‘Teen Mom’ Star Maci Bookout Reveals Why She Continues to Stand By Ryan Edwards Despite His Legal & Addiction Struggles; Discusses How It’s Affected Her Marriage To Taylor McKinney

“I’m tired of all that baby daddy drama!”

Maci Bookout is defending her decision to stand by her baby daddy Ryan Edwards through his rehab/recovery for his longtime addiction to drugs.

The Teen Mom: The Next Chapter star appeared on The Hopeaholics podcast recently to discuss her controversial decision to support Ryan— who is the father of her oldest son Bentley— after years of having little to no relationship with him— and despite his continuing habit of breaking the law.

During the interview, Maci also addressed how becoming a support person for Ryan has affected her relationships with her husband Taylor McKinney and with Bentley.

The Ashley has pulled out some of the most-interesting parts of the (insanely long) podcast interview and included them below! 

On why she decided to stop hating Ryan & start supporting him:

“I’ll tell y’all, you need to go outside and see if pigs are flyin’!”

Maci— who has attended some of Ryan’s court hearings this year following his latest relapse and legal issues— said that she began to reevaluate how she treated Ryan after Bentley spoke up about it to her.

“[Bentley was] like ‘Your relationship— or lack thereof— with him does affect the relationship that I have with him,'” Maci said. “And, you know, honestly, right when I heard that, inside I was boiling, because I was like, ‘What do I have to do with that? Your dad can show up whenever he wants to. You’ve got a cell phone. He’s got your number. He can reach out. He can show up to your sports stuff. But he doesn’t. What do I have to do with that?'”

Maci said that, because she had already put herself in therapy by that point, she realized that it was important for her to listen to Bentley, instead of getting angry about it.

“It was like the boiling was starting and I had to turn it down, turn the oven off,” she said. “It was like, ‘No, hear him. Hear what he is telling you.’ And figure out what you can f**king do different. If you want to be a good mom, be a good mom. Now’s the time. He just told you something, listen to him!'”

Eventually, Maci met up with Ryan in person to discuss trying to fix their co-parenting relationship.

“I kind of was just like, ‘Hey, let’s just put all the s**t on the ground and call it what it is. Are we going to start fresh and do this correctly?’ Yes. We committed to a few things, things I needed from him, things he needed from me. And then a year later, here we are.”

Later in the podcast, Maci addressed why she changed how she dealt with Ryan.

“It was so easy in the past to get angry and say ‘F**k it, f**k you, I’m so angry, I’m not doing this.’ But where did that get me? Where did that get me as a mother? Where did that get my son? As a friend even, to Ryan, where did that get us? Nowhere. But I couldn’t keep doing things the way I had been handling it before, because that wasn’t working either.”

On Ryan’s recent relapse: 

Maci, about once a month in 2023…

As The Ashley previously reported, Ryan has had several arrests this year for drug-related offenses (as well as other crimes such as harassing his soon-to-be-ex-wife Mackenzie, and Reckless Driving). Maci admitted that Ryan’s actions still make her angry, but she tries to keep herself in check.

“What do I have to offer Ryan then, when I’m so angry that I could rip his freaking eyeballs out of his face? Because he’s not getting it,” she said. 

Ryan has admitted to struggling with substance abuse issues for at least a decade, and, despite his relapse, Maci said that 2023 has been her best year with Ryan yet.

“His addiction– it was always very up and down— last year, he was good,” she said. “He relapsed early this year…went to jail. Right now he’s currently in a halfway house and he’s got like six months sober.

“And, still, we’ve been in touch and it’s arguably the best year of our relationship in all of 16 years. All because Bentley said something.”

On why she still encourages Bentley to have a relationship with Ryan, despite his relapse:

“You should have also encouraged him to wait for me, Maci!”

“A lot of people are like, ‘Man, how do you put yourself back in the line of fire [with Ryan]? How can you?'”

Maci said she learned through her time in Al-Anon that “there’s a difference between hope and expectations. You should never not have hope, ever. Hope should be a constant.”

She said she let go of her anger at Ryan in order to move her and Bentley’s relationships with Ryan forward.

“It’s very easy for parents to say, ‘I’m the parent, you’re the kid. You don’t know what I’ve dealt with. You don’t know what I’ve put up with for you to even still know who your dad is. Because there was no court order [telling me I had to let him see Bentley]. Literally, you could not know who this guy is and not have seen him in 10 years’… that’s what Maci would have done three years ago.”

On how Taylor feels about Maci’s renewed relationship with Ryan:

“…but I still spawned with him so we’ve all gotta try to get along!”

Maci says navigating the Ryan stuff with Taylor has been a “task.”

