‘The Challenge’ Star Tony Raines Tells His Side of Custody Battle For Daughter With Madison Walls: “I’m Fighting & Going to Court!”

“It’s Tony Time…in court!”

The Challenge star Tony Raines is speaking out in response to a story that broke last week regarding the custody battle for his daughter Harper, whom he shares with his former Real World co-star, Madison Channing Walls.

In an Instagram Live video posted Friday, Tony told his side of the custody drama and denied some of the claims being made by Madison’s family about his lack of parenting.

“I didn’t want people to think I was going radio-silent on this for the wrong reason,” Tony said. “There’s so much more I can say, but I have to be careful and tread lightly.

“I just believe if a mother is not capable … or signs her rights over and is not going to raise her child, then the father deserves that opportunity. That’s an opportunity I would love to have and that’s why I’m fighting and going to court.”

Last week, Radar Online reported that Madison had signed over custody of two-year-old Harper to her parents, Cally and Michael Shapshak, amid rumors of a drug relapse. (Madison has been open about struggling with a heroin addiction in the past, but has denied a recent relapse.)

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Three generations

A post shared by Madison Channing Walls (@madiichanning) on

Texas court documents obtained by Radar stated that Cally and Michael asked the court to grant them sole custody of Harper from Madison and Tony. Madison’s response to the petition, filed in July, stated, “I want my parents to have custody of my daughter.”

Tony, on the other hand, does not agree that Madison’s parents should have full custody of his daughter. In his Instagram Live video, he revealed that he is battling Madison’s parents for custody. He also addressed some of the things written in the Radar article—namely the “hurtful” comments made by Madison’s mom Cally.

“I’m sure it came from a place where she’s just angry, or she believes I’m trying to take Harper away from them,” he said in the video. “That’s not the case at all.”

Tony, who shares younger daughter Isla with his girlfriend Alyssa Giacone, went on to say that he didn’t want to bash anyone or cause any more drama and that he had “stayed silent for a very, very long time” only for Harper’s sake.

“I’m addressing it now because I want [Harper] to know, if she ever does look this up, she’ll know, ‘Daddy did speak up for me.’”

Tony said Cally’s claims that he is not involved with Harper and her comments about social media were “very hurtful.” (Cally told Radar last week that Tony “does post about [Harper] a lot on social media, especially for someone not on the birth certificate.”)

“The part about me not being involved is the farthest thing from the truth,” Tony added. “That’s what probably hurts the most. I live more than eight hours away from [Harper]. For her grandma to say I am not involved, I guess she forgot about all the times I’ve driven to see my daughter for one day and turned back around … working 9 to 5 job, it was hard. It’s been really hard.”

Tony said although Madison has never bashed him the way Cally has, she’s also “never told the truth.” However, Tony reiterated that he believes Cally’s comments were likely just coming from a place of anger.

“She believes Harper should be with them and I think she should be with me,” he said. “They think I’m not the better option, probably because they have a lot more money than I do. I think Harper would rather be with me and her sister full-time than walk around with a Coach purse on.”

Tony said he still wants the best for Madison and wants her to “be the best person she can be” for Harper.

The news of Madison signing over custody of Harper comes just months after followers speculated Madison had relapsed on heroin. In an Instagram post from July (that has since been deleted), Madison’s gaunt appearance along with what some said looked like track marks on the inside of her arm, sparked rumors that she may be using again.

This post from July (which Madison has since deleted) caused concern among her followers…

Madison’s mom has denied the relapse claims and said the drug rumors were not the reason for the custody filing.

“[Madison] is doing great,” she told Radar. “Nothing is wrong. She’s fine. No [she’s not on drugs.]”

“The conservatorship is because it’s our family raising Harper,” she added. “Tony isn’t involved. We just want to protect her.”

Madison has sporadically posted to her Instagram account over the past few weeks, despite telling her followers earlier this month that she had to “go off the grid” for “reasons that had to be.”

After Tony posted his Instagram Live video, Madison posted a photo of herself with Harper. The original caption to the photo, which showed Madison watching a video (which Cally confirmed to be Tony’s Live video) on her phone while Harper slept on her lap, read, “What happened to..if you can’t say something nice…don’t say anything at all? Not a good FaceTime for Harper to see.”

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Happy with my baby

A post shared by Madison Channing Walls (@madiichanning) on

(She later changed the photo caption to, “Happy with my baby.”)

Since the interview posted, Cally told her Instagram followers that “we’re about to add Tony to birth certificate and we’re working on a regular visitation schedule. He was not interested in pursuing custody…now…overnight…things have changed. I’m so saddened by these recent events.”

Over the weekend, Madison’s mother answered questions she got on Instagram regarding Madison’s current state, as well as speculation that Madison is expecting another baby.

“Madi is doing great… her spirit is wavered, but, certainly not broken….and no.. she’s not pregnant.. just dealing with a lot of emotions and an ugly cold!” Cally wrote.

Cally has also taken to the comment section on one of Tony’s posts in an effort to shut down the rumors of Madison’s relapse.

“ … My daughter… Harper’s mommy, is safe… and sober. She has had her identity stolen, and… among other things.., has had to step out of the picture.. to protect Harper, her family, and herself… it’s been the hugest ‘challenge’ yes… but it’s real life… and it’s also, a test of character and compassion to see the true believers in her. I’ve kept her to date of the support and because the haters, we honestly do not matter to use, left them out… .”

According to Radar, the custody battle between Tony and Madison’s parents is ongoing.

