Mama June Shannon doesn’t like to think of herself as a reality TV icon. Instead, the Toddlers & Tiaras alum views her television fame as simply a result of being “a real person.”
Mama June virtually sat down with E!’s For Real: The Story of Reality TV host Andy Cohen on tonight’s new episode to reflect on her decade of stardom that has been rife with drama—including a very public drug addiction and arrest.
Best known as Honey Boo Boo‘s mom, Mama June has had a long path to recovery and now is even fighting to win back her daughter’s trust after over a year apart in the spinoff series Mama June: Road to Redemption. “She’s determined to turn her life around, but can she?” host Cohen asked before introducing Mama June and complimenting her new teeth.
Mama June, on the other hand, can’t quite call herself a fan of Cohen. “I’m going to be real with you, I had to YouTube you because I didn’t know who you was,” Mama June hilariously admitted in the exclusive sit-down. “I don’t watch much TV.”
The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star called herself part of “real reality TV” that doesn’t “fit out here in Hollywood.” So does Mama June regret letting cameras film any part of her life over the last nine years?
Not at all. “If you start regretting what you’ve done, then you shouldn’t have done that s–t in the first place,” Mama June told Andy. She does however draw a line at starring in a pornographic film, or at least that is until she loses the 60 pounds she put on during quarantine from “eating fat cakes.”
Cohen questioned Mama June’s sobriety, and she assured fans that she’s “very big into the recovery community” alongside boyfriend Geno Doak. “It’s not his fault that I had my addiction,” Mama June explained. “I believe that during our addiction, both of us what I call our crazy state of mind and sometimes you got to love people through their addiction. He loved me through my addiction, and I’ve loved him through his addiction.”
Mama June admits to spending $600,000 in six months on cocaine to feed both her and Geno’s drug dependency. “It’s kind of crazy when you think about the dollar amount,” Mama June admitted. “In a year we probably spent over a million dollars, because our habit was $3,500 to $4,000 a day.”
She sold her Georgia home, jewelry and possessions to pay dealers. “Addiction is real, guys. I’m a real person, I have real issues and that’s what I share with people,” Mama June continued. “I say that I’m a recovering addict. I know I had a problem but it’s hard for me to say I’m still an addict because I’m not doing those things anymore.”
Mama June is seven months clean, and isn’t looking to leave the reality TV spotlight anytime soon. “If I can make it through the crazy rollercoasters in life being in front the camera, anyone can do it in this crazy thing called life,” she concluded.
Hopefully the Shannon family has time to heal, either in front of cameras or not.