Family of Valerie Fairman Claims Her Appearance on “16 and Pregnant” is Responsible for Her Death

Valerie at the '16 and Pregnant' Season 2 reunion taping in 2010...
Valerie at the ’16 and Pregnant’ Season 2 reunion taping in 2010…

The family of late 16 and Pregnant star Valerie Fairman has stated that they believe Valerie would be alive today had she not appeared on the MTV reality show.

Valerie, who died tragically at the age of 23 on December 21 from a suspected drug overdose, starred on the second season of ’16 and Pregnant’ in 2010, an event that Val’s adoptive parents, Janice and Gary Fairman, claim started her downward spiral.

“She was a gorgeous girl and it all went to her head,'” Janice told Daily Mail in an exclusive interview. “‘She thought she could pretty much do whatever she liked after the show. She was determined to get everything she wanted.

“I wish she had never been on TV,” Janice added. “It played a big part in her death. I think it messed her up big time.”

While Valerie’s adoptive parents, who are now raising Valerie’s seven-year-old daughter Nevaeh, feel that the show is responsible for Val’s death, it should be noted that Janice had previously stated that Valerie struggled with substance abuse issues even before getting pregnant at the age of just 15. After Valerie’s episode aired in 2010, she continued to make headlines for her multiple arrests, one of which came in 2011 after she assaulted Janice. A few years after that, Valerie moved away from her family.

“When we tried to put our foot down, that’s when she left home,” Janice told the site. “I don’t think there is anything more we could have done to help her.”

Valerie continued to run into trouble with the law, getting arrested multiple times in recent years, most notably in 2015 when she was caught prostituting in Delaware.

Daily Mail also talked to Beth Shephard, Valerie’s birth mother who also struggled with substance abuse issues. She lost custody of Valerie, due to her drug abuse, but the pair later rekindled their relationship after Beth saw Valerie on ’16 and Pregnant.’

“One day my daughter Amanda shouted out: ‘Valerie’s on television.’ So the TV show helped me find her,” Beth told the site.

“Valerie went through everything I went through,” Beth added. “She was brought up in the middle of the country and I wanted some excitement so I would run off to Coatesville [Pennsylvania] which is like the big town around here. It was the same with her…She told me how much she looked up to me and I was an inspiration to her because I had managed to get clean.”

In a previous interview, Janice stated that Valerie had been in and out of at least five rehabs since her appearance on ’16 and Pregnant’ but was not successful at kicking her drug addiction. Beth told the site that she believes Valerie was hooked on “pink,” a synthetic drug that is believed to be eight times stronger than heroin. However, it has not been confirmed to be the drug that Valerie took on the day she died.

Daily Mail also has photos of the house where Valerie died. The photos, which you can view by clicking here, only show the outside of the house, but are still quite sad.

No funeral was held for Valerie, who was cremated, but the family is planning a memorial for January 14 in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. Janice has stated that Val’s daughter is doing well coping with her mother’s death.

To read more about Valerie’s tragic life before her death, click here.

To read Valerie’s obituary, click here.

(Photo: MTV)


  1. Valerie’s memorial was beautiful even though the biological mother wasn’t given any ashes!! That’s pretty messed up..She lost her daughter twice!! This adopted mom put her out on the street at age 18!! That’s when Valerie started using!! Bio mom is seeking custody of Nevaeh and I honestly pray she gets her!! She was there for Valerie she understood addiction ,she loved Valerie,the adopted parents didn’t understand addiction,bio mother did, bio mother was at hospital night Valerie died,held her ,rocked her!! Can you imagine that? Rocking your dead daughter ,as a baby? My God this woman didn’t have a bra on!!Why you even looking at her chest?

  2. Why do her parents keep being referred to as her “adoptive” parents? They adopted her, so they are her parents, period.

  3. She chose her own path she didn’t have to do drugs. She could of gotten clean and stayed clean but she didn’t. People get clean and stay clean cause they want to. You can’t stay clean it’s because you didn’t want to. So the show had nothing to do with her demise. I understand people want to point the finger when things go wrong but they are pointing at the wrong people.

  4. Valerie was troubled long before MTV showed up. Furthermore it was mentioned in her episode that she competed for attention with many other foster and adopted children. Her parents seemed to be in over their heads. MTV may have been a small part of why she died but certainly not wholly to blame.

  5. I’ve got to say, as much as I love people who choose to foster, it seems for these two it was heart over head. Some children need a lot of attention when they have been in the care system and children need attention anyway. Didn’t Valerie say she found it difficult to get attention when she was growing up? I agree with other comments, they are looking for somebody to blame. Unfortunately I think Valerie had herself firmly pushing that self destruct button.

  6. Oh please. There are people with similar circumstances to Valerie’s (history of substance abuse in the biological family, winding up in the foster system) who overdose without MTV filming them for one episode of television. I think the fact that her adoptive mother said she had substance abuse problems before getting pregnant speaks volumes. Wasn’t she 15 when she got pregnant? So that means she was using drugs from an extremely young age. Also, because she was so young, I’m sure her parents had to consent to letting her appear on TV. They were okay with it then, so by their logic, they’re to blame for her death for letting her appear.

    Any death from substance abuse is absolutely tragic, but this wasn’t MTV’s fault. I really hope they aren’t planning on suing MTV. MTV does some crappy things, but this is not their fault.

