There’s a downside to putting your life on view for TV cameras. See what happened to some of the most memorable reality vets, from “Honey Boo Boo” to the Duggars.
Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson
It’s arguable the dysfunctional family dynamic would have been just as destructive had “Mama June” Shannon not put her youngest daughter on TV, but fame no doubt played a part in the “sketti”-loving family’s downfall.
Now 18, Alana was the sassy breakout on the kiddie pageant show Toddlers & Tiaras and landed her family their own show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. That’s when the trouble started.
June’s drug issues and choice of partners — including convicted sex offenders — led Alana to move in with half sister Lauryn Efird, who won legal guardianship of her. “Alana’s relationship with June has been strained for years,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “She felt like her whole family fell apart.”
A regular of Bachelor Nation — appearing on The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad and Bachelor in Paradise — the 37-year-old later blamed the franchise for a slew of problems. In a 2015 online rant, he vented that Bachelor Pad “almost completely ruined” him and that his “obsession with television” had become a “sickness.” (He famously gate-crashed Andi Dorfman’s Bachelorette premiere.)
He said his bad behavior on the show, like getting blackout drunk, “ruined” his relationship with his father and announced he was done with reality TV.
The oversize, ultraconservative family charmed viewers of 19 Kids and Counting, but the Duggars’ darkest secrets soon came to light. Oldest son Josh, 35, was revealed to have sexually molested several of his sisters when they were teens and was later convicted of possessing child porn.
Meanwhile, patriarch Jim Bob’s hard-line rules — such as forbidding girls from wearing pants — caused a rift with his older daughters. Jill, 32, also accused him of cheating her out of money she was due for the series Counting On.
“The sisters believe that the household in which they were raised was toxic and damaging to their well-being,” says an insider.
Once a chipper supermom with eight adorable children, the 48-year-old — and fans of Jon & Kate Plus 8 — saw her marriage deteriorate on camera. Her bitter 2009 divorce from Jon, 46, made headlines and her reputation took a hit as some of her kids turned against her.
The onetime nurse appeared on a series of other reality shows, including a dating show and Dancing With the Stars, but was reportedly considered “too controversial” for a planned talk show. A source tells In Touch she’s now in dire financial straits. “She’s desperate and she blames Jon for her hardships.”
The 33-year-old has made a career out of her teen pregnancy, debuting on 16 and Pregnant in 2009, then continuing with Teen Mom and Teen Mom OG. Those shows documented her violent behavior toward ex Gary Shirley, which, along with drug convictions, led to prison time.
Reportedly paid $280K per season, Amber found it difficult to resist the paycheck in exchange for exposing her increasingly tumultuous life.
“She needed the money,” says an insider of the now-college student. “But she’s trying to make something of her life. She doesn’t want to be on a reality show forever.”