“He has raised Bentley with me,” Maci said of Taylor. “There is no ‘That’s my stepdad’ or ‘That’s my stepson.’ [Taylor] is his dad, too. And for Taylor, my husband, his experience is always cleaning up the mess Ryan made. Being the one to pick the pieces up, being the one who does show up and you can count on, no questions asked, any time, all the time.

“For him, it’s been very much like, ‘OK, so I have to watch my son and my wife willingly walk back into the danger zone? And just be sitting here, waiting to clean the mess up again? Why?'”

Maci commended Taylor for being a constant for Bentley and, essentially, making it safe for Bentley to venture into having a relationship with Ryan.

On the state of her seven-year marriage:

How the McKinneys keep their flames burning for each other, apparently…

Maci and Taylor recently celebrated seven years of marriage, prompting the podcast hosts to ask her if she currently has “the seven-year itch.”

“You have to choose it every day. And it could be three months where Taylor’s the one picking up the slack and taking it on the chin. But six months from now it could be me doing that…” Maci said. 

On people criticizing her for filming about Bentley’s therapy:

“But you love it! Tell them, Bentley.”

“There’s a lot of s**t online [of people saying], ‘This should be private.’ … They would film us in the car with the Go-Pros or whatever, going to therapy and then when we leave. But we don’t talk about what was talked about in there. I don’t even know what was talked about in there. [between Bentley and his therapist].”

Maci insisted that Bentley (as well as her other kids Maverick and Jayde) have the ability to say no to filming for the show whenever they want.

“…He could say, ‘Yeah, I want to talk about it’ or, ‘Yeah, it’s OK if we film with Go-Pros’ but the second he changes his mind, he changes his mind,” Maci said. “And we’re done and it’s over with, whatever. Production, they’ve always been very respectful of that. Anything, especially heavy stuff, I feel like we have so many conversations [while cameras are] not rolling, off-record with Bentley and our producer. It’s always up to [the kids if they want to film]. There’s no questions asked, ever.” 

On what Bentley calls his father:

‘Teen Mom’ viewers have criticized Maci for referring to Ryan by his name instead of ‘Dad’ when speaking to Bentley. During the podcast, Maci addressed this.

“To be fair his Mama has called me way worse things than that!”

“[Bentley] does kind of call him Ryan,” she said. “Sometimes [he calls him] Dad, but if I say Ryan it’s not like I’m being an assh**e. It’s just how we talk.”

On how the cycle of teen pregnancy in her family affected the name she chose for Bentley:

Maci was randomly asked why she chose the name “Bentley Cadence” for her first son. She denied that she chose “Bentley” because of the vehicle brand of the same name.

“It’s not after the car….I would have picked like Nova or Camaro or something. I feel like it was just in a baby name book,” she said. “I picked his middle name [Cadence] first. I knew it immediately, in English class. I love poetry and always have, and I was reading different poetic terms. I was pregnant but I had not told anyone. I was still at my regular school, and had just found out. I came across ‘Cadence’ and I was like, ‘Oh, I love that.'”

She said she also chose the name as a sort of homage to being a second-generation teen mom.

“My parents were teen parents, so they had my brother when they were teenagers, and had me at 20. So I was like, ‘There’s something poetic about the fact that teen pregnancy is a cycle.’

My face reading that last quote…

“So I picked that and was like, ‘What name goes with Cadence?’…Right when I read [the name ‘Bentley’] I knew.”

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom’ Dad Ryan Edwards Found Guilty of Speeding & Reckless Driving, Days After Pleading Guilty to DUI & Drug Possession

(Photos: MTV) 


  1. Wasn’t there a comment about whats going on with Amber since we haven’t heard from her?
    I swear it was sin this yhread.

  2. Ryan should give Butch a call. Sober or not, I think Butch could help Ryan see that you may not die from using but you will be on a merry go round of prison, rehabs and parole for DECADES.

  3. Have we ever seen her brother? The guy does a good job of staying off the radar. I only became aware of him after being confused about a remark she made years ago about Ryan being an only child.

    1. I haven’t, I knew she had one because she mentioned him in her 16 and Pregnant episode.

      I’ve only seen her dad a time or two…he does a pretty good job staying off the radar too

  4. I think being a better mom would mean not enabling or supporting a relationship with deadbeat who might drive 150mph with your kid in the car, do drugs or be high around them, or abuse their stepmother. Rhine is a dirty bandaid that should have been ripped off and thrown away ages ago

    1. Bentley is FOURTEEN…I think he can decide for himself what’s right and wrong by now. If he doesn’t feel safe that’s when he picks up his phone and either calls or texts his mama or Taylor. Hell, in a couple years he can just leave if he needs to because he’ll be driving by then.

