Before joining Teen Mom 2, (and before starring on Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant) Ashley Jones revealed that she spent time living in a “trap house” and stripping to make ends meets.
The newest ‘Teen Mom 2’ cast member, who shares three-year-old daughter Holly with fiancé Bar Smith, opened up about her pre-reality TV days on an episode of co-star Kail Lowry’s Coffee Convos podcast when asked how she and Bar were doing. Bar was arrested last month, but Ashley made it clear on social media that she was standing by her man despite the arrest and, in the interview, gave listeners some insight into why.
“You know what, people don’t understand Bar and I, but Bar and I have been homeless together – we’ve been through so much together that we are just trying to make it f**king work.”
Part of making it work at one point, Ashley said, involved her working as a stripper to make ends meet – something she wasn’t proud of at the time, The Sun reports.
“People don’t know this, but when I was stripping, I felt so low, I was like, ‘This is who you are,’” she said.
Ashley said her job as a stripper also caused issues within her family, as her grandparents didn’t support what she was doing. She revealed that her grandparents cut her off financially due to her escapades on the pole.
“My grandfather is a psychology professor, my grandma was the first Black woman to work in Major League sports, and my family was pro-Black, pro-education,” she said. “And me stripping, oh my God – the hood rat from the hood? My grandparents literally were like, ‘You’re out of our will, good luck, b**ch.’
“When I was stripping, I wasn’t talking to any of my family,” she continued. “We were in Vegas with his mom and it was crazy…that was the darkest time time of my life…I was stripping in Vegas about six months before I ever got pregnant.”
Ashley said Bar was the one who kept her going.
“He’d tell me, ‘You’re somebody and if you wanna quit’ and it was him who was there,” she said. “He was there for the darkest time of my life and so just because you see things about Bar doesn’t mean I have to put him in the disposal. We’ve been through the f**king ringer.”
Ashley explained that she and Bar both grew up without biological fathers and even though they “go through so much crazy s**t,” they are pushing to give their daughter something better.
“I got the MTV call [to be on ‘Young and Pregnant’] when I was at Denny’s spending my last $5 to eat a f**king omelet!” she added.
On last week’s episode of ‘Teen Mom 2,’ the couple moved into a new home that they plan to rent for a year – a big step up from the “trap house” Ashley said she and Bar were living in when she was pregnant.
“There was no running water,” she claimed. “And [Bar] was doing his best entrepreneurial things to keep us going.”
“I just had to tell my mom, I couldn’t even warm up food and my mom was like ‘You guys gotta come back.’ But there was a point where Bar and I were in our lowest of lows, in the cold together because we didn’t even have heat,” Ashley said. “So we were together, trying to get the body heat between us and that’s what kept us going and no one knows about that,” she continued.
“That’s why we have something deep. When I couldn’t do it, when I was pregnant, he was doing it.”
On the current season on ‘Teen Mom 2,’ Bar is often seen being driven by Ashley, as a DUI has left him without a drivers license. However, Ashley said Bar used to be the one chauffeuring her around.
“He was taking me to school, still making it work and we didn’t even have a roof over our heads,” she said. “He told me to go to school and he was a like, ‘You are going to be who you want to be, even if I have to sacrifice myself for you to get yours.’”
Ashley told Kail and Lindsie that she addressed what happened with Bar, but did so privately.
“The respectful thing to do is chew his ass out, off-camera,” Ashley said. “That’s the respectful thing to do. It’s not for me to get on Instagram and give a f**king show to people who are going to log in while the show is going and they don’t give a f**k once it’s over. They’re just here for the tea…”
Later on in the interview, Ashley said she’s “rebuilding” her relationships with her grandparents, and that things have started to improve since she graduated with her Associates degree earlier this year.
“[That] showed them that I’m serious about my life and that I’m not s**tting on all the work that they have done,” Ashley said. “They put me in private school, private lessons, private everything, so they spent a lot of money making sure I didn’t come home with someone like Bar! They were expecting me to come with a doctor. I think it took me showing them that I’m serious about my life and am going to be moving up, as opposed to being in the gutter, for them to support my decisions.”
You can listen to the full episode of Coffee Convos featuring Ashley below!
(Photos: MTV; Instagram)