"Remember you can't believe everything you read," wrote June Shannon.
I will admit that I have only managed to force myself to watch 10 minutes of one episode of "Here comes Honey Boo Boo" before I felt my brain begin to liquefy and seep out of one ear. It was curiosity that led me into that viewing since it seemed that everyone was talking about the show. It began with the appearance of Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson on TLC's reality show "Toddlers & Tiaras" and her appearance soon went viral.
Even then I did not think that watching a video clip of a child drinking "go-go juice" made from Red Bull and Mt Dew was anything I needed to add to my life. Alana was six when the show "Here comes Honey Boo Boo was created for her in 2012 and TLC thought that it needed to include her whole family. It would seem that reality shows had moved far out into left field at times, far from "Big Brother" and "Survivor"......... almost any strange and wacky family could potentially be a hit with the viewers they targeted.
They thought that they had found a great mixture of love, candor, warmth and comedy surrounding Alana with her mother June, her father Sugar Bear and her sister's Anna, Jessica and Pumpkin. TLC felt that they had found a very honest and blunt family willing to let people into their home and life. I did not need to see more than I did of the program to know that just because a lot of people watched and talked about it, it was not even good television. Somehow, somewhere, it was decided that American's would go hog wild over "Hickspoilation" television and "Honey Boo Boo" was added to the line-up of shows like Breaking Amish, Duck Dynasty, Buck Wild and Party Down South.
What I find difficult to understand is how the television executives did not see the train wreck coming from the day they launched their new show. The program premiered on August 8 2012 and featured Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, her mother, June "Mama June" Shannon, her father, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson and her sisters: Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon, Jessica "Chubbs" Shannon and Anna "Chickadee" Shannon. The television executives had gotten at least one small thing correct..... they could not have the show based entirely on the exploits of just one small child.
There were significant questions about the whole Shannon clan shortly after they hit the airwaves. June spent time in jail in 1998 for cashing bad checks and was jailed in 2004 for stealing $3,000 from the safe at a McDonald's she managed in McDonough GA but that charge was later dismissed. She was arrested and jailed in 2008 on contempt of court charges involving $643 in child support she owed her mother who had been raising Anna. She spent four days in jail and faced another 30 days if she hadn't managed to cough up the money. Her landlord, Michael Nelson had sued the Thompson's in 2007 for $1,500 owed him for rent and dues and he states that he never saw any of that money.
Mama June has made public claims that everything she had been charged with had been dropped over the years but it seems that the charges were only dropped in some when she managed to scrap up the money to pay off the amounts disputed. June and her partner Thompson were charged by child services after Alana was videotaped dancing on a bar top for money and their parenting skills were called into question but the charges were later not pursued by the agency.
June has been living with Michael "Sugar Bear" Thompson, 40, for about 9 years and he is also not without a criminal history. In 1998 he was convicted on charges from going on a small crime spree. He broke into and robbed several campers at hunting camps and set one of the campers on fire. He was sentenced to five years in jail in GA, was released and returned shortly afterwards for being in possession of a gun.
|Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson|
He and June began their relationship in May 14 2004 and he is the father of Alana but not the other three daughters. He and June exchanged vows in a commitment ceremony in May 2013 but they were never actually married. In fact, Mama June has never married any of the father's of her children and it has been speculated that she chose not to so that she could collect child support and welfare payments for the girls.
It had first been announced that he and June would be getting married on the television program but it was quickly leaked that even though they were going all out on a camo wrapped wedding, it was really only going to be for show. They were just going to exchange vows and it was really only a public commitment ceremony. Mike has been working at Snow Co General Contractors in McIntyre GA for the last 8 years and according to their website, they mine and process kaolin, a white clay used in many industries.
