Trigger: The story below contains mention of physical abuse.
Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon and her sister Alana Thompson are speaking out about the abuse Pumpkin says she suffered at the hands of Alana’s father, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson— and the fact that the alleged abuse was overlooked by those working on the production of the family’s TV shows.
During an appearance on the Dumb Blonde podcast this week, the Mama June: Road to Redemption stars gave an account of their rough childhoods, which Pumpkin says was made worse by the physical and mental abuse Sugar Bear inflicted on her while he was the live-in lover of their mother, Mama June Shannon.
Pumpkin revealed that, while the family was filming Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, there was a lot more going on in the Shannon/Thompson home than what viewers saw.
“What a lot of people didn’t see on the actual show was a lot of abuse, physically from Sugar Bear,” she said. “Physical and mental,” Pumpkin— who currently has custody of 17-year-old Alana— said.
“[When I was] 14, he threw a set of keys at my eyes, and my retina had become detached,” Pumpkin revealed. “So I had to get a buckle put on the back of my eye and stuff like that. It just started to get progressively worse.”
The incident— which occurred in 2012— was later explained away on ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ as a “freak accident,” in which Sugar Bear claimed he threw the keys to Pumpkin (and not at her) and she missed them.
(They even had the family do a “reenactment” of what happened–shown in the clip below– where they were joking about the incident.)
Pumpkin said that they did not hide Sugar Bear’s abuse from the show’s producers and camera crew. She detailed another incident when she said Sugar Bear threw something in anger and almost hurt someone.
“We were actually filming one day and our sound girl was bent over and…Mama and [Sugar Bear] had gotten into it. Well, he took a lotion bottle and, like, baseball slings it through a f**king window. And the sound girl is sitting there…it went over her head and it would have took her head off. It would have seriously hurt her.”
Pumpkin said that, luckily, Alana was spared when it came to the alleged abuse from Sugar Bear.
“She may not have seen it but I saw a lot of the physical abuse from him,” Pumpkin said. “He was always angry at me for some reason.”
“The abuse was pretty f**king bad,” Pumpkin said later in the podcast episode. “It was very hidden [from the public]. The show tried to cover it up.”
What’s worse, the sisters stated, was that their mother June knew that Sugar Bear was abusing Pumpkin and did nothing to stop it.
“Oh, she knew!” Alana said. “She was in the living room right there when he threw the keys in [Pumpkin’s] eyes.”
“They were arguing, and I was standing right beside her…and she doesn’t even say nothing,” Pumpkin said of Mama June.
Mama June wasn’t the only person aware of the abuse. According to the sisters, the people who worked on ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ knew but never stepped in.
“They never said anything,” Pumpkin claimed. “There were plenty of times my Mama would be coming around, whooping my ass…”
In 2017, Mama June admitted on social media and in a series of interviews that Sugar Bear had been abusive toward Pumpkin, even mentioning that Pumpkin’s eye injury came at the hands of Sugar Bear.
“It’s time the world sees him for what he is,” June told Page Six in 2017. “[Pumpkin’s] eye buckle was caused by him … because he got mad. So many emotional and physical scars with the kids.”
“There were several things that happened on ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ that was kind of like covered up,” June said on The Wendy Williams Show later that year.
After Sugar Bear lunged at Pumpkin in a rage during a 2017 Reunion episode of ‘Mama June: From Not to Hot,’ June took to Twitter, writing about what Pumpkin had endured.
“She took a lot of the physical and emotional abuse and has a lot of hurt from it,” June wrote of her daughter.
That same year, Sugar Bear denied June’s claims that he abused Pumpkin, telling Entertainment Tonight, “It is not true, any of it…June is saying these things because she’s pissed at me. I never hurt any kid.”
While Alana wasn’t abused, both sisters agree that Sugar Bear wasn’t fond of her because she was a girl. (Alana has stated this before in previous interviews.)
“He never really wanted anything to do with me, still to this day doesn’t want anything to do with me, just because I’m not a boy,” Alana said. “I’m at the point now that, he’s acted like this for so long, that I’m over it but at first it definitely hurt me.”
Alana said that Sugar Bear recently tried to get in touch with her but she chose not to respond to him.
“I’ve been on the Earth for 17 years now, and you waited this long?” Alana said, stating that her relationship with her dad was better when Sugar Bear and Mama June were still together.
Sugar Bear has not yet commented on Pumpkin and Alana’s most-recent claims.
You can listen to Part 1 of the podcast interview below!
(Photos: TLC; YouTube; Instagram; WEtv)