Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Eason was furious after her co-star Leah Messer appeared on her other co-star Kail Lowry’s Coffee Convos podcast and said some not-so-pleasant things about Jenelle and her husband David Eason. After expressing her frustration on social media, Jenelle accepted an invitation to appear on Vince Russo’s The Brand podcast to respond at length to Leah, Kail, and pretty much everybody else who has ever had anything negative to say about her.
The result was a VERY long (well over an hour) interview with Vince and his co-host Noel Harlow LoGrasso in which Jenelle tackled a wide range of topics, including her relationships with her co-stars, her custody battle for Jace, her history of getting involved with bad boys, the whereabouts of all the pets she has had over the years, and whether or not the Teen Mom stars get “baby bonuses” from MTV if they give birth.
Before I get into the recap, I want to say that I am not a professional wrestling fan and I had never heard of Vince Russo before listening to this episode of his podcast. When a Teen Mom star accepts an invitation to appear on someone’s podcast, it usually equates to a whole lot of horrifically unprofessional awkwardness. And when I saw that this episode was over two hours long, my soul winced.
Much to my relief, I discovered what I’m sure LOTS of people knew already — Vince is a FANTASTIC interviewer! Not only was he able to get Jenelle to answer difficult questions, but he was also able to offer up some criticism of her without having Jenelle get overly defensive and angry, and that is mighty difficult thing to do.
More of a pleasant surprise than Vince being a spectacular podcast host was the fact that he is OBVIOUSLY a HUGE Teen Mom fan! LOL! This was not an interview done by someone who crammed the day before by binging a dozen episodes of the show, this was an interview conducted by two fans who not only knew everything that has happened on screen, but also most all of the gossip and rumors and drama happening off screen! It really was amazing, and I was beyond impressed. I could seriously have a beer (or wine) with Vince and Noel and talk for hours about all things Teen Mom 2 and Teen Mom OG. In other words, if you were afraid of actually listening to the podcast, as I was, I encourage you to give it a go. Jenelle’s segment starts at right around the 28-minute mark if you want to get right to it.
I feel it’s important to note that MTV cameras were rolling on Jenelle’s side throughout the interview. Surprisingly, that didn’t stop Jenelle from tackling questions about the producers’ role in creating drama or about her contract. I should also point out that Jenelle mentions during the interview that she was visited at her home by police earlier in the day after someone else had called them saying that her kids were in danger. That comes up a couple times in the interview, and I didn’t want you to be confused about what Jenelle was referring to.
Here is the full episode:
And a recap…
To start the episode, Vince asks Jenelle to open with whatever she wants to address first. “One thing I really want to hit on, just to start out with, is the whole situation with Kail and Leah and her podcast — her going on there and stuff like that,” Jenelle says.
Jenelle goes all the way back to the beginning, when her and Kail’s friendship started to break bad, and ties it to her recent headline-grabbing canceled sponsorship deal with Blue Apron. “I know everyone’s asking about this Blue Apron deal that I got fired from or whatever,” Jenelle starts. “I told Blue Apron I do not want to work with them any more because of Kail. The reason why I don’t want to work with other companies that are involved with Kail is because she went behind my back numerous times to try to get my manager from me, to try to take a pregnancy mouth guard organization away from me, to try to kick me out to get her in. I mean there is so many different things that she has done that’s so shady behind my back that I just made a pact with myself and I said I am not going to work with any other company that works with Kail any more. Just point blank.” (Jenelle did opt to use the same book publisher, however.)
Jenelle says that Kail must have caught wind of her boycott “and since then she makes jabs at me when I walk past her indirectly, she goes on her podcast, she tweets about me — and then, when I respond, of course I’m the bad one. But, you know, Kail’s the angel.” Jenelle labels Kail’s tactics as “bullying” and expresses her frustration at her co-star: “You have a podcast, you have your life going, you have businesses and stuff to run, so why am I always your topic?”
Vince interrupts to call BS on the “Kail’s the angel” claim, and co-host Noel points out that Kail has often been labeled the most hated mom on the show. “She’s right up there with Farrah,” Vince says. “Listen, she’s a wackadoo — three baby daddies, three kids into the world, I can go on, and on, and on.” (Vince seems to forget — or maybe not — that Jenelle has also brought three kids into the world with three different men.)
