In Touch Weekly released a scathing story about Teen Mom 2 star Leah Calvert this morning. The magazine claims that Leah has managed to drain $50,000 from a trust fund that was set aside for her daughter Ali Simms.
Ali, who suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, was to use the money in the account once she became an adult, but, according to the magazine, there is nothing left.
“The account was totally drained,” a source reportedly told In Touch. “The money is supposed to go to college tuition, or in Ali’s case, medical needs. But Leah took all of it.”
The Ashley has reached out to Leah’s management team for comment but has not yet heard back. In the meantime, The Ashley reached out to several sources familiar with the show’s financial situation to see if Leah could, indeed, take money that was allocated to Ali for her appearances on ‘Teen Mom 2.’
(Again, the In Touch article did not specify that Ali’s trust fund was indeed the one that contains her MTV money; however, it is most likely that one. If the money was from another venture, what follows may not apply.)
As The Ashley reported in the first version of her book, Teen Mom Confidential, each child that appears on ‘Teen Mom 2’ is paid separately from his or her parents. That means that Ali, as well as her sister Aleeah and Addi, all have an account with the money they’ve earned for each season they’ve appeared on the show.
MTV is not required to set up any type of trust fund for the ‘Teen Mom 2’ kids, as reality TV is not covered under Coogan Laws or any other act, but they have done that anyway. (A Coogan account requires the parents of a child actor to set aside at least 15% of their child’s entertainment earnings into an account for the child when he or she turns 18. Unfortunately, however, kids on reality TV shows are not considered “actors,” therefore the Coogan Laws do not apply. Also, those laws only apply in certain states; Leah’s home state of West Virginia is not one of them.)
Multiple show sources confirmed to The Ashley that most of the girls on ‘Teen Mom 2’ or other ‘Teen Mom’ shows have UTMA accounts set up for their kid(s).
However, MTV (or the government) does not prevent the parent (or whoever is set as the “trustee” of the account until the child turns 18) from withdrawing money, provided it is for “the benefit of the child.”
According to finaid.org, a site that helps students better understand their finances and financial aid:
Nothing prevents the custodian from spending the money for the benefit of the child, so long as the expenses aren’t “parental obligations” or otherwise benefit the custodian. Parental obligations are expenses a parent is normally expected to provide for his or her child, such as food, clothing, medical care and shelter. But if your child wants a computer or to go to summer camp, it is usually acceptable to spend the child’s money on those expenses. Likewise, you can spend the child’s money for the child’s college education.
Another ‘Teen Mom’ source tells The Ashley that not all of the girls’ accounts for their kids are the same, due to them all living in different states. Since Leah lives in West Virginia, and has since the beginning of the show, it is likely the accounts for the girls are UTMA accounts. So, while The Ashley is definitely not confirming that Leah took any money, she is confirming that it would be possible for her to do so, if she was named as the trustee of Ali’s UTMA account.
Anyway, according to the magazine, Leah’s ex (and Ali’s father) Corey Simms is aware of the alleged situation.
“He’s furious that Ali’s future has been wiped away, and he’s seeing what he can do to get the money back,” the source claimed.
Corey and Leah recently settled their custody dispute over their twin girls in court. (Corey reportedly got an extra day with the girls.) Leah later ranted on Facebook about the custody hearing, as well as Corey’s marriage to his current wife, Miranda. (Click here to read all about that!)
After the original In Touch Weekly story broke, Leah took to her Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to tell her side of the story.
“I can’t believe some of these pathetic individuals that hide behind the name of ‘a source.’ My girls still have their money,” Leah wrote. “It’s just not at the bank you’re looking at #crazy” (The Ashley cleaned up the grammatical errors, of course.)
Again, The Ashley has reached out to Leah’s manager for comment on this story, but has not yet heard back. The Ashley will update this story if more information becomes available.
Here’s the obvious disclaimer: The Ashley is not a lawyer, nor does she have any legal training aside from the completion of many media law classes. The information in this report is solely from inside info given to The Ashley from her show sources, as well as media law books.