June's oldest daughter, Anna "Chickadee" Shannon, did not know her father David Dunn, 34, until he was released from prison. He had been sent to prison when she was four years old over child support payments, was returned to prison in 1995 when he was sentenced for stealing a handgun and returned again in 1998 for stealing cartons of cigarettes. He now works in construction and has stated that he has not seen his daughter very often. He stated that they had wanted him to sign his rights away to Anna but he refused to do so because he has always wanted his daughter to know her daddy was.
He has claimed that June does not allow him to see his child and hasn't for years. Anna had spent most of her childhood living with her grandmother after June left her there to run off with another boyfriend. Her grandmother eventually won sole custody of the oldest daughter and June was forced to make child support payments. Anna was lured back the family nest because it was felt that her pregnancy would add to the program's story line at the time.
Anna herself is now in the middle of child/father issues since the birth of her daughter Kaitlyn at age 18. The father of the baby is said to be her long time boyfriend Caleb Clark from Griffin GA. He and Anna dated for about two years and he was present at the birth of Kaitlyn. He has since tried to have a paternity test done so that he can confirm his status as her father but so far, Anna has refused he stated. He added that she had told him that the only way that she would agree to it was if he joined the show as one of the cast. He has been reported as working towards a career in law enforcement and he hopes to have contact with his daughter in the future.
This past year, Anna married Michael Cardwell after dating Mitch Brewer for a brief time. His family owned a roller rink and construction companies and it was viewed as an attempt to leave the family home. Cardwell was shown proposing to Anna on New Years Eve but it has since been released that he did that on Dec 19th and she had moved out of the family home months before the program showed it on screen. She and Cardwell moved to the nearby town of Ivey GA in September but viewers were led to believe that Anna was still living at the family home in McIntyre GA. The couple were married on May 3 2014 and have since moved to Alabama where he works as a truck mechanic.
June's daughter Jessica "Chubs" Shannon also has a father with a criminal record. It has been reported that June had only dated Michael Anthony Ford, 37, for a few months before she got pregnant with their child. Ford himself served time for for a conviction in 2005 for sexual exploitation of a child over the Internet. He served two years on that charge, which also put him on the sex offenders registry. He also has been charged in the past for passing bad checks and shoplifting at the WalMart where he worked. Ford has stated that he has paid June $300 a month for child support of Jessica but he has not been allowed to visit with his daughter. He added that he has only been able to meet with her five times since her birth.
It seems that no one is sure or knows who Lauryn's father is but there are plenty of family stories as to who he could be. June's parents have stated that they don't have any idea as to who he may be and that June may not even know. Her father has stated though that even though they suspect that June never married any of the girl's fathers so she could collect welfare and child support, they are still very proud of her and their show.
Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson and June have stated that they have been with each other since May 14, 2004. June had been dating the man who has sunk her into this latest scandal....... Mark McDaniel. It has been reported that he abused Anna, her oldest daughter in 2002 and 2003 but the charges involving that abuse were dismissed. He was indicted in 2003 on charges of aggravated child molestation and aggravated on his young victim which basically are not charges that could occur from "accidentally" touching a child in an improper way. In 2004 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on aggravated child molestation charges in a different case in Spaulding County. He had been found guilty of forcing a young girl to perform oral sex on him and was released in March 2014 after serving that sentence. He is a registered sex offender and had been living in Decatur GA and has not spoken publicly since his release.
June has and still is insisting that she has had no contact with the pedophile since he was sent packing off to jail but there definitely has been trouble brewing in the trailer park since spring. This past September, the married couple who is not married split up and Mike Thompson moved out of the family home. June stated that she had found out the Thompson was cheating on her and using online dating sites.
The news just keeps falling off the pumpkin wagon though because it seems that June was never really over her relationship with McDaniel. It has been reported that she has kept a box full of photos of her and McDaniel and that has been the source of many an argument between her and Thompson. Now it also seems that June was the one to be off cheating on Thompson with.......... McDaniel. Yes, the pedophile who was accused of molesting her own daughter when she was 8 years old. The news broke of her being back with McDaniel after pictures surfaced of her together with him in a motel room bed together. She even had convinced her daughters to state that the pictures could not have been real and that they had been photo-shopped to damage her reputation.