Jenelle is asked to talk more about where things started to go bad between her and Kail, and Jenelle says that Kail had always seemed jealous of her and would frequently complain that producers seemed to give Jenelle and the other moms preferential treatment. “It seemed that, from the beginning, she was just very jealous that she wasn’t getting all the attention,” Jenelle says. “And she’s always been trying to get a spin-off show of her own, and as you see, she trying to promote a Youtube channel now to try to get her own spin-off, and it’s just — with her, it’s about attention.”
So what about her recent falling out with Leah Messer? “Me and Leah were completely fine from the beginning — always have been fine,” Jenelle admits. “And recently, I don’t know, Kail put her up to doing this podcast and now Leah has completely turned on me and Briana. We have no idea why.”
Jenelle says she asked Leah why she was being so “stand-offish” towards her, and Leah’s response was that Kail would be mad at her otherwise. Noel then says that Leah is a “timid and afraid” follower, and she chastises Leah for being a follower of Kail at the expense of a friend like Jenelle.
The next topic to come up is the Reunion incident in which her husband, David Eason, popped some balloons with a knife as he was leaving a filmed cast party. Leah had mentioned in her podcast interview with Kail that she was concerned for the safety of her daughter because of David’s actions at the Reunion, and she said that her kids will no longer be at any of the Reunion tapings due to that concern.
And that’s another thing, [Leah’s] going on [Kail’s podcast] saying that my husband, at the New Year’s thing, was going to stab someone. My husband got tangled in five balloons on the way out the door. He couldn’t get out of them, so he started popping balloons, and he walked out. That’s it. Leah wasn’t even near it, no one was near it. He was by the back door, the exit door. And she just gets on the podcast saying, like, my husband’s some crazy person. And I hold, like, all of Leah’s secrets, and I have held them for years. Like, when she was on drugs and on pills — I was standing there talking to Jeremy every single day texting him “Are you OK dude? I’m going through the same thing. I know Leah’s cheating on you, and I know she had her ex-fiance jump through the deer cam, but you know, I know I’m being cheated on too by Nathan and we’re both going through the same thing,” and he’s like, “I don’t know what to do.” And I’m like, “I don’t know what to do. You tell me what to do because I’m going through this too.”
Jenelle then tells a story about how Kail, Leah, and Chelesa once came to her about three seasons in to get her to talk to show producers about something (she says it was probably something to do with paychecks) because Jenelle was the only one they would listen to.
Vince brings up Kail having three children by three different men and asks Jenelle: “Is part of her motive to create story lines so she gets more TV time?”
“I’m pretty sure she does,” says Jenelle. She points out that Kail is always talking about her “story line” with friends and producers, expressing concern over whether or not it is interesting enough. Jenelle recalls one time where her mom Barbara was talking with Kail and asking why she would break up with Javi when he seems like a good guy. Jenelle says Kail’s response was: “No, Barbara, I want a black baby.”
Vince takes a moment to share his take on Jenelle based on what viewers see on the show. He points out that it is unpleasant for a lot of viewers to see how Jenelle treats her mom Barbara. He also brings up the fact that we never hear anything from Jenelle about her dad, and he says that Jenelle’s bad choices with men is tied to the absence of a father figure in her life. Jenelle responds by seemingly agreeing, and she reveals that she has filmed scenes with her dad in Pennsylvania for next season.
Vince then pushes the envelope a little bit and tells Jenelle that her choice of men have people genuinely concerned about her well being. He brings up the scene where David and Jenelle got into a heated argument before David later insisted to producers that everything was fine. He then refused to film and left. Vince says Jenelle gave the cameras a look that suggested things weren’t “fine” at all.
Jenelle says she understands everyone’s concerns, but then she falls back on the same thing she seems to do whenever the show is not currently airing by assuring us we will see a different side of David next season. “I feel like David will show his true self,” she says. She then explains that that David is a “country boy” who is not familiar with the TV cameras, etc.
