The Untold Truth Of Teen Mom's Maci Bookout - Nicki Swift (2024)


The Untold Truth Of Teen Mom's Maci Bookout - Nicki Swift (1)

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ByBernadette Roe/

The following article includes mentions of mental health issues.

MTV's "Teen Mom" has introduced us to some remarkable individuals. There's Kailyn Lowry, who knows how to hustle and has used her reality TV fame to build a multi-faceted business empire. There's Farrah Abraham, one of the more contentious faces of "Teen Mom," who has gone her own route since leaving the franchise. Another notable face is Jenelle Evans, who, like Farrah, was let go by the show and has had a bumpy ride since.

Part of the appeal of the "Teen Mom" franchise is how much we get to see of everyone's personal journeys. Of course, the path to parenthood is the most evident way that viewers witness the cast's growth, but we also watch them experience the joys and struggles of romantic relationships, financial ups and downs, and dealings with family members. Frankly, it's the stuff of life put up on the screen, but with the occasional glimpse inside what it's like to be famous.

Another reason viewers continue tuning in to "Teen Mom" is because they've started to feel close to the cast. While we love everyone, Maci Bookout has really stood the test of time. Sure, she's had some bumps along the way — who hasn't? But she's also shone thanks to her talent, resiliency, and flat-out likable personality. Here's everything to know about our girl, Maci.

What was Maci Bookout's childhood dream?

Maci Bookout first broke into the world of reality TV by getting a spot on MTV's "16 and Pregnant," which paved the way for her life on "Teen Mom." She's been a public figure since her teen years, so we're generally familiar with that part of her life. But what was Maci's childhood like?

In her 2015 memoir "Bulletproof," Maci revealed that her childhood aspirations were completely different from what we would see later on. She began playing softball as a 4-year-old and was absolutely "obsessed" with it. She also loved dirt bikes, so we know that Maci was an active, outdoorsy kid.

Much of the wisdom we see in Maci now came from her mother, Sharon. In fact, she dedicated an entire chapter in her book to "10 Lessons I Learned From My Mom." Maci revealed that her mom and dad also became parents as teenagers when her brother Matt was born. She learned from them that you have to work for what you want.

So what did Maci want? "I had another interest I hoped to turn into a career: cooking," Maci wrote. "When I was little, I used to watch the Food Network instead of watching cartoons. I begged my parents to let me use the stove before I could even reach it properly." Her long-term goal was to attend "the culinary program at the Art Institute of Atlanta" after high school. So what changed?

Her brother took her to get a pregnancy test

In "Bulletproof," Maci Bookout revealed that she wasn't looking for love when she met Ryan Edwards. "I was still iffy on the idea of dating," shewroteof her feelings at the time. Gradually, Maci changed her mind and developed feelings for Ryan. After they became a couple, one thing led to another, and she got pregnant. One part of the experience was mystifying to Maci. "At the time, for some reason, I thought a person had to be eighteen to buy a pregnancy test," she confessed.

In 2017, Maci spoke to E! about the ordeal of telling her parents about her pregnancy. "I was two seconds away from just getting in the car and driving to Florida or something," she said, illustrating her nervousness. In deciding which parent to tell first, she said that she and her mom had always had an "open relationship," but she was "daddy's little girl." "I knew for about a month before I told them," she added, saying that she "wanted to go to the doctor" to make absolutely certain that she was, in fact, pregnant.

Maci ended up telling her brother first. Because she had no money, he drove her to a pharmacy to purchase a pregnancy test. She told E! that she ultimately texted her mom from her computer class in school to tell her the news, and when she got home, her mom and dad were "waiting" at the kitchen table to talk.

How Maci Bookout got on Teen Mom

Maci Bookout is a legit OG– she appeared on the first episode ever of MTV's "16 and Pregnant" in June 2009. True to the show's title, Maci's pregnancy was the running theme of her time on the MTV series, along with her ever-conflicted relationship with Ryan Edwards.

Per People, Maci and Ryan got engaged and tried to stay together for their son's sake. However, their relationship remained tumultuous. Not only that, fans were shocked to learn that Ryan was actually 20 years old when he got a then-16-year-old Maci pregnant, per The U.S. Sun. As the outlet notes, their ages were "never discussed" on "16 and Pregnant," so the shock was retroactive, but still.

