Reality TV Families With Huge Secrets

The following references suicide, mental health struggles, sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic abuse.

Nothing puts the "real" in "reality TV" quite like a shocking family secret reveal. Jerry Springer built his career on it with his controversial talk show. Maury Povich's paternity test bit on his daytime talker has generated countless explosive reactions. And for some families, putting their personal matters in front of a crew of reality TV cameras helped make them into household names, build a stronger connection with the audience, and bring in fortune beyond their wildest dreams. Other families, on the other hand, probably wish that dirty laundry stayed at the bottom of the hamper for good.

"I try to keep everything in order and in line. I have a certain level of expectations for my children, for my wife, for myself," Todd Chrisley once said in a promo for "Chrisley Knows Best." The real estate mogul likely never expected he would land in the slammer. From "The Osbournes" to "Sister Wives" to "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," we have all the deets on some of the most jaw-dropping reality TV secrets.

Josh Duggar called himself 'the biggest hypocrite ever'

"19 Kids and Counting" followed the lives of a Christian home-schooled family with a very large brood. Josh Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's oldest son, seemed to be a natural leader. In 2012, the outspoken opponent of abortion rights and marriage equality told CNS News (via Daily Beast), "Our family is like the epitome of conservative values. People connect to us in that way." In 2015, In Touch revealed that when Josh was a teenager, he sexually abused his younger sisters and another underage girl.

Josh also copped to having an addiction to porn and cheating on his wife. "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," he said in a statement, per the Daily Beast. Adult film star Danica Dillon, one of his hookups, alleged to In Touch that things with Josh got way out of hand. "He was manhandling me, basically tossing me around like I was a rag doll," she alleged. "It was very traumatic. I've had rough sex before, but this was terrifying."

In 2021, Josh received a 151-month prison sentence on child sexual abuse material charges. The disgraced reality star's sentence was later extended by two months. In a 2015 interview with CNS News, the family values advocate said, "I believe strongly, being the oldest of 19 kids and counting that, you know, marriage is central to the family and every single child deserves a mother and father." As of this writing, Josh won't come home to his wife and their seven kids until October 2032.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Ray J revealed the truth about his Kim Kardashian sex tape

Kim Kardashian cut right to the chase in the first episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and addressed the Ray J. sex tape. Looking back on her decision to talk about the sex tape on the series, Kim told the Los Angeles Times, "I do think that, obviously, as producers, I'm sure they loved it. And loved [us] wanting to talk about the elephant in the room. And I probably wouldn't have, unless it was for the show." 

Kris Jenner and Kim long denied ever having anything to do with the tape getting out, but Ray J claimed to the Daily Mail in 2022 that the three actually signed a contract. "It's always been a deal and a partnership between Kris Jenner and Kim and me and we've always been partners since the beginning of this thing," the "Sexy Can I" singer said.

Years after the sex tape "leaked," a separate Kardashian-Jenner family secret changed history. In 2015, Kendall and Kylie Jenner's dad's came out as a trans woman. After keeping her transition and gender identity under wraps for some time, Caitlyn Jenner told Diane Sawyer it was Kim's then-husband Kanye West who helped her understand the importance of being true to yourself. The rapper told Caitlyn, "Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world. I have that. But I'm nothing if I can't be me."

Jon & Kate Gosselin's marriage fell apart at the seams

"Jon & Kate Plus 8" was reality TV gold. The series about a couple with sextuplets and twins, which premiered in 2007, was one of TLC's biggest hits. While they attempted to present as one big happy family, the couple's marriage imploded before our eyes, and the pressures of public scrutiny took its toll on the now-fractured family. In 2009, after Jon allegedly cheated on Kate, she filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized some months later, but the Gosselins' bitter custody battle would rage on for years.

In 2022, Jon accused Kate of stealing $100,000 from two of their children's trust funds. According to 2019 court documents obtained by The U.S. Sun, the "Kate Plus 8" alum admitted she needed the money, but preferred to call it a loan. "I will have to keep borrowing from it to survive," she said. That same year, he told ET that he was only in contact with two of the eight kids, and he blamed Kate for his broken relationships with his other children. He also claimed to the outlet that their relationship came to an end because Kate was the one who cheated on him.

