reality tv

'I don't have friends.' Alana Thompson rose to fame as Honey Boo Boo. Now, she's changed.

Alana Thompson has been known to the world as "Honey Boo Boo" for almost a decade. 

First appearing on the widely popular US reality TV series, Toddlers & Tiaras, in 2012, Alana and her mum, June Shannon (otherwise known as Mama June), quickly became household names.

The then-six-year-old pageant queen, fuelled by go-go juice (a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew), charmed audiences with her sassy personality and go-to catchphrase "Honey Boo Boo Child" and gained such popularity, she was given her own reality series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, that same year.

Spot Alana and June. Image: TLC. 

The show ran for four seasons and gave everyone a good look into her chaotic family life with Mama June, her dad, Mike "Sugar Bear", and three sisters: Anna "Chickadee", Jessica "Chubbs" and Lauryn "Pumpkin".

While filming season five, the network cancelled the show after they found out June was dating a registered sex offender, whose victims allegedly included Alana's sister. However, June denied it.

"The statement of me dating a sex offender is totally untrue. I would not ever ever ever put my kids in danger, I love my kids too much. 

"That is my past. I have not seen that person in 10 years and don’t seem to want to see that person," she said during a Facebook video.

Honey Boo Boo and her family on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Image: TLC. 

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In 2016, Alana's parents divorced and her mum started dating Eugene "Geno" Doak.

That same year, June underwent a huge physical transformation. She lost over 120kgs and had a breast augmentation, liposuction and skin removal. 

Her weight loss journey was documented in her own reality TV series, Mama June: From Not to Hot, which Alana also appeared on.

In 2018, Alana appeared on Dancing With The Stars: Juniors, where she was eliminated in the fourth week.

Listen to the Spill, Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast. In this episode, Laura and Kee discuss Honey Boo Boo in 2021. Post continues after audio.

In early 2019, June abandoned her four daughters for her troubled boyfriend Geno. 

The couple were seen living out of their car and when her children asked for her to come home and leave her boyfriend and the drugs behind, she unflinchingly chose Geno.

That March, June and Geno were arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia charges after police allegedly found crack cocaine and a pipe on June. In September 2019, they were both charged with drug possession and pleaded not guilty. 

June and Geno. Image: Macon County Sheriff's Office. 

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June's downward spiral was showcased on her reality TV show, which was renamed Mama June: Family Crisis

Alana started living with her 21-year-old sister Lauryn "Pumpkin", her husband Josh and daughter, Ella Grace, and Lauryn was given legal guardianship over her. 

June sold their family home for cash to support her drug habit.

"The only reason I sold the house, I was dead f**king broke," June told her daughter Pumpkin on her reality TV show.

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"Because you know, at that point, we was doing quite a bit. I mean, it was a couple ounces a day. Our habit was $2,500 a day, if not more."

At the height of their addiction, June and Geno spent $1 million on drugs.

In early 2020, June and Geno checked themselves into the Banyan Treatment Centre in Florida for 23 days, and by August, the couple announced they were six months clean.

In the series premiere of June's show, this time titled Mama June: Road to Redemption, which premiered in March 2021, June and Alana sat down with family therapist Dr Ish, to discuss how June's drug addiction affected her family.

"I want to say that I'm sorry, but I need to show that I'm sorry," June told her daughter.

During their sit-down, Alana explained to her mum that when her addiction was at its worst, she felt abandoned.

Alana on Mama June: Road to Redemption. Image: We TV. 

"It's just hard because you wasn't there for my first day of high school and I think that's a pretty big thing," Alana said.

"It was hard for me not having my mum there and I had to come home and tell Pumpkin what I was doing.

"I'm very grateful that Pumpkin was there for me, but why wasn't you there? Why wasn't you there when I needed you most?" she asked.

June admitted she screwed up.

"I know I was selfish when I went to rehab and to be honest with you, I'm still a little bit selfish in my recovery," she responded.

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"But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get you all back in my life and that's the reason why I'm here today," she added.

In July 2021, Geno was sentenced to 16 months in prison for his drug possession charges, while June received 100 hours of community service. She continues to try to rebuild her relationship with her daughters.

Now, just days away from her 16th birthday, Alana is a pretty normal teenager. 

While she still appears on her mum's reality TV show, she also attends high school, works on weekends and hopes to become a neonatal nurse someday. Oh, and she no longer wishes to be called Honey Boo Boo.

"My mama did not name me Honey Boo Boo. My name is Alana," she told Teen Vogue.

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Speaking to the publication, she explained that because of her early fame she struggles to trust people and make friends.

"To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all. Because I feel like folks are so much like, 'Oh, my God, I'm friends with Honey Boo Boo," she said.

"I don't trust nobody really, so I don't have friends."

She also shared that while she enjoys being on TV now, she has plans to finish school, attend college and purchase a house of her own.

"I'm proud of myself for how far I've come," she said.

Feature image: Getty and Instagram/@honeybooboo

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