Back to Barbara, Vince asks Jenelle if they have ever considered getting therapy together. Jenelle says she has mentioned it to Barbara, but her mom said: “No, you need the therapy. I don’t need the therapy, you need to see someone, you need to talk to someone.”
Vince points out to Jenelle that MTV is in the television business, so they are all about creating the drama. He then asks Jenelle if she is aware that they are going to continue to put her and the other moms in situations that create the drama that viewers want to see.
“They don’t necessarily, I wouldn’t say ‘create’ [dramatic situations], but they bring up topics that you knooow that you don’t want to talk about,” Jenelle admits. “Or, if something happens, like the cops thing that just happened, they were just here when the cops showed up! I was, like, of course they’re here at the same time when the cop is here. So, I mean, some things just happen the way it does, but then, like you said, like the other girls, I don’t know if…like Chelsea, I think Chelsea just does her own thing. Leah and Kail, they’re just like trying so hard to make up a story line. But for me, literally all this sh*t happens. David didn’t believe me at first, when I told him I’m not involved in all the drama you see about me. I’m, like, it just happens. It just always happens to me in particular. I don’t know why.”
After pointing out that being on the show has provided Jenelle a lot of things (i.e. a large income, a nice house, etc.), Vince asks her if she would trade it all in. “Do you wish you never did this?” he asks flatly.
Jenelle says she doesn’t regret doing 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom 2 and adds that she wouldn’t know how to stop at this point. “50% of me wants to end it and just live my normal life,” she says, “but then another 50% is like, ‘Well, I do help people out. And they do relate to my story.’ And I would rather people say, ‘Look what happened when Jenelle got on drugs. I’m not doing that! I learned from her experience. I’m not ever going to touch drugs.’ I want them to see that and think that before they even try to experiment with it. But then at the same time everyone calls me trash, a junkie, and this and that — and that’s the thing you gotta deal with, and it’s really hard.” Jenelle says that sometimes she deletes her Twitter app even though her account remains active just so that she can’t access it.
Jenelle addresses health concerns for Ensley by revealing she just had her one-year checkup and is perfectly healthy. She also says that if she and David were on drugs, like it is being rumored, that she wouldn’t have time to do all the stuff that she has to do on a day-to-day basis.
Noel asks about reports that Ensley tested positive for THC when she was born. Jenelle admits that she herself tested positive for THC, but she says Ensley did not test positive. CPS asked if Jenelle smoked while she was pregnant, and Jenelle admitted that she did in the past 30 days. Jenelle explained to CPS that she has really bad esophageal spasms and she was throwing up every five minutes. “They said: ‘OK, some moms do that, we’re not here to judge. We’re just writing down your information.'” Jenelle said that there was a follow up check up on Ensley by CPS, but everything was fine and they closed the case.
Jenelle then addressed the most recent pregnancy rumor by once again pointing out that she had hernia surgery.
Vince mentions that Jenelle’s ex-husband Courtland Rogers recently claimed that Jenelle and her on-again, off-again bff Tori Rhyne have been hooking up for years, through all of JEnelle’s other relationships. Jenelle laughs off the Tori hook up claim. “Everyone knows Courtland’s psycho,” Jenelle says.
The subject of Courtland moves the conversation to the recent Teen Mom OG episode in which Farrah gets upset because Courtland was invited to her mother Debra’s wedding. Jenelle says that she had a conversation with Farrah that MTV filmed, though a lot of what they said was not shown. Farrah asked Jenelle to tell her about Courtland. “I said, ‘Well, he will go in your house, he’ll steal all the jewelry and all the expensive stuff you have to go pawn it, and then he’ll go buy drugs,’ I said. ‘And if you date him, he’ll beat you, he’ll do whatever, you know.’ I just told her everything about him. And I said ‘I don’t think it’s safe for Sophia to be around someone like that.’ And it was really concerning because, you know. I know the type of person he is, and I won’t even say that about anyone unless I f**king meant it.” It was after this conversation that Farrah called her mom, as seen in the episode.
So what about all those reports that the Teen Mom stars get a bonus paycheck if they have a baby? Jenelle says that it is her understanding that all the Teen Mom 2 moms have the same contract, and it states: “If you have another child, your pay will not change, but your child will be entitled to money…it goes into their bank account with their name on it and you are not allowed to touch it.”
