Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon was catapulted to fame in 2012 as a star on the mega-popular TLC reality show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The show followed the day-to-day life of former Toddlers & Tiaras star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and her eccentric, small-town family members – parents “Mama” June Shannon and Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson, as well as her sisters Anna “Chickadee” Shannon, Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, and, of course, Lauryn.
Since making her television debut, Lauryn has experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows — and thanks to her family’s reality TV fame, her many ups and downs have played out for all the world to see. From having her family’s lifestyle intensely scrutinized, to getting pregnant as a teenager, to becoming her younger sister’s temporary guardian while her mother navigates alleged drug issues and legal woes, this reality star had to learn how to be an adult well before her time. Here’s the untold truth of Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon.
She outed Mama June in an interview
In April 2015, Lauryn Shannon (then 15 years old) came out as bisexual during an exclusive interview with Inside Edition. “I’m attracted to females, and I’m attracted to males,” Lauryn revealed in the sit-down tell-all. “You cannot hide who you truly are.”
However, her bisexuality wasn’t the only bombshell Lauryn dropped in the interview. She also revealed a pretty major detail about her mother “Mama” June Shannon’s sexuality. With her mom sitting next to her, Lauryn exclaimed to the camera, “She’s gay, too. June is gay, too!” However, June was quick to correct her daughter, piping in to say, “No — bisexual.”
While the interview with Inside Edition was originally intended to center only on Lauryn’s big news, the focus quickly shifted to June — whom the turn of events has understandably taken by surprise. Still, the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo matriarch was open to discussing the revelation. When asked about how the majorly conservative community of her Hampton, Ga. hometown would respond to her admission, June didn’t appear particularly concerned. “I look at it this way: Haters are gonna hate,” the reality star said.
She held an intervention for her mother
In March 2019, it was reported that June Shannon and her boyfriend, Eugene Edward Doak (better known to fans as “Geno”), had been arrested in Alabama on drug possession charges, according to a statement provided to People by the Macon County District Attorney’s Office. According to the publication, Doak was also charged with third-degree domestic violence, and both he and June were in possession of a substance believed to be crack cocaine.
The news of Mama June’s arrest was a shock to fans and devastating for her family, who had long been worried about her condition. In fact, her daughters, niece, and sister had staged an intervention with the reality star only two days before her arrest, according to People.
During the intervention — which was shown on the May 2019 season finale of Mama June: From Hot to Not — Lauryn Shannon told her mother, “Physically, it’s like you don’t care about your health. I’m concerned about you. We care about you. … it’s like everybody’s trying to get you back healthy and you have tunnel vision and the only person you see is Geno.”
Meant to be a young mom
On Dec. 8, 2017, Lauryn Shannon gave birth to her first child with her now-husband, Joshua Efird. The 17-year-old posted a photo of her newborn daughter on Twitter, writing, “Today at 5:01am me and josh officially became parents to a precious 7lb 14oz baby girl. Everyone meet Ella Grace Efird.”
In February 2018, the family of three sat down for a photoshoot and interview with Us Weekly, during which Lauryn revealed that the best motherhood advice Mama June gave her was to sleep when baby Ella is sleeping. “I’m not gonna say it’s easy being a young mother,” the reality star told Us Weekly. “It is a hard process, but I’ve grown into it.”
Lauryn revealed to the publication that she’d always hoped she’d have kids early on in life. While she would have ideally liked to have embarked on the adventure of motherhood around 24 years old, she admitted that being closer in age to her daughter is kind of exciting. “I don’t condone teen pregnancy,” the new mom told Us Weekly, “but I like the fact that I’m going to be able to grow up with my daughter.”
She called Mama June's boyfriend a "father figure"
On Oct. 8, 2018, Lauryn Shannon took to Instagram to wish her mother’s boyfriend, Geno Doak, a happy birthday. “Thanks for coming into our lives & showing us a father’s love,” Lauryn captioned the post. “I hope today is filled with tons of beer drinking, laughs, & tonight your favorite meal from me, BAKED SPAGHETTI.”
Even after June Shannon and Doak’s March 2019 arrests, Lauryn expressed in an interview with Fox News that she held no ill will toward her mother’s boyfriend. The reality star even dispelled allegations of domestic violence, saying, “Geno is not an abusive person, and he’s never been. He is like a father figure to me and my sisters and he treats my mother very well.”
However, a tweet Lauryn cryptically retweeted has some fans wondering if the young mom has decided to distance herself from June and Doak’s allegedly toxic behavior. In May 2019, Lauryn shared a post that read, “TOXIC IS TOXIC. Whether it’s family or NOT. You are allowed to walk away from people who CONSTANTLY hurt you.” It certainly seems like Lauryn has had her fill of drama.
Becoming a mother improved her relationship
In a 2018 episode of Mama June: From Hot to Not (via E! News) — taped before baby Ella was born — June Shannon didn’t shy away from expressing her disdain for Lauryn Shannon’s then-fiancé (and now-husband) Joshua Efird. “I told him he needs to get a better job if he’s going to support my grandchild,” June said in the episode. “Pumpkin knows ain’t none of my babies’ daddies stuck around, but I don’t want the same thing to happen to her.”
