‘Mama June: Family Crisis’ Star Anna Cardwell Revealed She Wanted Her Husband Eldridge Toney— Not Her Mom June Shannon– To Get Custody of Daughter Kaitlyn After Her Death

Mama June Shannon is currently in a court battle against Michael Cardwell for custody of her late daughter Anna Cardwell‘s oldest child, Kaitlyn, but in a new clip from People of Friday’s episode of Mama June: Family Crisis, it’s revealed that Anna didn’t want June or Michael to take custody of Kaitlyn after her death. 

As The Ashley previously reported, Anna passed away December 9 following a nearly year-long battle with cancer. She filmed her cancer battle for ‘Mama June: Family Crisis,’ and, on Friday’s episode, Anna states that she wants her husband Eldridge Toney to care for Kaitlyn– and not her mother or ex-husband Michael. (Anna and Michael share daughter, Kylee, who immediately went to live with Michael after Anna’s death.)

Eldridge– who quietly married Anna in March 2023, shortly after Anna was diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal carcinoma– is not the biological father of either child; however, Anna wanted him to get custody of Kaitlyn, whom he has known since she was a very young child.


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A post shared by Eldridge Toney (@eldridgetoney95)

In the new clip, June tries to talk to Anna about creating a legal plan for where Kaitlyn will live after Anna’s death.

“We don’t have any say-so over Kylee, we know that,” June tells her cancer-stricken daughter. “I feel like the moment you take your last breath, her dad– Michael— is gonna be in the front yard, pulling her out of this house. Will it suck for everybody involved? It most certainly will, but then we also have the situation with Kaitlyn.”

“I know what she’s talking about,” Anna tells the camera. “She wants me to try to get a will together, try to figure out for the girls what I’m going to do with Kaitlyn. But I’m still here, I still have plenty of time. So just chill.”

Anna then shocks her mother when she reveals that she wants her husband Eldridge to get custody of Kaitlyn.

“I am surprised that she wants Eldridge on the paperwork,” June later tells the cameras. “Kaitlyn would be better off with me, because there is stability. But Eldridge has been in Kaitlyn’s life since she was around five years old. Honestly, [Anna] needs to put this s**t on paper.”

Anna went on to tell Mama June and her husband Justin Stroud that she’s confident that Elridge is capable of raising Kaitlyn.

“But I’ve got to push him,” she says. “I want him to want it so much that he can’t stand it.”


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A post shared by Eldridge Toney (@eldridgetoney95)

As The Ashley previously reported, Kylee did, indeed, go to live with her father Michael right after Anna’s death, while June— not Eldridge— was preparing to take custody of Kaitlyn. However, Michael–- who has been Kaitlyn’s consistent father figure since she was an infant but is not biologically related–- is fighting June for custody of Kaitlyn as well.  (Anna and Michael split in 2017, but Michael would take both girls— not just Kylee– during his custodial visits.)

 Michael stated in his custody lawsuit paperwork that he is against June taking custody of Kaitlyn, declaring that June has been “inconsistent” in Kaitlyn’s life, due to Anna’s long periods of estrangements from her mom.

“Sure, I didn’t raise Anna…and I gave Alana to Pumpkin basically, but I can raise this here child!”

One day after Michael filed for custody, June also filed for custody of Kaitlyn. 

“The Michael thing is about money, and Kaitlyn ain’t a money symbol,” June said in an interview shortly after. “Kaitlyn wants to be raised by her biological family.”

Kaitlyn has remained with June, which June stated in an interview in January was Anna’s “dying wish.”

“We are following her wishes,” June said. “At the end of the day, I wish [Anna] would have [decided who got custody of Kaitlyn] when she was alive but she didn’t. It was a hard thing for her.”

June said Anna didn’t make her wishes regarding custody legal while she was alive because it was too hard for her.

“She couldn’t face that she was going to pass away so early, because she was so young,” June said of her daughter, who was only 29 at the time of her death. “…She struggled, but she let everybody know how she felt, especially at the end.”

As for Eldridge, he has stated in the press that he has been able to maintain a relationship with both of his step-daughters since Anna’s death.

“It’s easier now to see Kaitlyn than it is Kylee, just because Kaitlyn is right up the road,” Eldridge told People in February. “…But as far as Kylee, I don’t get to see her as much, but I still do see her as much as possible.

“…[Anna’s] dying wish was for her girls to grow up knowing who their mother was,” he added. “And I promised I would do right by the girls always. I will spend my life doing what is right by Anna and the girls. Those are my girls. I promised Anna I would do right by them and make sure they remembered their mama. And that is what I will do.”

As of press time, Eldridge has not filed for custody of Kaitlyn. June and Michael, however, are currently in an active court battle and will next meet in court on July 15 for a hearing.

‘Mama June: Family Crisis’ airs Fridays on WEtv. Watch the sneak peek clip below.

RELATED STORY: Mama June Shannon Gives Update On Late Daughter Anna Cardwell’s Kids Kaitlyn & Kylee

(Photos: WEtv; Instagram)

20 Responses

  1. RIP Anna ❤️
    Although I didn’t know you I think you were so brave to let your battle be filmed all the way to the end!
    I really appreciated your sense of humor.
    I am glad you were surrounded by your entire family in your final days!
    Also that your mama was there for you.
    I pray your two daughters get to stay together
    And go to whom will be able to give them the best opportunities for their best lives!
    Im sure you knew your mama, sisters and family will stay close to them.
    May God comfort the girls your family &keep them safe.

