Maybe being on television is the real drug in this case.
Amber Portwood, who is supposed to be released from jail into the care of a halfway house this week after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, has considered changing her plea so that she can continue shooting Teen Mom as much as possible, sources exclusively tell E! News.
It's not as if she wants to be in jail for five years, of course. Portwood's attorney says that it's "not true" that his client would prefer to change her plea and do jail time.
But it is true that the drug court that's allowing Portwood to rehabilitate at the halfway house has ordered the facility not to allow a camera crew inside, and we hear that's got the single mom on edge.
Per the drug court's terms, Portwood must spend eight months rehabbing at Sister 2 Sister Ministries in Anderson, Ind., and, once she moves out, get a real full-time job—i.e. one that doesn't involve reality-show cameras. The judge has warned her that if she violates her strict probation in any way, she'll be locked up—and she's facing a maximum of five years in prison on the felony drug-possession charge.
The third season of Teen Mom is scheduled to premiere April 3. Portwood hasn't been filmed for the show since around Thanksgiving time. She has been in custody since before Christmas.
Portwood said in court last week that she had been under the impression that she would be allowed to live with her grandparents—i.e., tape her show—while fulfilling the terms of her sentence (counseling, regular check-ins with the court, etc.), so being ordered to a halfway house caught her by surprise.
A source close to her confirms that the court has been in touch with MTV about what is expected of Portwood over the next year and that the network is being cooperative—which, according to the insider, is freaking Portwood out because the show has been her sole source of income and most of her savings have gone to legal fees.
Amber decided Saturday that she would rather "do her time now and get it out of the way," the source said. The halfway house is "not the right place for her. She'd have a 10 p.m. curfew and would never see Leah because she wouldn't want to bring Leah around that place."
Baby daddy Gary Shirley currently has primary custody of the child.
"The system doesn't want Amber to succeed," the source said. "She needs to stay in the entertainment industry. There are no jobs in Anderson. She needs to finish her schooling. She can't do all of that with a $7-an-hour job."
By agreeing to the drug court program, Portwood had her case effectively removed from Madison County Circuit Court.
A court clerk confirmed to E! News last week that Portwood was sentenced to at least 18 months—and a maximum of three years—in the program and would have to appear at a drug court hearing every week. The Circuit Court would not have to see her again unless "she messes up again," the clerk said.
—Additional reporting by Baker Machado and Claudia Rosenbaum