear-headed now and I just think about the consequences and I think about Leah.

DP: Will you get custody back?

AP: Eventually I want to have joint custody with Gary. We’re doing really good though.

DP: There are others that have been down this path, done some crazy things like sex tapes and things like that. Is that in your future?

AP: No. That’s not happening. When I was in my craziest time partying I was asked by Vivid to do a sex tape and I said “no.” It was crazy… It’s weird to see people that you know and you never think would, do something like that.


Dr. Phil concluded, “I’ve always said, ‘Life is managed; it’s not cured.’ If you have something to move toward, which is your future with Leah and all of the things you can share with her, that gives you a reason to get up and get high on her — instead of something else.”

The host also added a few positive comments from fans who tweeted to him and agreed that he is proud of the steps she’s taken and believes that Amber is on the right path for herself and Leah.

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  • SheRachet

    I really wish the best for Amber and Leah but Amber just needs to go away! Stay out of the limelight and try to establish a “normal” life. I don’t think she can handle the pressure of being in the public eye and I would hate to see her relapse.

  • Nicole

    I honestly wish the best for Amber. However, she was an addict for a long time. She is back in the same environment she was in before she left for prison. I hope she doesn’t relapse but there’s just something about her personality that I think she will give in to the drugs.

  • Pat Brown

    she is getting paid to do these interviews with Dr. Phil and Intouch, she isn’t going to stay away, she refuses to get a real job and lay low, I don’t see her doing anything big with her life, she’s in the same toxic dysfunctional environment, no big changes with her!

    • DM

      The interviews are part of her MTV contract.

  • Newgirlontheblock

    Why is it so hard for people to wish others well?

  • Just me

    Cue Farrah’s rebuttal ‘I wish her all the best and hope she never relapses even though I know she will because she’s not as perfect as me and my back door, I’m a reality star, not a porn star!’ in 3..2..1..

    • sammi

      Not porn star, you mean totally successful “businesswoman” lol

  • Violet

    I hope Amber can stay clean and make a good life for herself and her daughter. I really hope she’s doing interviews just to tell her side of the story (since a lot of people called her selfish for choosing prison over rehab) but most of these girls know the allure of fast money since they got their D list “fame”. They can get a up to a few thousand just by doing interviews, magazine spreads etc. since being on the show and it’s probably hard to walk away from that and just go to work at McDonald’s for minimum wage. For someone like Amber, who came from a poor background, it’s probably even harder to walk away and have a “normal life”. It’s going to be very hard though, relapse rates are very high even among people without money. But I don’t agree that we should just write her off because she’s had issues in the past. I do agree that going back to the same living situation is probably a very bad idea. But I’m sure she feels forced to stay in that area because that’s where Gary lives and she wants to see Leah but if it takes less visits with Leah to keep her clean and sober, then that’s what should happen.

    Off topic.. but is it true that another 16 and Pregnant girl is pregnant again!? Not Jordan, someone else that Starcasm hasn’t reported about yet. Kristina maybe? Ugh. that show has a horrible track record now. And to think they’re doing a new season of it! Which is so disturbing, if the girls they’re filming now are 16 or 17 that means when the show first aired they were about 12 and 13! They could have been watching that show and Teen Mom for years and decided to get pregnant to be on the show! I know teen pregnancy happens anyway but it’s not farfetched that young preteens could watch the girls on there become “famous” and rich and want the same thing.

    • LexiconD1

      Easy money makes it easy to slip right back into bad habits.

      I think we’ll hear about her relapse by the end of the year.

    • LexiconD1

      Easy money makes it easy to slip right back into bad habits.

      I think we’ll hear about her relapse by the end of the year.

    • Guest247

      Yes, she’s pregnant with another boy which I think is due in February?

      • frontdoormom

        No shes not. Where did you hear this from?

        • Betti

          Not Amber. Violet mentioned one of the 16 and Pregnant girls is pregnant again. Kristina Head, the one whose boyfriend died while filming. She’s pregnant with her third boy.

  • deeeeee

    she started getting high when she ws 9!?!?!? wtf!!!

    • Phoxee

      I was too…unknowingly. my cousin spiked my tea and blew drugs in my face.

  • sweetmisery21

    I have so much more respect for her than I do Jenelle..

  • Sweet Venom

    I hope she does well. It’s clear drugs messed her up if she started doing them at the age of nine. That’s terrible. The youngest I know of people getting high is 12. But nine? lol You’re not even in double digits yet.

  • Regina

    GOOD LUCK AMBER! You seem very humble and understanding now, I hope you achieve your goals.