Back in July, longtime Teen Mom OG mainstay Amber Portwood was arrested on domestic violence charges after allegedly assaulting boyfriend Andrew Glennon.
At the time, several of Portwood's fellow cast members stood by her side, including Catelynn Lowell, her co-star since back in the show's infancy.
Catelynn tweeted that fans should wait until they have all the facts and refrain from rushing to judgment against her longtime friend and co-star.
Of course, Lowell's comments were made prior to the release of shocking new audio recordings in which Portwood can be heard threatening to stab Glennon. Yes, that happened.
Now, Catelynn is speaking out on the subject again, but instead of defending Portwood, she's defending victims of violence across the land.
Take a look and see where you stand:
The Best of Friends
Few people can relate to the unique struggles Amber and Catelynn have faced over the course of the past decade, from the challenges of parenthood to the ups and downs of fame, so it should come as no surprise that the MTV reality stars developed a close friendship.
When Loyalty Creates Problems
In that way, it makes sense that - along with the rest of the Teen Mom OG world - Catelynn's first instinct was to defend and support her friend, or at the very least, urge caution before rushing to condemn her following what was clearly a complicated personal matter.
However, that doesn't make it right, and as the facts began to surface, it became increasingly clear that Amber Portwood's conduct was pretty shocking, and reprehensible. It's a sad reality, and one that Lowell now seems to realize along with the rest of Teen Mom Nation.
Yes, it's important to be loyal to your friends, but it's more important to be loyal to your own code of ethics, in basic human terms. And it seems that the newly-leaked audio recordings of Amber and Andrew's arguments - truly disturbing stuff all around, especially considering that there is a young child involved and present for all of it - served as a wake-up call for Catelynn.
In a pair of recordings first obtained by Katie Joy of Without a Crystal Ball, and posted to YouTube (below), Amber physically attacks Andrew, threatens him with further bodily harm, and fantasizes about him getting gang-raped. We never saw that coming and could not make it up.
Stunning and Horrifying
We all want to believe the best in people, especially ones to whom we are close. But wow. It's not hard to see why Catelynn Lowell and many others who may have been inclined to side with Amber underwent an abrupt change of heart after listening to the audio.
“There is always two sides to every story… u r only hearing one side sooo [peace] out I love you @AmberLPortwood,” Lowell tweeted, initially, following the news of Portwood's arrest. It's clear that she no longer stands by those words, however.
In case you missed it, this was the first of two stunning recordings that leaked online. Amber's verbal abuse of Andrew is frightening enough on its own merit, but what's worse is the damage it may cause her young son emotionally.
A lot worse. There were actual death threats involved. No wonder Cate caught all kinds of static for having stuck up for Amber.
Clearing the Air
In new tweets posted over the weekend, Catelynn made it clear that she regrets having made her previous comments, and she opposes violence of all kinds, without equivocation.
Stating Her Case
"I would hope that from watching my journey for 10 years that you all would know that I do not condone violence of any sort especially in front of children... my heart breaks... and I am truly sad..." Lowell tweeted.
What's Left Unsaid
It seems Catelynn is implying that she did not mean to defend Amber's right to commit violence. Rather, she's suggesting that she mistakenly believed Amber when she said she was innocent, or was at least holding out hope that another side of the story would come out.
Too Little, Too Late?
However, judging by the critical nature of the replies, it seems many of her followers believe this distinction is immaterial at this stage of the game, and that she erred in defending the assailant at the onset.
Trying Her Best
"Wow I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t," Lowell tweeted, seemingly in response to the criticism she received for having stood by her friend. Cate may have a point there; Twitter would not have taken kindly if she had jumped all over Amber immediately, either.
On the Same Page
Speaking in her own defense on the social network, Catelynn reminded fans that she became aware of the scope and severity of evidence against Amber no sooner than anyone else did.
Trying to Make Things Right
"Just know that I didn’t hear that audio till all of you did and I’m so sad and heart broken ...." wrote the 27-year-old mother of three daughters (Carly, who as 16 & Pregnant fans know was famously given up for adoption, and Nova and Vaeda) and wife of Tyler Baltierra.
Not Having It For One Second
As you can see, many of Catelynn's followers weren't buying her sudden 180 degree pivot and remained very upset with efforts - however well intentioned - to correct her earlier errors in judgment.
No Room For Nuance
And in a sense, they have every right to be ... after all, it's never okay to defend an abuser, and to a degree, that's exactly what happened.
A Complex Situation
But Catelynn is only human, and each of us is vulnerable to bias in favor of the people we love. Moreover, she didn't continue to defend Amber over and over again as even more damning evidence unraveled.
A Very Public Mistake
Sometimes, that love we have with those closest to us can be blinding, and while we're not defending Lowell's original tweets, we believe her when she says she would never knowingly defend someone who was guilty of what Amber had been accused of.
A Difficult Decision
Lowell has been through a tremendous amount in her own life, and it seems that in this case, her judgment was clouded by her desire to be there for a friend who has also battled mental illness.
Love Her or Hate Her, She's Certainly Authentic
Was it the wrong call? Absolutely. But Catelynn is nothing if not sincere, and we believe her when she says that she would respond to the situation differently if she were able to do it over again.
Speaking of Authentic ...
Her body parts may be mostly fake, but when she tosses a word salad opinion into the ether, it's as authentic and unfiltered as it gets. Farrah Abraham, who knows a thing or two about starring on Teen Mom OG and being under scrutiny, reacted harshly to the aforementioned audio recordings of Portwood.
“Wow this was sent to me today…” Farrah wrote on Insatagram, referring to the audio leak. “I’m so disgusted by the cast of teen mom…the injustice, no ethics, illegal abusive behavior in front of a child. 10 years same behavior… JAIL TIME FOR THIS FREAK!” We're not sure that Abraham should be in the business of name-calling, and she's laying it on a little thick re: MTV and the Teen Mom franchise, but that clip was chilling indeed.
Again with the Freak Comment
“If all the ‘moms’ on this show support this behavior their [sic] all unfit moms, the show is responsible for this relationship, this child abuse,” her tirade continued. “Thank you for sharing this as this show allowing children to be used, abused, mistreated and puppets for show is completely sad, disgusting, heartbreaking and illegal. This child [James], like Leah, needs to be far away from the freak Amber who doesn’t want to watch her own child.”
Debz OG Reacts
Farrah's mother, Debra Danielsen, responded with a much more measured statement. "I believe Amber must take time out to get the proper medical treatment she needs,” Debra told The Ashley's Reality Roundup. “I know inside is a wonderful woman who is struggling and wants to be her best, but her support system has been weak to non-existent. I really think she has been misdiagnosed and hasn’t received medical treatment that would make her feel tremendously better
An Uncertain Future
As for Amber, she may be looking at serious legal problems stemming from this attack, not to mention the permanent loss of custody of son James. She's been down this road before, which can't bode well for hopes of getting a lenient sentence recommendation from a prosecutor and/or judge. Stay tuned (and hope she gets the help she needs).