"Teen Mom" Amber Portwood has been in jail since June, and now it has been revealed that she has had no contact with her daughter, Leah, since then. Leah's father, Gary Shirley, has custody, and has refused to bring Leah to the jail for a visit.
"When I tried to tell her, 'mommy's in trouble,' she got upset," Shirley told In Touch Weekly. "So I've said, 'mommy's at work' or 'mommy's on vacation.' I haven't been able to say to her that 'mommy's in jail.'"
Yet the toddler and her mother are able to speak on the phone, adding to Leah's confusion about why she can't see her mom. It's heartbreaking, Shirley said, because Leah will ask, "Can I come over to your house?" Unfortunately, that won't be possible for several years, given that Portwood accepted a 5-year prison sentence.
It's been hard on the entire family, with Shirley having to raise Leah on his own, though Portwood has said she has tried to help him along the way. She has encouraged him to bring Leah to the jail for a visit, if only to help clear up any confusion for the child.
According to Portwood, Shirley has the paperwork necessary to bring Leah to the facility, but he still refuses to do so.
"I try to give him excuses. In my head I say, 'Maybe he just can't handle it' or 'maybe he doesn't want Leah to cry,'" Portwood told In Touch Weekly.
Portwood's anger and drug abuse is what landed her behind bars; she refused to complete a rehabilitation program and instead asked to be put in jail. The judge acquiesced and Portwood is now serving her time. While it's been difficult, the reality star is making some important improvements to her life.
According to her mother, Portwood has begun exercising regularly and is getting the help she needs for her anger issues and drug addiction. And once her time is over, Portwood has plans to "actually be there for Leah this time and I'll be that mom that she wants."