(Photos: Instagram)


  1. It seems like the same situation we have watched so many times on reality tv. Leah’s mom was denying her drug issue, adams parents are still pretty sure he’s fine, Ryan’s parents didn’t seem to believe his issue. It’s not helping anyone to deny that there is a problem. It just pushes the person further into addiction. She’s another Jenelle. Giving up her child to do drugs, date horrible men, and having more kids you don’t raise. Let’s hope she gets on a better path before she ends up on the land

  2. Maybe instead of it being “Tony time” where you compete in challenges to try to win money and you are away from your kids, you should focus on BOTH your kids! Or maybe if you are suing for custody and trying to prove yourself as being the stable, better parent…you probably shouldn’t have gotten arrested! Don’t you think that these things will come up in a court case?

  3. Wow, did not expect Tony to step up! I still dislike him because of all the cheating bit but he seems to grow up now that he became a two times father so quick. I believe her parents are in denial (just like Ryan Edwards’ are), that picture is beyond scary and she’s so skinny.

  4. She’s back on drugs there’s no denying it with that pic and I’m not saying that to put her down. Addiction is an ugly disease and I hope she fully overcomes it not only for herself but for her daughter. Relapse is part of the process unfortunately but nonetheless I hope she gets the help she needs before it’s too late.

  5. Unless he tests positive for drugs idk why he couldn’t get custody. He has a live in partner and another child, it would be a more ‘typical’ family life to raise Harper in. Obviously grandma is covering for mom, you don’t just sign your 2 year old over out of the blue. If a judge wanted, he could have Madison drug tested and I bet hed place Harper with Tony rather than keep her in a home with a drug user who didn’t even want custody anymore and her enabling parents. Tony should at least get joint custody with the grandparents if not full with grandparent visitation. Poor Harper is the only one who loses in this situation.

  6. How can a mother, “give,” custody to her parents without asking the father if he wants custody first? That does not make sense. If she wants to sign away custody of her daughter the natural next person to care for the child is the father. I hope he wins because her doing this without even considering him is not okay.

  7. A child is not an object, it makes me sick when people treat them like that. I really hope for all parties, they decide what’s best for the child- not themselves. -as I only know what’s in this article & none of the history of anyone involved-

  8. Ugh…To me Madison and Tony are instagram parents….but as much as I cannot stand Tony, he is Harper’s dad, and if he wants custody, then he should get it. He hasn’t done anything to prove himself unfit, hes just a whore. I’ve noticed a lot of women’s parents think that they have more rights to the grandkid, than the kids own father…unless the kids father has proven himself to be an Adam (Aubree’s dad) or an Andrew (Jace’s dad), the dad is next in line for custody…as he should be. Plus it’s not a good look that Madison’s parents are lying for her. If she wants to willingly give up her rights as a parent, something way more serious than “identity theft” is going on there.

  9. I’m not sure why she signed custody away and Tony’s an jerk who has barely been in her life. I’m not sure if he’s playing happy family with current girlfriend who he’s cheated on but I’m on his side. She needs to live with her father and the court will choose him over her grandparents if he’s not on drugs or otherwise unfit.

  10. Why did her mom think it was acceptable to speak to Radar Online? How immature. I know nothing of Madison or Tony, other than reading this article. Tony does deserve a chance though for custody of his daughter with Madison. I agree that whatever is going on should be reserved for court, not the press. Her parents are probably not going to be thrilled their granddaughter will be 8 hrs away, should Tony be granted full custody. They are not the parents though.

  11. Oh FFS why do people insist on making up completely stupid, unbelievable lies and posting them? Tony has made my skin crawl from Day ONE, but with Madison’s mom insisting she’s sober – hell I’m on Tony’s side. STOP lying if you want people to support you and have your back! Even just fans. It’s so insulting to act like we’re THAT stupid. So she’s signing over custody because her identity was stolen, and she has a cold? Okkkkkkkk……… Automatically makes me dismiss everything you’ve said and will say Miss Cally.

  12. Mothers don’t just sign away rights if nothing is wrong and everything is fine! Just felt like doing it one day for the heck of it…I don’t know anything about these people or the show, BTW.

  13. A couple months back, she was heavily posting pics with a boyfriend and there was even some speculation that she was starting to look pregnant. Can The Ashley confirm if she is still with her BF (all pics now deleted…) or if there is any truth to a pregnancy? Perhaps these things could have sparked a relapse?

  14. I don’t see anything to suggest Tony is unfit, so if mom is relinquishing custody, it should go to dad. The grandmother’s excuse about why Madison signed custody over doesn’t make any sense. Why would she do it to protect Harper if she’s sober? And how is Tony not involved? The fact that he is pursuing custody indicates that he is involved and wants to be more involved. And not being on the birth certificate means nothing. Madison didn’t put him on the birth certificate, so throwing that in his face is ridiculous. Fighting for custody in another state is tough, especially with uncooperative grandparents, so I wish Tony luck. He’ll need it.

  15. This Tony guys an ass, but if mama doesn’t want custody, dad should be next in line. That is THEIR child. She conceived that little girl with Tony, not with her parents. If he wants her, why shouldn’t he get her?

  16. I’m not a Tony fan, I find him to be a grade A sleaze ball, but I think if he’s wanting to be a full-time father to HIS child, he should be. The grandma seems like she just wants some attention.

  17. When grandma gets involved with social media beef and uses the word haters ? obviously there’s something serious going on for Madison to sign over custody, why lie about it? Everything’s clearly not wonderful, just stay quiet

  18. A child should never be taken away from their father unless they are unfit. As far as I can see, there has been no evidence to suggest that Tony is an unfit parent. If Madison does not want custody, it should be the father that has it, not the grandparents. Children need their fathers as much as their mothers.

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