June "Mama June" Shannon is, again, currently the subject of much water cooler conversation, thanks to the weight-loss journey she's undergoing on WEtv's Mama June: From Not to Hot. (Also, there's that whole did she/didn't she fat suit drama happening.) With a determination and media-savvy to match that of Kris Jenner, June has held a captive audience for years with her bizarre nicknames for her daughters, her myriad of men, and, well, a few run-ins with the law. Here, 20 things you should def know about the Shannon family matriarch and reality TV HBIC.
1. She was born Aug. 10, 1979, in McIntyre, Georgia, to parents Sandra and Melvin Shannon, who divorced when she was just 2 years old. June also has an older sister Joanne, better known as Doe Doe, who occasionally makes television appearances alongside Shannon.
2. June dropped out of high school when she was just 15 years old to give birth to her first child, Anna. She earned her GED, but later said teenage pregnancy was very hard and "just too much for me.”
3. She has four daughters: Anna aka “Chickadee,” 22, Jessica aka “Chubbs,” 20, Lauryn aka “Pumpkin,” 17, and Alana aka “Honey Boo Boo,” 11.
4. Her oldest daughter Anna has two children. When she was 18, she gave birth to daughter Kaitlyn, now 3. In 2015, she gave birth to daughter Kylee with husband Michael Cardwell. (The two wed in 2014.)
5. June was arrested in 2008 for theft and contempt of court. The New York Daily News reported that the charges "related to child support issues."
6. She and Alana “Honey Boo Boo” first dazzled audiences in an episode of the TLC series Toddlers and Tiaras back in 2011. The family became fan favorites thanks to Alana's crazy quips (the cameraman are literally laughing in most of the takes) and her adoration of "go-go juice" (a pre-pageant pick-me-up of Mountain Dew and Red Bull).
7. Alana’s popularity on Toddlers eventually led to her own spin-off show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The program aired on TLC for four seasons and 26 episodes.
8. The Shannon crew fascinated viewers with their antics, including Redneck Olympics, weight-loss challenges, and Mama June's skills in the kitchen - you can't forget the Shannons' unique family recipes like ketchup-based "sketti," an easy Boston cream pie, and cabbage soup.
9. June "married" her then-BF Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson during the season two finale of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The couple did not take any legal steps during their camo-themed event, instead describing the 180-person event as a commitment ceremony.
10. June has a "forklift foot" thanks to a factory accident that involved, you guessed it, a forklift. Her big toe was severely deformed and now June keeps her foot covered at all costs, even wearing socks at the waterpark.
11. June is also legally blind, thanks to untreated childhood cataracts.
12. June's romantic life has been a subject of much controversy: TMZ revealed that June has reunited her ex, Mark McDaniel, a registered sex offender, after obtaining a photo of the couple together in a hotel bed. The ties to McDaniel led June to sit down with Entertainment Tonight for an exclusive where she revealed another relationship with a registered sex offender Michael Anthony Ford. (Ford is the father of both Chubbs and Pumpkin.) Ex-boyfriends David Dunn and Sugar Bear (the fathers of Chickadee and Honey Boo Boo respectively) have also also spent time in jail.
13. Anna publicly revealed on Dr.Phil that she was sexually assaulted at age 8 by June’s ex, Mark McDaniel. In interviews, Anna said she blames June for the molestation, and has expressed her sadness and disgust over her mother’s continued contact with McDaniel. (June adamantly denied that she had any contact with McDaniel beyond "an accidental run-in.")
14. Anna has also accused Mama June of stealing. She alleged June had drained her savings account and she had no power over the situation because she jointly signed the account with her mother when she was a minor. June, in turn, blames her mom Sandra for hurting her relationship with Anna, and even told TMZ that she is a “money-hungry bitch."
15. June was investigated by child services over her relationship with McDaniel. Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services said they were seeking to determine if Shannon was able “to keep three of her daughters, who are minors, safe from the man who her oldest daughter [claims molested her].”
16. In 2015, both her and daughter Pumpkin revealed themselves as bisexual on Inside Edition.
17. June appeared on Marriage Boot Camp at the start of 2016 with Sugar Bear. The couple claimed the issues in their relationship included communication and Sugar Bear's unfaithful online behavior. Mama June officially separated from Thompson not long after Boot Camp and Sugar Bear married Jennifer Lamb in January 2017.
18. She also appeared on the season finale of Botched later that year hoping to fix scars left by her four C-sections. The doctors refused to give June the procedure, stating she must lose more weight before receiving a tummy tuck.
19. June first went public with her weight loss efforts in 2015, when she revealed that she has dropped from a size 28 to a size 16. She’s continued her goal to drop major pounds, and in February, she revealed on her new reality show Mama June: From Not to Hot that she’s a size 4.
20. June currently resides in Hampton, Georgia, with daughters Alana and Pumpkin. The family still sticks to coupons and a strict budget knowing that reality TV fame is not everlasting - “I want to be able to live comfortable for a long while after this amazing adventure ends.”
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