People could almost believe that if there wasn't the parade of other photos that have surfaced of the two of them together. June has been very busy taking care of her new "old" man in the past few months. She has bought him a used car when she went and purchased two of them at a dealership... to the tune of $25,000 cash. She reportedly stated that one of the cars was for her daughter and the other one was for a friend. She has also been photographed while out hunting for a new home. I suppose this is so that McDaniel can have someplace very comfortable to bunk at after all those years of prison cells.
TLC was obviously "shocked" that this could have happened to the cast of one of their favorite, truthful and housewarming families. They immediately announced that they would put a hold on releasing the next season of "Here comes Honey Boo Boo" which had already been filmed and was in the can waiting to air. It did not take them long to figure out that they nuclear waste in the can when the public questioning and outcry began. Anna has stepped forward and publicly stated that it was her, at 8 years old, that McDaniel had molested and not some far-flung distant relative as was first assumed.
I have to question WTF was she thinking by starting up again with a man who went to prison for ten years for child molestation. Even if she had not been a "star".......... there is nothing a man like that could offer but more grief and trouble. I can certainly see why Anna lived with her grandmother all those years and why she ran off to get married and move away from the cesspool in Georgia. TLC has stated that they will extend an offer to assist all of the children, especially Anna, with counseling or whatever other help they may need.
What they do need is to be taken away from Mama June with the release of the latest pictures. There have been reports that child services is now going to investigate the family and home life at June's home. They will be concerned with whether June can or has made sure that her daughter's have been kept safe from a convicted sex offender. She does not seem to "get it" very well but then, she did not believe her daughter Anna when she was a child and accused McDaniel of molesting her.
Supposedly, June has been placing the earnings of her children in trust accounts for them and it would be nice if that is the actual truth. At least they will have some funds to live on after the crash and burn of the television show. Thompson still has his job, maybe his earnings and has not made any comment publicly about what June has been doing. June on the other hand, seems to be spending up a storm while she has been romancing her old boyfriend. It would be nice if she has managed to save some of her earnings from the program............ she may need it for lawyer's fees in the coming months.
I do hope that nothing has happened to the children since McDaniel has been around but it is crazy to think that it wouldn't eventually happen. June is living in a houseboat on "de Nile" but maybe this will be the wake-up call she needs to finally straighten out her life.
Update Oct 28 2014:
It seems that June has continued to drive her four-wheeler even deeper into the mud. She still is denying that she has been carrying on with her "ex" pedophile, sex offender boyfriend even though the life she built around her flash-in-the-pan show is crashing faster than the Hindenburg. Her oldest daughter Anna has confirmed that she was the victim in both cases that were brought against Mark McDaniel. Her ex boyfriend had stated in 2012, that she had told him then that McDaniel had threatened Anna if she ever told anyone about the abuse. The ex boyfriend added that McDaniel had told Anna that he would kill her and her grandparents if she ever told them about what he had done to her.
In June 2003, McDaniel was indicted for child molestation, aggravated child molestation and aggravated sexual battery in Henry County but that case was soon dropped. He was then indicted in Spaulding County for rape, child molestation, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and aggravated sexual battery. The grand jury there accused McDaniel of showing Anna, who wasn't even 10 years old, sexually graphic videos, fondling and sexually assaulting her.
McDaniel made a deal to plead out and was allowed to plead guilty to only the aggravated child molestation charge and was sentenced to ten years. Anna has stated that she told her mother, June, who did not believe her and accused Anna of trying to hurt her. Anna moved out of her mother's home after the assault and lived with her grandparents after the assault. She moved back in at the beginning of the show to try and patch things up with her mother. She has since become public about the abuse because of the betrayal she feels from her mother again dating the man who abused her when she was a young child. She added that she would never let her young daughter anywhere near McDaniel.