      Supporting means you support the person NOT the addiction. You set limits and boundaries and the addict is expected to adhere to those limits and boundaries…if they don’t then rewards get taken away (in this case, the reward is time with his son)

      Enabling means you pretty much throw caution to the wind, sit back and let the person you claim to love do whatever they want without punishment or repercussion.

    2. Yeah, Rhine seems to add negative value to Bentley’s life. It’s not good for Maci to prevent Rhine and Bentley from having a relationship, but she shouldn’t push it either. He’s 14 and can make his own decisions.

  5. He’s not sober. He just got kicked out of a bar the other day for fighting. So yeah, I can trying to change your approach with things but he hasn’t changed.

    1. He needs all of the above IMO.

      The only thing that he DOESN’T need is enabling which is what Mack, Larry and Jen have been doing

  6. I had no idea she is from a cycle of teen pregnancies too! Oh my…but Bentley seems like a smart kid so I don’t think he wants that.

    I still don’t understand why she is still supporting him, ESP after what he did to Mackenzie! Is it because she disliked her so much? Because if that’s true, that is whack!

    Bentley is old enough to decide if he wants to be filmed (but do you actually let him choose?) or have any relationship with his father but the fact that he calls him Ryan, speaks volumes. His dad is Taylor, end of story.

    1. I know this might be a controversial take, but at this point, she has ruined Bentley’s life by putting up all his struggles, especially with his drug addict bio father.

      Let him film until he’s 18, he’s making more money off teen mom than he will ever make from a traditional job. That way he has money for university and living expenses, and then he can change his name graduate from school, and move on with his life. And in 10 years no one will know who he is.

  7. Maci needs to figure out who she wants. The way she’s handling Ryan is more like she wants to get back together with him. She can be supportive and help the relationship between Ryan and Bentley without going over the line like she has been. Her marriage seems on the outs for quite a few years now and if she continues this way she’ll probably be single again. Also Taylor needs to understand that Ryan will always be Bentleys dad and as crummy as he had been, it wont change unless Bentley and Maci want to end ties with Ryan. As lousy as it may feel he should at least understand and let Bentley continue trying to have a relationship with Ryan if he chooses to.

  8. There’s a difference between making sure your child has their father in their life and actively supporting someone who has made dangerous and illegal decisions.

    Let’s not forget Rhine isn’t in jail for drugs, it got worse because of drugs, but Rhine is in jail because he tried to k!ll his wife.

    I feel like Taylor is the only sane one in the bunch. Rhine has threatened to k!ll Taylor in the past as well. Rhine has a temper and is still on furlough and getting charged with reckless driving, and more drug charges. He’s already hooked up with another addict in rehab.

    Rhine is a grown man. If he wanted to change he would. He has THREE kids and hasn’t been a father to any of them.

    It’s not Maci’s job nor Taylor’s nor Mack’s make Rhine parent his kids. It’s Rhine’s job.

  9. Let’s be real here. For years, we all knew no matter how many times she said she had no feelings for him (aside from him being the father of her 1st born), Maci would always have a soft spot in her heart for Rhine. I just hope her soft spot doesnt manifest into enablement, because that seems to be where it’s heading. He’s fucked up so.many.times…it’s like at what point does his “support” hold him accountable for misusing their support??

  10. Dang, I almost agree with her on some points, but I do think you have to be careful with someone like Ryan because it’s easy to blur the line of being supportive and being enabling.

  11. ‘There’s something poetic about the fact that teen pregnancy is a cycle.’
    Nothing poetic about teen pregnancy, what tf are you talking about? Haven’t you learn anything from your f*ckin show? Now I know this woman is stupid.
    And no, enabling your addicted baby daddy is not being a good mom.

    1. I think she was talking about her thought process when she was 16. We all grow and change from when we are children. As an adult she has made plenty of step to break the cycle and has spoken out against teen pregnancy.

  12. Maci is in a position where she is damned is she does and damned if she doesn’t. No matter what she does, she’s going to get shit whether it’s from Ryan, Jen & Larry, Mackenzie, Taylor, Bentley, the TM fans, etc. It’s sad.

    1. I think it’s about finding a balance and a healthy boundary. She can work on her co-parenting relationship with him. She can try not to react when he fucks up especially when Bentley is around. She can sympathize that he is struggling and recovering. But, throwing all her support into him when he is doing shit that is borderline lethal and psychotic, it starts blurring the line into enabling. She is putting more effort into Ryan’s recovery than he is. And it will cause problems in the future.

      1. I’m going to adjust something. Not his recovery but their co-parenting relationship and trying to mend her relationship with Ryan. Her change of heart is based off guilt. And as I said, she can change how she approached that relationship without enabling him

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