Maci was 17 when she gave birth to her son, Bentley Cadence, on October 27, 2008 after 30 hours of labor, per People. Since Maci was now a mother, MTV decided to cast her in the network's "16 and Pregnant" spin-off series, "Teen Mom," which premiered in December 2009, perToday. "I really just wanted to show girls how hard it was to be a teen parent," Maci said while explaining why she decided to join the show, adding, "I wanted girls who might get pregnant to see there are options out there to move forward with your life and still have goals." As a new mom, Maci wasn't able to pursue her dreams of attending a culinary program, according toher book. Instead, the show chronicled her relationship drama.

Her bumpy relationship with Kyle King

Try as they might, Maci Bookout and Ryan Edwards could not make their relationship work. According to People,they broke up in 2010. A split like theirs isn't an uncommon occurrence, psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman revealed while speaking about teen relationships with Today. "I think that it is a beautiful idea and I think the love and passion we feel when we are teenagers is so intense we believe it will last forever, but statistically speaking the odds are not in their favor that their relationships will last," she explained.

Following their split, Maci began dating her former pal from childhood, Kyle King, per People. Kyle and Maci's relationship became a major storyline on "Teen Mom" during Seasons 2 and 3, but they parted ways in 2012.In September of that year, Maci and Kyle appeared on the show's reunion special, where Maci told Dr. Drew Pinsky that they split because of Kyle's alleged infidelity, according to Hollywood Life. Revealing that they were living together when she "discovered" some alleged "proof," Maci added, "I did not give him the chance to admit anything. From what I knew and discovered, there was no reason to discuss.

Kyle, however, shared his own take: Confessing to carrying on online conversations with other women, he ultimately denied the cheating claims. No matter what the truth is, Maci and Kyle did not stay together.

Inside Maci Bookout's relationship with Taylor McKinney

Fans have always rooted for Maci Bookout, so when she married Taylor McKinney, they vicariously felt her joy. Maci first encountered Taylor at a motocross event in 2012, andthey became friends. When they decided to dive into a romantic relationship, they had to commit to travel between Tennessee and Texas, where Maci and Taylor were respectively living at the time.All of that flying seemed to be what Taylor needed to realize that Maci "was the one," as the outlet put it. "You spend a lot of time on airplanes by yourself. It got harder and harder to leave each time," he said during the MTV special "Maci & Taylor: A Love Story" (via The U.S. Sun).

Taylor relocated to The Volunteer State a couple years later, and Maci announced they were expecting not long after. The couple's daughter, Jayde, was born in May 2015, and Taylor decided to take things to the next level in January 2016. Under the pretense of doing a photoshoot, he brought Maci "down to the beach," The U.S. Sun explained, where he proposed.Maci shared the happy news on Instagram. "Well y'all, my best friend asked me to marry him! I'm one lucky lady, I love you T!" she wrote.

By the following month, Maci announced her third pregnancy– her second with Taylor — and in May 2016, she gave birth to their son, Maverick Reed. In October 2016, Taylor and Maci tied the knot in Florida, per Us Weekly.

Maci Bookout and Taylor McKinney have talked about adoption

Maci Bookout is a mother of three. She shares her oldest son, Bentley, with her ex, Ryan Edwards, and her daughter, Jayde Carter, and youngest son, Maverick Reed, with hubby Taylor McKinney, per MTV News. The family is clearly super happy as they are, but Maci is open to expanding her brood.

In an interview with Us Weekly in January 2021, Maci said that she and Taylor are done having children biologically, but have been considering adoption. "We've always both had that in our minds," she said. "We are still waiting ... Obviously right now is not the time, but yes, we are both definitely still interested and would welcome that in our future."

Maci elaborated on this idea with In Touchin September 2021. She said that they were being deliberate and considering their busy livesas they pondered the possibility of adopting a child. "We have no idea how much is going to be on our plate at any given week or month or whatever," she explained. "I don't feel like we're in a place like right now where we could give everything we would want to give." The "Teen Mom" star added, "Definitely still on the table but not right now." Fair enough! After all, it's not just her kids that keep her so busy — there's been some legal drama with her ex, too.

Her ongoing issues with Ryan Edwards

Things came to a head in 2018 between Maci Bookout and her ex, Ryan Edwards. That May, a judge granted Maci a two-year restraining order against Ryan, according to E!. Maci alleged that Ryan — who'd been facing ongoing legal trouble while working toward his sobriety around this time — attended one of Bentley's baseball games while on heroin and left her threatening voicemails. In court documents, she claimed that he "made threats to show up and hurt me if I don't answer my phone."

The family actually sought two orders of protection. One was filed by Maci's husband, Taylor McKinney, and the other was for Maci and her three children. However, the order approved by the judge did allow Ryan to have contact with his son.