June can deny all she wants but her actions and photographs taken in the last few months prove otherwise. Oddly, a basic background check on the couple by FOX411 found that McDaniel's name came up as an associated name at a Stockbridge GA address from 1996 to 2009. June is also listed at that same address from 2001 to 2007 which is the strange part if she has had nothing to do with McDaniel since he was jailed.......... he was tossed in jail in 2004 but he is still listed with the same address as her.
It has been reported that Thompson knew about some of what June had been doing with the guy she supposedly didn't care about and had nothing to do with. It looks as though he had taken a dive to the mat this year when he was blamed for their break-up. It seems to be very obvious that June was the one who had been running around and not with just any guy she picked up in a bar. The pictures that have shown up go back several months and show that he has had contact with June's children, including the one with Alana which was taken in the beginning of September.
I have to wonder what she will be doing when Jessica's father, Ford eventually gets out of jail. He was sentenced to a maximum of four years on a charge of sexual exploitation of a child over the internet and had ten years of probation tacked onto that. He is currently in jail now for a charge of child abandonment and will be on the sex offenders registry as well when he gets out. It has been reported that Child Protective Services in GA have opened a case to investigate June, her relationship with McDaniel and what may have transpired with him being around the children. In the very least, I can't imagine that he is allowed to have contact with minor children. Thompson is reportedly also getting ready for a custody fight for his daughter Alana now that it has been proven that June has had McDaniel visiting with the children. It may be the best thing for all those children to be as far away from June and her poor choices until she can prove that she knows what is best for her girls.
Update Oct 29 2014:
Radar Online has released the copy of the report involving Anna and McDaniel and it shows that Anna's grandmother, Sandra was the one who lodged the complaint. it also reveals that on at least one occasion, then 3 year old Lauryn witnessed the abuse. Evidently McDaniel molested Anna numerous times in June's bed while June was away at work. The report states that on at least one occasion, Lauryn was on the bed, watching while he abused Anna.
Dekalb County officers can not do anything to prevent McDaniel from being around June or her children. The only one that he can not be around is Anna because of the prior abuse. He has evidently served his time and is not barred by any court order from being in contact with children. Child services can investigate the circumstances but will probably not be able to do anything about the children unless it can be proven that they are in danger.
Thompson may well have the better case in trying to move forward in gaining custody of his daughter Alana. She is only one year older than Anna was when she was abused and McDaniel has proven that he did not care back then what he did to damage a child.... Anna or Lauryn. June has been acting very happy to have McDaniel around but seriously.... what has she been thinking? Did she really think that he would be a new addition to the cast of the show? Did he think that he has finally found the money train after doing ten years time?
Anna has continued to hit the talk show circuit and stated that her mother has said that there would be hell to pay if they tried to take away her daughters. Anna has the right idea........ June, you did this all to yourself. Anna has also stated that while she wants her own daughter to have a relationship with her mother June, she will not feel safe leaving her with June if McDaniel is still in the picture.
Update Nov 2 2014:
It has been reported that June will not..... yes, not receive a large chunk of the money she would have received for this season's episodes that are completed and in the can. TLC is citing the morals clause in her contract for the huge deduction in pay. The rest of the family will be receiving their full pay for this season even though it will not be airing. They are concerned about the welfare of the children that may have contact with her new/old pedophile boyfriend.
I guess that means that her and McDaniel are going to put that new house purchase on hold and start filling out applications at burger joints.
Update Nov 3 2014:
The dirt keeps flying and the hole that June has been digging just keeps getting deeper. Her oldest daughter Anna has now claimed that she knows where the money came for the two Nissan's June bought less than a month ago from a Georgia dealership. She states that there is $30,000 missing from her trust account, the account that was set up for her by June for her payments from the television show. June has repeatedly stated that she did not but McDaniel a car but apparently one of the Nissan's was delivered to a "friend" in Decatur GA. That friend evidently used the same address as the one that McDaniel has listed on his sex offender registry. I am going to go with the age-old.... if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck...... it's a duck.
