'Teen Mom' Star Portwood Hospitalized in Apparent Suicide Attempt

Amber Portwood admitted to taking pills on Tuesday.

ByABC News
June 15, 2011, 3:21 AM

June 15, 2011— -- Amber Portwood, one of the mothers who shot to fame overnight on MTV's hit reality show "Teen Mom," was taken to an Indiana hospital after an apparent suicide attempt.

According to police in Anderson, Ind., Portwood was hospitalized Tuesday morning after threatening to take her life. She'd reportedly fought on the phone with her ex-fiancé Gary Shirley.

The report comes just a week after Portwood plead guilty to domestic violence charges, after slapping and punching Shirley, and lost custody of their 2-year-old daughter Leah.

Police investigated the then-20-year-old after all of these events were captured on MTV's hit show. Domestic violence in front of a child is a felony in Indiana.

Star Magazine reports that Portwood admitted to taking pills on Tuesday, and when paramedics arrived they found her drifting in and out of consciousness. The magazine also reported that rescuers removed a rope from around her neck.

But according to the police report in the case, Portwood did not appear to be injured -- and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The incident is the latest twist for the "Teen Mom" wild child.

"If there were a check list for tabloid celebrity, Amber Portwood has made her way through it pretty quickly," Jessica Coen, editor-in-chief of Jezebel.com told ABC News.

"What's happened now with Amber just adds fuel to the fire, from MTV's perspective this may be really disturbing but it will probably make for good television," Coen said. "As awful as this event may be, it's a hook that viewers probably can't get enough of."

MTV released a statement on Tuesday saying: "Our understanding is that Amber has been admitted to a local hospital but we have not been able to confirm the accuracy of any reports being circulated and are waiting for further details."

Portwood's on again/off again boyfriend Gary Shirley reportedly visited her in the hospital. Shirley raised speculation about the realty star's motive in the apparent suicide attempt by tweeting: "never cheated on Amber. She may have thought I did, but haven't. I will always love and respect her, even if we aren't together."

According to reports, Portwood is still being held in the hospital. The new season of "Teen Mom" begins July 5 on MTV.

Reality TV: Encouraging Violence, Glamorizing Pregnancy?

Portwood's previous antics have not been the only instance of reality TV violence that has lead to police and legal intervention.

Janelle Evans, star of "Teen Mom 2," was arrested in March after video surfaced of her punching Brittany Truett, a former friend, in her Oak Branch, N.C., hometown. Evans was eventually charged with simple assault and simple affray.

"Teen Mom" has become a ratings boom for MTV and the young women starring on the series have become stars, earning six-figure incomes and gracing the covers of tabloids.

Critics say the series encourages teenage girls to become pregnant. Eyebrows were raised when three of Evans' teenage friends had become pregnant; fueling speculation on the Internet that the teenagers got pregnant for fame's sake, labeling them "copycat moms."

"We have our pregnant teens showing up on the cover of magazines, they're getting paid, they're getting endorsement deals and getting calendar deals. That's the message, even if MTV shows all of the hardships, they're still being supportive in so many other ways," Dr. Logan Levkoff, a teen development expert said.

"The way we bring people, reality stars into fame for really not doing anything has created a culture where it is exciting to be a pregnant teen and the fact of the matter is that most teens who are pregnant do not have the same experience that the girls on those shows have," Levkoff added.