In March 2023, Jon told The U.S. Sun that they'd finally worked out custody and child support matters once and for all. It only took over a dozen years. 

Mama June Shannon is 'tired of lying and hiding'

In a teaser for her 2022 series, "From Not to Hot," June "Mama June" Shannon says, "I'm just tired of lying and hiding." The reality star has endured a lot over the years, such as dealing with addiction issues and being linked to a few convicted felons. Her daughter Alana, a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo, is the child of David Mi­chael "Sugar Bear" Thompson, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 1998 for robbery.

According to TMZ, after Mama June dumped Sugar Bear, she hooked up with her ex Mark McDaniel, a convicted sex offender who abused her daughter Anna "Chickadee" Cardwell. In a 2014 interview with ET, June revealed that Lauryn "Pumpkin" Efird and Jessica Shannon share the same father. The National Enquirer noted Michael Anthony Ford is a convicted child molester who served two years in prison after being busted on Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator" in 2005. Ford has been a part of Pumpkin's life, but as Mama June told ET, he wasn't around for Jessica's childhood and she hoped she could just brush that chapter of her life under the carpet. "So, why the hell would I open up that can of worms until today?" she asked. In 2019, June and boyfriend Geno Doak were arrested during an altercation at an Alabama station for possession of crack cocaine. The TLC star was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to maintain her sobriety.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Hank Baskett cheated on Kendra Wilkinson while she was pregnant

Hank Baskett had a scandalous tryst while wife Kendra Wilkinson was expecting their second child. The former NFL player and the Playboy model walked down the aisle in 2009, and kicked off their hit show "Kendra on Top" in 2012. Two years later, the couple found themselves in the middle of a sex scandal that dominated tabloid headlines. In 2014, news broke that Baskett had a sexual encounter with a transgender model named Ava Sabrina London while his wife was eight months pregnant.

"I messed up," Baskett told People in 2015. "I put myself in a bad situation. And everything through me brought pain upon this family." Speaking to The National Enquirer, London opened up about her affair with the former wide receiver. "He contacted me through a video I had posted on YouTube and we exchanged information," she said, adding that he paid her about $500 for her services. An unnamed source claimed Baskett offered London another $5,000 for her silence about the booty call.

In the aftermath of the media frenzy, Wilkinson was fuming. The "Girls Next Door" star threw her husband out of the house, flushed her wedding rings down the toilet, and threatened to end the marriage. In 2018, Wilkinson filed for divorce, confirming on Instagram the end of their rocky nine-year union. "I will forever love Hank and be open but for now we have chosen to go our own ways," she wrote alongside a since-deleted pic of herself and her "beautiful man."

Duck Dynasty's Jep Robertson was molested as a child

Jep Robertson is the youngest son of "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson and Kay Robertson In a 2015 memoir he co-authored with his wife Jessica Robertson, "The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God," Jep was very open about being sexually abused by an older girl when he was just six years old. In another segment of the book, Jep wrote about his dependence on drugs and alcohol in high school after he found himself hanging out with the wrong crowd. "By the end of my senior year I had really gone off the rails and every day I was using. I was drinking," he told ET. "I was definitely down a bad road and almost died one night." It wasn't until his parents staged an intervention that he realized he needed to get help.

"Dad called me in there and he said, 'You need to choose between us and the life you're living,' and I just fell down on my knees and said, 'Thank you so much. What took you all so long?'" In a separate ET chat, Jessica got candid about a secret she'd kept for years. She was previously married to her youth minister when she was only 18, and she looks back on that time with regret. "I wasn't in love with him," she wrote in the aforementioned memoir.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

Teresa and Joe Giudice's finances weren't above board

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice holds the dubious distinction of being the first "Real Housewives" cast member to go to prison. Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice were accused of hiding assets in a 2013 bankruptcy filing. Prosecutors also claimed they failed to file  their taxes for a five-year-period, during which Joe allegedly earned close to seven figures. In 2014, Teresa and Joe pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including bankruptcy fraud and wire fraud.