  7. Valerie was long forgotten about since her episode in 2010 so I don’t know why her mom is blaming the show. It’s not like
    she was a part of the Teen Mom 2 cast that’s still airing now. Her mom needs to cut it out. Unless you are a follower of the show over the years, you wouldn’t even know Valerie if you saw her on the street. She did one episode 7 years ago. That girl always had problems, hints why she was even on a show called 16 and Pregnant. Hello. Not to mention whatever issues she was going through about being adopted in the first place. She was fighting on her mom, prostituting, and doing drugs for years.

    1. I totally agree,I have watched these all of these shows and i still didn’t recognize this girl. This seems to be a case of “whoever has the deepest pockets is responsible.” Janice’s “logic” for why she blames MTV doesnt make sense either. After the show aired Valerie” was determined to get everything she wanted.” “It went to her head.” That sounds pretty empty to me, almost like what someone who had no real concrete evidence to the contrary would say. It’s sad when someone is so addicted to drugs that they resort to selling themselves and at the end of the day, we all know that only WE can get our own shit together, or not.

  8. Wow, she didn’t have a funeral? That seems kind of odd. I’ve seen the poorest families still have a funeral for their loved one, even if they were cremated. Weird.

    1. A memorial is often in place of a funeral. They are probably just wanting to get through the holidays before having the memorial.

      1. A month after she died? I’m sorry, but that just shows me that they didn’t care that much about her. My great grandmother died a few years ago and we had her funeral two days before Christmas. I was stuck behind a funeral procession theee days ago. And on and on. It just shows that they didn’t care a great deal about her in my opinion.

        1. My husband’s aunt died of cancer and there was no funeral. There was a memorial three months later. Similarly, my uncle died November 2015 and had no funeral. We had a memorial service for him in August of 2016. Different families choose different ways to remember their passed on loved ones.

        2. I think it really just depends on your family. I’ve been to several memorial services up to 6 months after a person dies. Sometimes it just has to do when everyone is able to travel to the location or a person’s favorite’s time of the year.

  9. If anyone is to blame besides Valerie herself, it’s her biological mother as addiction is due 50 percent to genetic predisposition.

    How sad that she wasn’t able to get clean. Another young life lost.

    1. right?? I mean this girl had problems at such a young age. They allowed her appear on MTV. I bet they werent too unhappy with the $$ she got from her episode. Did you see the pic of her bio Mom on the Daily Mail? Her tigo bitties need a bra & pronto!!

  10. I don’t think it’s fair for them to completely blame “16 and Pregnant” for her death. I saw her episode and it looks like she was having problems before she got pregnant. Her parents had to pull her out of school and home school her because she was getting into trouble. Her family is going through a very tough time and I understand why they feel this way right now. When something tragic happens, people try to find a reason why but the truth is that it’s never just one factor that causes someone’s life to spiral out of control. There’s usually a lot of factors.

  11. I think they are struggling and just want someone to blame, besides the person they loved. That being said… I admire foster parents and people who adopt out of the foster care system. It takes a special heart and it takes a lot of kindness, generosity, and love…. but 11 children in one house, who were/had been foster children taken from traumatic homes and living situations is too many. Kids within the foster care system, especially those who had it so bad that their parent’s rights were terminated and they were placed up for adoption, need more time, attention, and basically work than 11 children without traumatic pasts. They should have spent more time parenting individual children instead of trying to save them all. Maybe if they had they could have prevented her from getting into trouble in her early teens which would have prevented her from going down the path that ended her life. That is just my opinion.

  12. I have said this before over the past years: I think MTV should screen cast members better.
    MTV has very poor ethics.
    I’m sure the producers have a heart and care for the cast members but the people above them seem to want to cast people that will make interesting TV, thus rates, thus income. They don’t seem to care enough what their greed does to already unstable people. A cast member should be stable and level headed enough to cope with the fame and lack of privacy.
    Would we watch eight Chelsea’s? Probably not and I do get that a lot of teen moms are not Chelsea’s. I also get that the target audience might not be living in the top of society or whatever you call it kindly.
    But why are the lives of the children from these cast members sacraficed to better others? It’s just not ethical.
    There are a lot of children from 16&p and Teen Mom cast members who I think would have been way better of without MTV in their mom’s life.
    And don’t pull the ‘money’ card on me cause the MTV money isn’t a solution to many problems. The MTV money (and other money because of) enabled and hid problems, which has affected most children in a negative way.

  13. The obituary stated that her sister died before she did.. Does anyone know if that was drug related as well? Either way, I’m sure losing a sibling impacted her drug use more than being on 16 & pregnant, especially since her mother admitted she struggled with drugs before appearing on the show, and Valerie herself said she was hanging out with the wrong crowds of people and staying out all night.

  14. They’re just grieving and looking for someone to blame. Anyone but the girl herself. It’s such a sad, sad situation.

  15. By her adoptive mom’s own admission, she had an issue with substance abuse before ever getting pregnant. Good luck making this MTV’s fault. Some people will exploit any tragedy for a paycheck.

  16. They’re seriously going to blame one appearance 6 years ago for her death? GMAFB. I wonder if they’re trying to set up a lawsuit with this bull.

  17. Oh please…One episode on MTV didn’t cause drug addiction. She had problems way before then…you could tell she had issues on her episode.

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