Mama June Shannon, 42, is speaking out publicly for the first time since losing custody of her youngest daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, 16, to her older daughter Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird, 22. The reality television mom said Alana “made” the “choice” to continue living with Lauryn herself after already having been with the older sibling during June’s previous struggles with addiction, in a new video interview on Page Six’s Virtual Reali-tea. “Alana made that choice to stay in that environment,” the mother-of-four told the outlet while promoting her family’s WE tv reality series, Mama June: Road to Redemption.
June also explained that no one incident led the court to give Lauryn custody. “People don’t understand the custody thing. It’s not like somebody ‘lost custody.’ In the state of Georgia, you do temporary guardianship every year and [Alana] had been with [Lauryn] in my addiction,” she said. “Well, at the age of 12, you’re able to make your choice.
In addition to opening up about not having custody of Alana, June revealed she currently has “good” relationships with her other two daughters, Jessica Shannon, 25, and Anna Shannon, 27, and confirmed that she still speaks with Alana despite not living with her. “Alana’s fixin’ to be 17 in just a couple months. So honestly, me and Pumpkin sat down and was just like, ‘Hey, it’s not like I don’t see Alana, it’s not like I don’t talk to her,’” she explained.
“Because I do. I do see her, I do talk to her,” she continued. “We do communicate. So it wasn’t like any difference. The only difference is she’s not sitting right here beside me in my home every day.”
June’s latest comments come two months after court documents showed that a Georgia judge gave sole custody of Alana to Lauryn, who was first rewarded temporary guardianship in 2019, and let Lauryn decide the visitation rights. June, who is reportedly allowed to call Alana daily, has also been ordered to pay Lauryn $800 a month in child support until Alana turns 18 in Aug. 2023.
After previously dealing with addiction, June is now 29 months sober and married to Justin Shroud. She also told Page Six that she’s “proud” of Lauryn and the parental role she took on for Alana when she was struggling with her substance abuse battle. “I’m very thankful for her because the situation could have been a lot different,” she said.