In the courtroom, Judge Esther Salas, who sentenced Teresa to 15 months and Joe to 41 months behind bars, told Teresa she considered probation, but noted that she wanted to send a message. "In the eye of the law, it doesn't matter who you are. There are consequences to pay," Salas said, per People. After serving 11 months in a minimum-security prison in Connecticut, Teresa told Amy Robach on "Good Morning America," "There was no intent to commit a crime. I didn't know I was committing a crime."

Teresa returned to the Bravo series in 2016. After serving his time, Joe went right into an immigration detention center, where he faced deportation to his native country of Italy. Teresa and Joe separated in 2019 and finalized their divorce the following year. 

Little People Big World's Jacob Roloff's heartbreaking revelation

Jacob Roloff, Matt and Amy's youngest son on "Little People, Big World," claimed the benefits of child stardom were far outweighed by the toll the series took on his childhood. He also alleged he never got paid what he was promised. Following his abrupt exit in 2015, the self-proclaimed rebel tweeted, "Man I wish it didn't feel like I was getting f****d out of the money from the show that was my childhood right now." In his 2017 book "Verbing" the writer detailed how miserable he was.

"Having little to no relationship with my siblings, locking myself away in my room for all hours of the day, except to relieve myself or to unthankfully grab some food my mom had made," he wrote (via Radar). In 2020, Jacob revealed a dark secret from his past nobody saw coming. In a since-deleted Instagram post, he disclosed, "As a child, after what I realize now was a long grooming process, I was molested by an executive field producer for 'Little People, Big World,' Chris Cardamone."

Cardamone took a plea deal on a 2008 child sex crime charge (the victim was not specified) and served just 73 days behind bars. In his post, Jacob explained why it took so long for him to come forward. "And so this disclosure has been delayed, but through that delay I have found the fortitude and words," he wrote.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Bill Klein of The Little Couple has struggled with mental health

"The Little Couple" patriarch Bill Klein, who was born with SED, a rare form of dwarfism,has dealt with mental health struggles throughout his life. In a 2015 interview with HuffPost Live (via Us Magazine), the TLC star shared that he had a particularly rough go of it while he was a student at New York University. "In college, I had reached the deepest [pit] of depression and that brought me to the brink," he said.

In the 2015 memoir he penned with his wife Dr. Jen Arnold, "Life Is Short (No Pun Intended)," Klein said he stood on a ledge outside his dorm room window before making the decision not to jump. The future reality star also spent a lot of time drinking in local bars. "I would always arrive home alone and often fairly intoxicated," he wrote. "Even then, I might extend the party a little bit longer in the dorm and inevitably wake up feeling miserable."

"Suicide is a huge issue within the dwarfism community, and until recently discussions of mental health have really been seen as a taboo subject," wrote Rebecca Cokley, author of "Little People, Big Depression," who blames shows like "The Little Couple" for exploiting members of the little community. As for Klein, he told HuffPost, "I hope I can teach my kids to do better than I did when it comes to dealing with people you can't control."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

If you or someone you know needs help 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 star of Queen of Versailles' heartbreaking loss

In June 2015, Jackie Siegel, the titular star of "Queen of Versailles," picked up the phone at her Park City, Utah, resort. "No parent ever wants to get a call like that," she shared with ABC News. That's when the uber-wealthy couple learned their 18-year-old daughter Victoria had consumed a lethal overdose of methadone and antidepressants. "She was everything that a parent would want about a teenager," Siegel told ABC's Juju Chang. "And we never thought, in a million years, that she would be doing drugs."

As the New York Post reported, Jackie and her husband David Siegel set out to build their very own Versailles, the largest single family home in America in 2004. The pair gained national attention in the 2012 documentary "Queen of Versailles," which followed the family's struggles to build their $200 million abode in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. In 2022, cameras rolled again at the 85,000 square foot Florida mansion for the Discovery+ sequel, "Queen of Versailles Reigns Again."

