Mama June sat down for a multi-part interview series with ET — and what she has revealed is pretty disturbing.
She still denies all allegations that she has resumed a relationship with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel, but she has another secret she’s been hiding from everyone, even her own family.
It’s the first time June Shannon has talked publicly since the news broke in October that she had allegedly resumed a relationship with McDaniel, who had molested Mama June’s own daughter, Anna. A media firestorm broke out over the news that the down-home, seemingly dedicated family matriarch was dating a man who had molested her daughter and had only recently been released from prison for molestation.
And as photos emerged showing McDaniel sitting near and touching Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, who is near the same age as Anna was when McDaniel molested her, shock turned into horror and disgust, culminating in TLC actually canceling the show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
But June Shannon wants to tell her side of the story.
“I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to lose,” Shannon told ET. “I just want, honestly, to tell my side of the story and let’s move on.”
Mama June maintains that she has seen McDaniel only twice since his release from prison. She says the first meeting was coincidental, and the second meeting she arranged — not as a date, she maintains, but in order to give her daughter Pumpkin, 14, closure.
Pumpkin, Mama June says, was raised believing that McDaniel was her biological father.
“Since two months to almost six years, she knew nobody but him,” Shannon explained. “She was starting to resent Anna and she was starting to ask me questions. I can’t answer those questions for Pumpkin.”
She added, “It was a conversation that she wanted her answers: what happened, why did he leave, you know, if he was her real father. He admitted to her, no. I had already told her that but, you know, she wanted to hear from both sides of the story.”
If you’re sighing a sigh of relief that Pumpkin’s father isn’t convicted child molester Mark McDaniel — stop.
Mama June admitted, for the first time, that Pumpkin’s biological father is the same man who fathered her older daughter Jessica. And he, too, is a convicted sex offender. He has served time for sexual exploitation of minors after he was caught during a televised sting on To Catch a Predator in 2005.
“Jessica and Pumpkin have the same dad, but Jessica’s dad has had nothing to do with her over the years,” Shannon said. “So, why the hell would I open up that can of worms until today? I lied to my family and told them it was somebody else.”
Mama June seems to be saying if you don’t want to admit to having two children with the same sex offender, then it’s better to lie and say you have two children by two different sex offenders.
She maintains that Alana’s safety has never been compromised, and that her youngest daughter has had minimal contact with McDaniel.
“He never really talked to her,” Shannon says, and that the only time Honey Boo Boo was actually in McDaniel’s presence, “twelve other people [were] there too.”
Mama June says she does understand why people were shocked by the allegations that she was dating McDaniel.
“I understand that… and honestly it’s not like I’m seeing him every day, I promise,” Mama June told ET.“I wanted to be able to give one of my other daughters closure and now Pumpkin is happy, that piece of our life is over.”
The pictures that surfaced of Mama June and McDaniel seemed pretty cozy — especially the one that shows them cuddled up in a bed together. And why would a snapshot be taken of McDaniel chumming it up with Alana if the meeting was so brief? Do you believe Mama June’s story about McDaniel, or do you think she’s just trying to save some face — and maybe her show?