The tension continued into 2021. Ryan's wife, Mackenzie Edwards, allegedly tried to contact Maci, but Maci said that she wanted nothing to do with her ex's family on an episode of "Teen Mom OG" (via E!). Bentley was going to therapy, and Ryan promised that he would do both individual and father-son sessions. However, Bentley claimed that his father was not going to his personal sessions.

In September 2021, Maci vented her frustration with Ryan during a Hollywood Life interview. "[They're not spending time together] because [Bentley's] sticking to his boundaries and his comfort levels and stuff. Ryan hasn't gone to therapy with him, so it's just kind of stagnant at this point," she said. She summed up their co-parenting experience by adding, "We don't have a relationship at all.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The story of Maci Bookout's tattoos

Something people will notice immediately when they see Maci Bookout are her many tattoos. She explained the significance of her body art on her blog, writing,"My tattoos aren't objects for me to brag about in hopes of building my ego. Yet, they are small reminders of my story. Lessons that have had a large impact on me and my journey."

With respect to the "Bulletproof" tattoo on her right shoulder, Maci said, "It's a reminder to myself that no matter the struggle I happen to face in life, it will never be enough to break me." She had her son's name, "Bentley Cadence," inked on her left hip, noting that its meaning is obvious and calling it her "prettiest" tattoo. She has the words "Learn to Feel" tattooed across her rib cage and leading around to her spine. The "Teen Mom" star pointed out that this is "one of the most painful places to be tattooed," butit* position is symbolic. "I was going through a tough time in my life emotionally," she wrote. "I had become completely numb to my feelings and emotions."

Her other ink includes notebook paper with the "Teen Mom" rubber duck and a poem she wrote, a pocket watch with her birth time, and a pencil, since she loves to write. Maci also has an anatomically correct heart on her left shoulder. She wrote of its meaning, "It's my own little secret."

Her relationship with social media

Being a reality TV star, Maci Bookout is naturally all over the internet. She's the target of a lot of media attention, and she's also a heavyweight on social media — as of this writing, she boasts over four million followers on Instagram and over a million followers on Twitter. Clearly, she has some impressive influence.

The "Teen Mom OG" star has also been outspoken about the impact of the world of online interaction. In 2014, she penned anessayfor her blog titled "#aint #nobody #got #time #for #that." In it, she candidly explained why she dislikes social media, especially when people use it to air their "dirty laundry." "Social media is in no way, shape, or form a clothes line. Please stop using it as such," Maci wrote.

She also lamented how people ridicule political leaders online or share misleading or even incorrect articles. "The media must get your attention with something, and believe me, they'll do anything to get it," Maci wrote. "If they don't grab you with the title, it is likely they will never get you. Titles are very misleading and sometimes even false. Please study before you share."

Another pet peeve of Maci's? People who post too many gym selfies. "[I]f your smart phone automatically connects to your gym's wifi network, you're probably doing it wrong," she quipped. Well, we all know Maci likes to speak her mind!

Maci Bookout's brief appearance on Naked and Afraid

Maci Bookout has a reality career beyond the "Teen Mom" franchise. In 2018, she joinedDiscovery's "Naked and Afraid" for a 14-day challenge in Nicaragua. The show's premise is that individuals have to survive without clothing, shelter, food, or water.

Maci was paired with an ICU nurse named Justin Tuell, whom she didn't meet until she started filming, according to People. "I feel really confident about making it for 14 days and having a partner that seems to have a really good attitude and knows a lot of stuff just made me feel a lot better," she said. She also suggested that her life experience could benefit her, adding, "Being a mom prepares you for a situation like this because the motherly instinct kicks in and gives me an edge."

However, Maci gave up after 24 hours, perRadar. "I've never felt so miserable," she said on the show. "Last night was hell. We were on thorns all night. Couldn't sleep on the bed. Every piece of wood and leaves had thorns on it. Everything hurts physically and mentally. ... It's really f**king hard."

Maci tweeted about the experience, too. "[T]he entire process of N&A (training/attempting) did change my life. My perspective&outlook is so much healthier than I could have imagined," she wrote. "Thanks to all who watched tonight, I hope you arent too disappointed, but if you are disappointed i hope ur grateful for ur couch&TV."

She's an advocate for therapy

Maci Bookout is a huge advocate of therapy. Mental health is something that she prioritizes not just for herself, but also for her kids. Her eldest child, Bentley, has attended therapy sessions, and Maci spoke toE!about how the family handled having cameras around at the time. "We talked about it before we started filming," she said. "We asked if it was something that he would even want to film and discuss on camera at all, and I even asked if he cares if Taylor and I discussed it on camera."

