‘Teen Mom 2’ Star Leah Messer Admits to Having “Daddy Issues”: Says Reconnecting With Her Biological Father Was “Very Unhealthy”

“Yeah…that was probably a bad idea…”

On the new episode of her Life Reboot podcastLeah Messer opened up about her strained relationship with her biological father, admitting that it may be partly responsible for the problems she’s had with men throughout her life.

“I wanted a dad. I was someone who really wanted that father figure. I wanted that feeling of love from a man….two divorces in a row, I mean…” Leah told her podcast co-hosts.

(As Teen Mom 2 fans know, Leah divorced her first husband, Corey Simms, in 2011 and her second husband, Jeremy Calvert, in 2015.)

“I felt abandonment issues because I wanted it so much,” Leah said. “My entire childhood was…if you grow up without the other parent that’s something you always want. There was so much anger, all of the emotions I felt from being abandoned by my father.”

As The Ashley has previously reported, Leah’s father (who ‘Teen Mom 2’ fans met around the time of Leah’s wedding to Jeremy) has struggled with substance abuse issues, and was even arrested back in 2011 for possessing painkillers that were not prescribed to him.

Leah and her dad on her wedding day in 2012…

On her podcast, Leah said that, as a child, she looked past her father’s flaws and idolized him.

“I was a daddy’s girl,” she said. “As a kid it doesn’t matter what your parents do, you think they’re the best thing ever.”

Leah’s reconnection with her father around that time played a part in her eventual downward spiral. It was rumored (but never confirmed by Leah) that her father was not sober at the time of their reconnection, and it was alleged that he may have contributed to Leah’s own substance abuse issues.

“When he finally showed back up, it was not good,” Leah said of her biological father. “It was definitely a turning point. [I realized] I can love myself enough, and I don’t need him to fill that place in my life.”

In August 2017, Leah hinted that her father still struggled with dangerous issues.

“When your dad calls and you haven’t heard from him in quite some time, do you answer or let your voicemail do the talking?” she tweeted. “It’s the same thing every call. Maybe this time he really is going to choose life over death. All I can do is [pray].”

Leah has been reluctant to open up completely about her own issues with (alleged) drug use. However, she did admit during one ‘Teen Mom 2’ episode that she was using painkillers such as Percocet, Hydrocodone and Tylenol 3 to deal with back pain she said she suffered after a botched spinal tap during her daughter Addie’s birth. She claimed that she had stopped taking the meds, though, something her ex-husbands denied.

As The Ashley reported back in 2015, Leah was basically forced by MTV into seeking treatment, after being plagued by drug use “rumors” for about a year. (Both of her ex-husbands confronted Leah on-camera about her alleged drug problem.) Leah completed treatment, stating that she was there to deal with her anxiety and depression issues.

It appears that Leah has since cut ties with her biological father.

“That relationship was very unhealthy,” Leah told her co-hosts, adding that she no longer looks outside of herself to find acceptance.

“Once I found that self love within myself, I was like, ‘I don’t need a man to fill that role,'” Leah said.

Watch a scene from ‘Teen Mom 2’ Season 4 in which Leah discussed her biological father with her stepdad, Lee Spears.

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom 2’ Star Leah Messer Releases First Podcast Episode, Discusses Why She Was Suicidal Years Ago

(Photos: MTV, Instagram)


  1. Brave woman Leah!
    I can relate completely. I hid my addiction that was my coping mechanism and instead of accepting help I denied any issues. I too went to rehab for “ depression” – it was for addiction.
    I always knew that Leah had issues but hated the way she was portrayed.
    Great news that she is finally able to “ come clean. Well done Leah. Onwards & upwards!!

  2. In all seriousness, this actually seems like a very interesting podcast to listen to. I’m quite surprised. Maybe if Leah’s podcast episodes continue to go in this direction versus stating a bunch of positivity quotes, her podcast might be successful.

  3. There is something different about her appearance, but I can’t put my finger on it. She is looking so much more healthier and happier. Maybe that’s why she looks different to me. ??‍♀️

    1. I agree! That Instagram picture is from July, but anyway. She looks fresh and full of life! No more gaunt face and dead eyes. You can’t fake that. She must be doing much better. Good for her!

  4. I feel for her. My father abandoned me at 13 months old. My mother never remarried, so I had no male figures in my life. I certainly sought out unhealthy relationships with men as a result and, yes, became a teen mom. When I finally found my father when I was in my late 20’s I was at least mature enough at that time to realize right away that he was a toxic person, which in a strange way helped me “get over it.” I will alway envied people who had a dad, but it is what it is. I hope and believe that Leah has come to that (and, for the record, I have never been a Leah fan).

    1. Didi, that is pretty much my story too. Daddy issues suck and it took me a while to get over them. Even though I’ve been over them for almost 10 years, like you, I still get pangs of jealousy once in a while when I witness particularly caring and supportive fathers. Boy, my life would probably look VERY different if I had had that kind of familial support at a young age. Anyway, better late than never… for all of us, you and me and by the looks of it Leah as well. She’s never been my fave, but she is looking SO much healthier and it sounds like she’s grown a lot, and that makes me very happy for her!

      1. Who in the world is downvoting y’all? You can’t choose who you are born to. Everyone deserves two loving parents and unfortunately they don’t always get them. Downvote that if you really hate the idea of a dad that’s in your life!

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