Jenelle is asked about the custody situation with Jace, and she says that she plans to be back in court again this year looking for full custody. She revealed something interesting in that she said she agreed to the previous custody arrangement without going to trial, and that means that Barbara cannot bring up anything from Jenelle’s past (previous relationships, arrests, drug use, etc.) from before that date in any future custody battles. I am no expert on family law, so I’m not sure how that works.
Vince asks Noel if she has any additional questions for Jenelle, and Noel says that she is being inundated on social media with questions about the fate of all of Jenelle’s pets. So, Jenelle tried to go through one-by-one and provide a “Where are they now?” for each:
• Jenelle gave her bearded dragon to her mom and Barbara killed him by giving him kale to eat, because she didn’t know they couldn’t eat kale. Jenelle didn’t seem upset and admitted that she had no idea bearded dragons can’t eat kale.
• There was a little white “chihuahua type dog” that came to Jenelle’s house. “That dog had a seizure in my house as the owners came to ask for the dog back, and I had to hand over that dog while he was having a seizure. And Kieffer was there with me…I was like, ‘I know I’m on drugs right now, but am I hallucinating or not?'”
• She had to get rid of Brody the pit bull because she had moved into her mom’s house after breaking up with Courtland, and Brody kept clawing up the back door, so Barbara said he had to go. Jenelle gave Brody to her friend Ryan, who still has him.
• Then she got another pit bull named Jax, which she still has.
• Her Pomeranian Copper “kept peeing and pooping everywhere” so she gave him to someone else.
• Her pit bull Pumpkin was a puppy when she disappeared from “The Land” while Jenelle and David were away. Copper’s disappearance saddened Jax greatly.
• Jenelle says that when she started living with David, her cat would go around the house saying “Meowr. Meaowr. Meowr.” So she got her “spaded.” But the cat kept making the sounds, and kept peeing everywhere, so they gave the cat to David’s sister. David’s sister then gave the cat to Jenelle’s “old friend” Tori. “So now my friend Tori’s mom has her,” Jenelle says.
[Jenelle didn’t mention Nathan’s husky Mugen (spelled “Moogan” on the show), the dog that was at the center of a maelstrom of media attention after an episode of Teen Mom 2 aired in August of 2014 that appeared to show Jenelle Evans mistreating him while Nathan was in jail. The controversy resulted in a letter from PETA condemning Jenelle’s actions, as well as an apologetic PSA video from Jenelle. In May of 2016 Nathan took to Facebook to offer Mugen for adoption.]
When asked “What’s the number one misconception about you?” Jenelle says, “I think a lot of people think that I’m a liar, and I’m a b!tch a lot, and that I have a really high-strung personality, but really, when you get to know me, I’m really calm, cool, collected. I don’t freak out unless I have to. And, of course, I’m a normal human being. I’m not going to just sit there and act like everything’s OK when it’s not.”
Jenelle is asked if her husband David Eason is still going to school, and she reveals that he is not. She says he wanted to go to learn about testing soil for insurance companies, but when they started the clothing line and other business enterprises, he decided that he didn’t need a backup job.
There is SOOOOOO much more in the interview, so you should really give it a listen. (How else are you going to know if Jenelle ever shaved Nathan’s back?) Unfortunately, there was one major topic that wasn’t addressed. I’ve monitored the Teen Mom 2 social media drama closer than just about anyone over the last nine years, and it is my opinion that it isn’t usually Kail or Leah that start things with Jenelle, it’s the other way around. Whether it is leaking pregnancy news or having her official social media pages share VERY unflattering stories about her co-stars, more times than not my social media drama recaps seem to start with something Jenelle did or said. I wish Vince had brought up the topic of whether or not Jenelle should feel responsible for what is posted on her verified social media accounts! She has stated very clearly that she doesn’t feel responsible, but I would love to hear Vince and Noel’s take on that topic.
Oh, and be sure to stay tuned for our post with Leah and Courtland’s responses to Jenelle’s interview!
UPDATE – And here it is! Leah has a pretty lengthy reaction in the form of multiple Snapchat videos, while Courtland posted a long series of angry tweets. Click the link for more!