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'Teen Mom' Star Gary Shirley Struggles As A Single Dad: 'I Can't Raise Leah On My Own'

Tue, November 23, 2010 1:12pm EDT by 2 Comments

The 24-year-old reality TV star is terrified that his ex-girlfriend Amber Portwood will be sent to prison, leaving him to raise their 2-year-old daughter, Leah, by himself. “He doesn’t think he can handle it,” says a family friend.

Raising a toddler is hard enough when two parents are sharing the responsibility, which is why Teen Mom star Gary Shirley is freaking out about the possibility of being a single dad to his daughter, Leah. His nightmare will become a reality if Leah’s troubled mother Amber Portwood, 20, has to spend time behind bars because of domestic violence. “Gary is really upset,” a family friend tells Life & Style. “He keeps saying, ‘What am I going to do? I can’t do this by myself.’ Amber could end up in jail, so Gary would be bringing up Leah on his own. He doesn’t think he can handle it.”

Leah is living with Gary

Gary’s already been struggling to take care of the 2-year-old since moving out of the home they all shared in Anderson, Ind., after Amber assaulted him in front of Leah and the MTV cameras. He’s turned to his mother, Carol Zizak, for support. In fact, according to the insider, Leah has called Carol “Mom” on more than one occasion. “She calls Amber ‘Mommy’ — but I’ve only heard her do that once!” reveals the insider. “She’s not a good mother.”

Gary bans Amber from Leah’s birthday party

While the people closest to Gary believe that he and Leah would be much better off without Amber — who faces up to three years behind bars if convicted of two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of domestic battery — he disagrees because he doesn’t want her to miss out on their daughter’s life. “He wants her to be around to see Leah grow up. He doesn’t want to see her go to jail,” the insider tells the magazine. “Gary still loves Amber,” agrees a family friend. “He told friends that no matter what happens, he will always love her.”

Amber fears for Leah’s safety

What do you think HollyMoms? Should Gary man-up and make the most of being a single parent, or should he make sure that Amber shares in the responsibility of raising their daughter?

–Amy L. Harper

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