Bentley was told that all he had to do was let his parents know that he was uncomfortable with the cameras being around, and they would stop filming. However, Maci said that her son wanted to keep them rolling for a good reason. "He made a couple of comments in the discussion about wanting kids to know that it's normal and it's very much okay to see a counselor or a therapist," she explained.

Maci got some support from fellow "Teen Mom OG" star Tyler Baltierra, who revealed that he goes to therapy, per The U.S. Sun. During anepisode of the show, the two parents spoke via video chat, and Tyler said afterwards, "I'm proud of Maci for not having it be something that's shameful. I think all kids can benefit from therapy, regardless of age, so I'm all for it."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

What is Maci Bookout's net worth?

In addition to being a hard worker and an amazing mom, Maci Bookout is also an entrepreneur who has used her fame from MTV to give her bank account a boost. It's a little difficult to pinpoint exactly what Maci's net worth is, as Celebrity Net Worthestimates it to be just $10,000. Frankly, this seems way too low. Meanwhile, Showbiz CheatSheet lists Maci's net worth somewhere "between $1.5 and $2 million." This sounds much more accurate, especially since Maci is an OG — as such, she'd likely be earning about $500,000 a season for "Teen Mom."

Maci has also made money from the four books she's written. She released her memoir "Bulletproof" in 2015, followed by "I Wasn't Born Bulletproof: Lessons I've Learned (So You Don't Have To)," which was published in 2017. Also in 2017, she released "The Maci and Taylor Wedding Album: An Adult Coloring Book." Finally, she published a book of poetry titled "The Battle Upstairs" in 2020.

Maci's husband, Taylor McKinney, took over ownership of a clothing line called Things That Matter Lifestyle in 2015. According toRadar, the company was dissolved — at least temporarily — by the State of Tennessee after the couple failed to file an annual report in 2019. However, in September 2021, Maci promoted the business on Instagram by sharing a photoof her and Taylor wearing the brand. She certainly knows how to make the most of her fame!

Inside her PCOS advocacy

Maci Bookout has been candid about her experience with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). On her YouTube channel, Maci Edits, she said that her difficult health journey began in 2009. Her menstrual cycle had stopped, but she was having "painful episodes" that resulted in trips to the emergency room. An ER doctor eventually scheduled an appointment for her with anOB-GYN, who used an ultrasound to diagnose her with PCOS.

Maci explained that she initially didn't talk about PCOS on "Teen Mom" because she "didn't know what it was." But when she was in pain during filming one day, she told her producer on camera that she had it — and the scene made it on the show. "The response that I got was — I mean, it was insane. I had no idea that so many women had PCOS," she said. "... It helped me not feel so alone." She soon realized that being on TV and having a platform meant that she could help others, and she revealed that the PCOS Challenge organization even reached out to her about her advocacy.

Maci has taken her role as an advocate seriously. PerMTV News,the "Teen Mom" cameras followed her when she went to Washington for PCOS Awareness Day in 2019. She said of her goals, "I think for me, I just want to gain more knowledge and understanding of the condition," adding, "But I think as a whole, getting PCOS completely under the women's health umbrella and for it to be taken seriously."

Maci Bookout is resilient

Maci Bookout has had quite a life for someone so young, and she's become a shining example of what it means to be resilient. This was evident after a harrowing incident at a gas station in Tennessee. In October 2020, she witnessed a shooting between a police officer and a suspect who was wanted on an attempted first degree murder charge. Per WRCBtv, the suspect died after being shot by the officer.Maci was filming "Teen Mom OG" at the time, according toPopCulture. On the show, she recalled how she hid in a bathroom and called her husband.

The experience causedMaci to develop PTSD, perPopCulture. A year after the incident, she sought therapy to help her deal with recurring nightmares and the lingering stress of the situation. She also spoke to her mother about her trauma on "Teen Mom OG."

Fans might have noticed that Maci's Instagram posts have focused more on mental health and inner healing since the event. For example, in November 2020, she posted a poem by Lana Rafaela about being brave in the face of adversity. "I know there are days when you feel like giving up, but I think it's brave that you never do," the poem ends. This message clearly resonated with Maci, and looking back on her life and what she's made of it, it's obvious that "Bulletproof" was a fitting title for her memoir — she really is one tough cookie.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The Untold Truth Of Teen Mom's Maci Bookout - Nicki Swift (2024)


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