June has also been spotted in the past few days with Thompson in her immediate company but he reportedly collapsed on Sunday from stress. An ambulance was called to the home and he was released after being checked out by medical personal. If she thinks that she is circling the wagons and putting up a reunited front for the public, I think very few are going to buy her latest actions as being genuine. It would be interesting if the supposed trust funds that all the girls have exist and/or have been raided as well.
Update Nov 12 2014:
Anna Cardwell has stated that there is a reason why her younger sister Lauryn has been so enthusiastically defending her mother during this scandal. She reports that Lauryn believes that McDaniel is her biological father and is angry that Anna has continued to tell interviewers about his past crimes.
She thinks that McDaniel may have originally come around after being released from jail to "surprise" Lauryn and that may have led her to believe that he is her father. It has been reported that Lauryn is the only child of the four girls that no one is sure who the father is. That certainly is some sort of surprise but not the one that I would want for my child. June has repeatedly stated that she and McDaniel are not even seeing each other but the photo evidence proves otherwise.
Even if McDaniel is the biological father of Lauryn, I don't think getting to hang out with him is the best way to renew a family connection.......... maybe a few letters or a phone call would do. I definitely would not want him having an actual relationship with her.
Update Nov 13 2014:
June has come out again to try and defend her meetings with McDaniel and now is stating that she was not dating him but rather.......... met with him a couple of times to ease Lauryn's mind. She added that Lauryn did not believe Anna's story and had doubts that McDaniel was not her father but she needed to ask him those questions herself. She has finally stated that Lauryn's father was the other sex offender she had dated and the same one who is the father of Jessica........ Michael Ford.
Evidently, Lauryn could not have written to McDaniel was in prison to get the answers she needed? I am at a loss as well as to why June has waited this long to state that she has known Lauryn's father is Ford and why she felt a face to face meeting was needed. He isn't a dad to be very proud of either since he was caught during the television program "To Catch a Predator" in 2005 and served time for the sexual exploitation of minors.
My only hope is that the girls will be able to walk away from this trash-heap of emotional damage with the help of people who are much more grounded and sane.
Update Nov 14 2014:
It seems that June has been riding quite a bumpy road for years when it comes to her children. Her mother Sandra Hale was given guardianship of Anna in 2003, the same woman who led the police to arresting McDaniel for molesting Anna a year before. June was ordered to pay $100 a month in child support but by 2009 she was $4,144.62 in arrears with those payments. She was arrested because she was willfully and continuously refusing to make the payments for her oldest daughter's care. The charges were dismissed a few months later, presumably because she had either caught up with what was owed or a deal had been struck in order to catch up the money owed.
It seems kind of crazy that you would not pay that small amount to help care for a child that has gone through what she had been forced to do by McDaniel.
Update Nov 19 2014:
It would seem that Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson is back in June's life because he has to be there, not because they are trying to patch things up. It has been reported that Georgia CPS very quickly began an investigation of the situation at June's home after it was reported that she was back seeing McDaniel. They have only allowed they girls to stay with June if there was another adult in the home besides June.
Georgia CPS suggested that Thompson move back into the home while their investigation continues. Thompson is evidently not very happy about having to live with June again but Alana had missed having him around. The two reportedly can't stand to even be in the same room together and Thompson is understandably unhappy about being used as a pawn in June's attempt to keep custody of the girls.
June did not help her image any with her interview on the Dr Phil program.......... she can be seen as a compulsive liar and someone who is drawn to being with criminals. Her explanations of the recent photos of her and McDaniel either glide past an answer or they are so unbelievable that it just points straight towards her. At this point, there does not seem to be much she can do to dig herself out of the pit she has dug for herself.