Someone wants to get hitched... QUICK!
As fans know, Mama June previously staged a wedding — albeit didn’t actually make the union official — with then-boyfriend Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson on May 5, 2013 during the second season of TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. A source at the time told E! News the couple didn’t sign legal documents to get married, but held “just a commitment ceremony” to reaffirm their love for one another.
In true redneck fashion, the pair exchanged vows while wearing matching camouflage print getups. June was seen with a custom-made gown with orange accents and a white veil, while Sugar Bear, now 46, wore camo pants and a bright colored vest. After recommitting to each other, they dug into barbecue food and homemade cake before riding off in the sunset on — what else? — an ATV.
“It had all of the fanfare and it was nice,” the source said, adding there were 180 guests present to see the two proclaim their devotion. “They were very happy. They had all their family. It was like regular wedding ceremony.”
Mama June later told People the ceremony was “very special mostly because my girls were able to take part in it.”
“I felt like it was important for them to see this moment and celebrate my love for Sugar Bear,” she said. “We stayed true to our roots and made the focus on the family and my commitment to Sugar Bear. You can definitely plan an event on a budget!”
However, the commitment ceremony didn’t do much to save their relationship. In 2014, Mama June and Sugar announced they were splitting after years together. “Sugar Bear and I have decided to take some time apart to figure out some things in our relationship,” they said in a joint statement at the time. “We are taking things day by day, but regardless of what happens, the girls will always be our number one priority. We want to thank y’all for your support.”
The two then went onto appear on the sixth season to WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp, where they joined fellow reality stars like The Bachelor‘s Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta‘s Benzino and Althea Heart to work on their relationship problems. There, Mama June claimed she caught Sugar Bear using the dating app Plenty of Fish — under the handle Georgiafighter31054, no less — while they were together. She told her co-stars that she believed he cheated on her with both men and women.
“I believe there was more than one,” she said. “The text messages that I have seen [are from] men and women. I want him to be honest, and I don’t feel in my gut that he’s fully honest.”
Sugar Bear later admitted that he had fooled around with other men, telling Mama June in a private conversation: “Don’t bring this up with nobody else ’cause I don’t want this out there: I have experimented with guys.”
“That’s not my cup of tea,” he continued. “It’s just something I was curious about, experimented with it, and it’s over with and done with, and that’s it, won’t ever happen again.”
According to him, the most he did was get his “d**k sucked” by a man.
Likewise, Mama June has admittedly experimented with the same sex as well.
In a 2015 interview with Inside Edition, the mom confessed to having past attractions to women after her daughter, Pumpkin, came out as bisexual. When Pumpkin told the reporter that June was gay, she clarified by saying that she actually liked both men and women.
“Bisexual,” she elaborated. “I’m not going to lie, I played in the minors but never went pro.”
But, as surprising as the bisexual revelation was to some of Mama June’s most loyal fans, it wasn’t as shocking as when she was romantically linked to Mark McDaniel, a registered sex offender who spent a decade in prison for molesting her now-estranged daughter, Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell. Though the reality TV mom did deny ever dating the convict after her split with Sugar Bear in 2014, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was nonetheless canceled amid the controversy.
It was later revealed that Mama June also had a previous relationship with Michael Anthony Ford, a convicted sex offender who served time for sexual exploitation of minors after being caught on To Catch a Predator in 2005. The man, she said, is the father of daughter Pumpkin and Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon.
“Jessica and Pumpkin have the same dad, but Jessica’s dad has had nothing to do with her over the years,” Mama June told Entertainment Tonight in 2014. “So, why the hell would I open up that can of worms until today? I lied to my family and told them it was somebody else.”