While her mother’s concerns were certainly understandable, Lauryn claims having a baby actually strengthened the bond between her and Efird. “They say [babies] change things, but honestly I think a kid is maybe what we needed in our relationship,” the reality star revealed in an interview with Us Weekly. “We’ve become closer than any other time. We both help each other out. It’s like it’s a team thing now.”
On April 30, 2018 — months after welcoming their daughter into the world — the young couple married in a Las Vegas ceremony (via TMZ). And despite her feelings toward Efird, Mama June even walked Lauryn down the aisle.
She hasn't been the same since this incident
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo — the show that made Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, Mama June, and Honey Boo Boo household names — was canceled in 2014 amid controversy surrounding June’s relationship with Mark McDaniel, a convicted child molester. Though June denied the allegations, TLC refused to continue production on the show and promised to ensure the safety and comfort of the program’s young stars. “Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority,” a statement released by the network read. “TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”
Though the wildly popular show is no longer on the air, the family’s craziest moments and most memorable quotes have been immortalized online. In one clip from a July 2013 episode (via HuffPost), June seemingly implied that Lauryn experienced a freak accident as a child which left her permanently changed. According to Mama June, Lauryn was electrocuted during a storm “six or seven years ago” when lightning struck the house and traveled through the game console she was playing.
“Pumpkin’s never been the same since she got her brain fried,” June revealed. Uh, thanks, Mom.
Stage moms must run in the family
Before Honey Boo Boo (a.k.a. Alana Thompson), became the star of her own show, she appeared on a far different reality show — Toddlers & Tiaras. When we first met the tot, she was a bouncing ball of energy — excitedly dancing though interviews and spewing now-signature catchphrases like, “Those other girls must be crazy if they think they’re gonna beat me, honey boo-boo child!” Mama June was never far behind the tiny pageant contestant, coaching her from the audience and ensuring she had her “go go juice” to stay alert.
Now that Lauryn Shannon is a mom herself, it seems she may have daughter Ella Grace following in Aunt Alana’s beauty pageant footsteps. According to the website Soap Dirt, Lauryn entered Ella into the April 2019 Dumbo’s Divas Pageant in Brunswick, Ga. — and the tyke took home quite a few awards! According to an Instagram post featuring Ella surrounded by tiaras and trophies, the family’s newest beauty queen won Most Beautiful and Prettiest Smile in her age division, as well as Novice Supreme. Congrats, Ella!
Stepping up for Honey Boo Boo
In May 2019, two months after her arrest for felony possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, June Shannon was spotted at the Wind Creek casino in Montgomery, Ala., according to a report by TMZ. June allegedly told another gambler that she’d been living in a hotel on the casino’s property for a few months — and witnesses reportedly saw her boyfriend, Geno Doak, join her on the casino floor a few times.
June’s apparent gambling and continued relationship with Doak — who, remember, was also arrested for drug possession (as well as domestic violence) — is troubling. Making the news even more worrisome is the fact that, according to TMZ, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon has temporary custody of little sister Alana Thompson. As viewers saw in the May 2019 season finale of Mama June: From Hot to Not, the former beauty pageant star confessed to June that she was scared to stay at her mother’s house.
“I would love to come home and stay with you and tell you about my day but I can’t do that because I’m scared,” Thompson told her mother while sobbing (via Entertainment Tonight).
A victim of a car robbery
Everyone knows the saying, “When it rains, it pours.” And unfortunately for Lauryn Shannon in 2019, the reality star just kept getting drenched.
According to The Blast, on March 22, 2019, Lauryn’s Nissan Xterra was broken into overnight while parked at a Marriott hotel in Macon, Ga. The 19-year-old had two fully-loaded, Ruger P-Series handguns stashed in a holster under the driver’s seat — both of which were stolen. People reported the guns were valued at $300 and $400. Also taken from Lauryn’s car was her wallet, which contained her social security card, as well as the social security card of her beloved late grandmother. To make matters worse, March was her grandmother’s birthday month, as Lauryn revealed a year prior in an Instagram post on March 3, 2018.
“Today’s my nana’s birthday & another year I don’t get to spend it with her,” the star captioned an old photograph of her grandmother. She continued, “It upsets me more now that you [aren’t] here to be able to meet my future husband & now my baby girl. But I’ll always love you & miss you dearly.”
Putting her health first
On Sept. 4, 2018, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon took to Instagram to post a photo of herself with baby Ella — and the cute pic came with some exciting news from the star. Writing that Ella’s “newest obsession” was afternoon walks with her mom, Lauryn called their strolls a great way to fit exercise into her daily routine. But that’s not all! The star also revealed her secret to looking — and feeling — her best: detox tea.
“I also started my … 30 day detox again and I can’t rave enough about how great it makes me feel,” Lauryn captioned her photo. “I honestly haven’t changed my diet and still manage to lose a few pounds every time, plus it really helps my bloating. I definitely recommend this program for all the moms out there that need an easy fix to add into their routine!”
Certain detox teas have recently come under fire for being “deceptive” and “dangerous,” so hopefully this mama has done her research. Still, there’s no denying she looks happier and healthier than ever before!
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