  2. June has lied her ass off for years, she sees Kaitlyn as a financial gain, she’ll get benefits from having custody of her. The girl should have went to Michael to be kept with her sister. Michael has been in her life. She calls him dad, when he takes them out it’s together. He should have custody period. Not June who couldn’t be bothered to raise her own kids.

  3. Just June continuing to be a giant POS. She KNEW that Anna didn’t want her to have that child and is STILL having the audacity to pursue custody simply because she thinks she’ll get paid Anna’s death benefits and survivor benefits. If hubby doesn’t feel comfortable fighting for custody, then she needs to go to Michael, her father.

      1. Except for the fact that she calls him dad, he has paid to support her, and still took her during his parenting time with Kylee. Not to mention, he clearly wants to continue raising her even though he has absolutely no legal obligation to do so.

      2. A father is not always biological, okay? He took care of her even when it was no longer his obligation to do so and she calls him dad. That man is her FATHER

  4. So June lied about it being Anna’s “dying wish” that she have custody (which no one believed anyways)? Sounds about right. Meanwhile, Anna’s husband clearly didn’t want custody of Kaitlyn. The only real option here is Michael. He’s been acting as Kaitlyn’s dad since infancy in every way and clearly wants her. And, unlike the rest of them, he seems to actually be a stable person.

  5. Keep the girls together. I wish Anna did set a custody arrangement up prior. June is probably the LAST person capable of caring for a child, I mean she gave away Alana, & now wants to raise another chikd? Nope, too late June Bug.

  6. She said she wanted her husband to get custody of Kaitlyn, well he’s the one who isn’t fighting for custody, so glad she didn’t put that down on paper then. Michael should have both girls, he’s been the most consistent and active in their lives.

  7. I think Michael and Eldridge should have joint custody of the girls cause both men have been in the girls lifes and then the girls don’t lose each other or the father figures

  8. Cancer is a horrible disease and often takes a turn for the worse unexpectedly. Yes she should have got her affairs in order but I also know what it’s like to think you have more time than you actually do. When it makes that turn you literally can’t do anything for yourself and the pain is all you can think of. I’m praying for her children.

  9. I know it’s horrible because Anna was so young when she died but she was so selfish. She didn’t want to accept the fact that she was dying and didn’t make a decision about Kailyn and now the people she didn’t want to raise Kailyn are fighting over her in court. This could have been easily prevented if her husband adopted her or at least if she stated her wishes in writing.
    This family is so irresponsible, every last one of them. They are absolutely incapable of thinking about the wellbeing of their children, it’s insane.

  10. I don’t wish to speak ill of the deceased but I find it irresponsible of Anna to not get a will & custody agreement filed before she passed. She knew it was an aggressive form of cancer and the prognosis wasn’t great. Even if she ended up not needing it, it would have been better for everyone involved, but especially Kaitlyn, to get it all in place just in case.

  11. I think Michael should get custody. He already has a prior relationship with Kaitlyn and it’s better for her to be in a home with her sister. Especially after they both lost their mother. June was an awful mother to all her children. Idk why she’s fighting for custody.

    1. 100% this, and since Anna didn’t put anything on paper it will be for the courts to decide. I think Micheal has a very strong care to get her and I hope he does for the sisters sakes.

      1. It’s crazy to me that June keeps claiming this was Anna’s “dying wish.” I haven’t watched last week’s episode, but if the Ashley says she wanted her husband to raise Kaitlyn, I believe it. I can’t believe even June would lie about it. This is a new low.

        1. But the article also says that June herself told Anna to put down in writing who she wanted to raise her daughter so June is fully aware that Anna didn’t want her raising Kailyn

        2. This article doesn’t tell whole thing, it’s an attention grabber to call June a liar. I watched it what Anna said was she wanted Eldridge to raise Kaitlyn but if he couldn’t or wouldn’t she wanted Kaitlyn to go to June. They at no time discussed one of her sisters raising her and certainly not Kylees father to raise Kaitlyn. They were discussing Eldridge’s work hours said he has to go at 4am and Eldridge chimed in regarding Kaitlyn that he’d just go to her Mama (June). Anna was most upset they knew Kylee would be stripped away immediately not see her side of family which is what happened. So she did in fact say she wanted June to raise Kaitlyn if Eldridge couldn’t

    2. The *only* reason June is “fighting”(we’ll use that term loosely) for custody is because she thinks it comes with a payday. She thinks she’ll get benefits and more money if she has custody of her and becomes her primary caregiver. She’s too stupid to realize it won’t work that way. She won’t be able to take money earmarked for Kaitlyn (if there is any)because it will have been set up to ensure she can’t. She has no intention of actually being responsible for her, loving her, taking care of her, ensuring all of her needs are met. She sees her the same way she saw all of her own children, a paycheck. Even before the whole pedo pageant crap (and yes, those pageants are exactly that, period!) her kids were nothing more than a paycheck and a way to get benefits.

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