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I was on one of my many trips to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office when it came up—the subject I had so hoped to avoid—Jenelle, otherwise known as Brunswick County’s resident “Teen Mom.”
A “star” on MTV’s “reality” show “Teen Mom 2,” Jenelle Evans is a 19-year-old Oak Island resident whose run-ins with the law have been well documented on the show, in the tabloids and in the court docket in Brunswick County District Court.
Her latest antics—a video that has gone viral of a girl who appears to be Evans involved in a brutal attack of another girl—have surfaced online, bringing national tabloid attention to Brunswick County.
Remember the good ol’ days when it was corrupt politicians for which we were famous? Or when R.C. Soles Jr. shot/bit/kicked teenage and 20-something boys?
Ah, how times change.
The folks at the sheriff’s office, the district attorney’s office and the courthouse have been fielding calls from tabloids and other national media outlets for days about Evans and the fight.
Obviously, it is difficult to prove that it was Jenelle in the fight that has appeared online (you’re welcome, attorneys).
Unfortunately, her choice in friends is about as sharp as her choice in behavior, which led me to confirm at least some of the players in the disgusting affray.
Evans has appeared on the pages of the Beacon’s court docket numerous times, so I went to the courthouse Monday afternoon for a full list of her charges. I know it’s a tabloid-y story, but I still confirm information.
Evans’ criminal history goes back to 2008, when she was charged with misdemeanor larceny, first-degree trespassing, harassing phone calls and shoplifting. Those charges were dismissed. Pending charges against Evans include breaking and entering, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, breaking and entering, property damage, second-degree trespassing and harassing phone calls.
Evans’ most recent charges, stemming from the video fight, include simple affray and simple assault. Two other girls were charged in the fight, as well, one of whom boasted to me she was involved.
Eighteen-year-old Brittany Maggard is proud of her role in the viral fight video—so much so, she pulled a “Don’t you know who I am?” on me when we were at the clerk of court's office at the same time.
“No,” I replied, “Who are you?” thrown off by her false pride in the situation.
She told me who she was, noting she was not the Brittany who got her-you-know-what beat. But she wasn’t as careful with her choice of words.
Is this girl serious? Is she really proud to be a part of this? Yes, she sure was.
Maybe she wasn’t proud, but she really seemed to enjoy the notoriety, even though I really had no idea who she was. It wasn’t until I received a press release the next morning that I recognized her from her mugshot. She was also charged in the fight.
It’s not the teen moms on the show, or even Evans, I have a problem with per se—it’s the show’s concept. It’s the misguided glorification of teen pregnancy that sends me into a tailspin.
MTV has created a monster with these teenage girls. As if it’s not bad enough that the show lauds unwed, teenage pregnancy, the show further rewards additional bad behavior—drugs, fighting, you name it—by paying these girls for their behavior.
The worst part about all of this is the show’s creators, probably all college-educated executives, some of whom might have teenage daughters of their own, thought it would be a good idea (and obviously a cash cow) to exploit these vulnerable, uneducated young mothers for a profit.
The girls get paid—a hefty sum as most reality shows start at around $10,000 an episode—so what do they care?
I have an idea for MTV. If they really want to offer teenagers the reality of being a teen mom, take the camera off Evans for a moment. She’s outlived her 15 minutes, anyway.
Instead, take the cameras to the county’s Department of Social Services building for one day.
One day. That’s all it would take to offer teen girls the true reality of being a teen mom.
Caroline Curran is a staff writer, columnist and blogger at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 754-6890. Follow her on Twitter @cgcurran.