The pageant winner explained the project was in memory of her late daughter. "When Victoria died, it felt like my world fell apart, and all the money in the world could not bring her back," Jackie told the New York Post, adding that the teenager's room hasn't been touched for quite some time. After losing their child, the Siegels founded the Victoria's Voice Foundation, which focuses on preventing teenage drug addiction, and influencing drug policy reform legislation at all levels.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

Chrisley Knows Best stars are 'career swindlers'

Todd Chrisley loved to boast about his real estate deals and his family's extravagant lifestyle. The "Chrisley Knows Best" patriarch once bragged on the series, "In a year, we spend $300,000 maybe more just on clothing." As it turns out, it was all a sham. In 2022, Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty on multiple counts of fraud and tax evasion. Todd received a 12-year prison sentence, while Julie received seven.

"Todd and Julie Chrisley are career swindlers who have made a living by jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, stiffing vendors, and evading taxes at every corner," prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum, per the New York Post. The hit show premiered in 2014 and spawned a spinoff, "Growing Up Chrisley," starring Chase and Savannah Chrisley. USA Network pulled the plug on both series after the sentencing. As for Todd's financial woes, those date back to his 2012 bankruptcy.

"He guaranteed a real estate development loan and it failed," his attorney Robert Furr told People. "He was on the hook for $30 million." During the trial, one of Todd's former business partners made a stunning allegation. As Daily Mail reported, in exchange for immunity, Mark Braddock testified that he helped the reality star pull off the tax fraud. Braddock also claimed the two men, both married to their wives at the time, were having a secret love affair in the early 2000s. Chrisley has denied the affair.

Whitney Houston's daughter also grappled with addiction

Bobbi Kristina Brown dreamed of a life in the entertainment world. Easier said than done for this nepo baby, the daughter of powerhouse vocalist Whitney Houston and boy band alum Bobby Brown. On February 11, 2012, Houston died of accidental drowning and effects related to heart disease and drug use. That same year, Lifetime premiered "The Houstons: On Our Own," a reality series that followed the lives of the late singer's family. 

Bobbi Kristina starred in the series alongside her boyfriend Nick Gordon, a young man Houston took into the family's home as a teen. Though Houston's substance abuse issues were widely reported, the family also struggled with Bobbi Kristina's addictions. In 2015, Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious in her bathtub. She died six months later from a combination of accidental drowning and drug intoxication. 

In a 2021 episode of Facebook Watch's "Red Table Talk," Bobby Brown said he suspected Nick Gordon played a role in the untimely deaths of his wife and daughter. "Being around my daughter and being around my ex-wife, I think he was more so a provider of [makes air quotes] party favors," the "My Prerogative" singer said. Gordon was never charged with a crime for Bobby Kristina's death, but in 2016 a judge ordered him to pay $36 million in a civil suit. In 2020, Gordon died from a lethal dose of heroin.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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 heartbreaking reality of House of Carters

In 2006, E! launched "House of Carters," which followed Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, his pop star brother Aaron Carter, and their three singing sisters. Sadly, the cast grappled with serious struggles behind the scenes, and two of the family members died before their 35th birthdays. In 2012, Leslie Carter died from a fatal dose of antidepressant medications while staying at her father's home. She was 25. Per People, Ginger Carter, the siblings' step-mom, told officials that Leslie had "a long history of mental illness."

Before Leslie's death, Aaron planned to help send her to a treatment facility. "I got $10,000 the week before Leslie died, and I actually had reached out to her two weeks before that and said, 'I'm going to get you the money to go to rehab,'" he explained on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" in 2016. On a 2019 episode of "The Doctors," the "I Want Candy" crooner opened up about his own mental health issues. "The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I'm manic depressive," Aaron said. The former teen idol also revealed he had been huffing since he was a teenager, noting his experience with addiction. In 2022, the 34-year-old was found dead in his bathtub. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

If you or someone you know needs help 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.

Clint Eastwood's marriage couldn't survive reality TV

For years, Clint Eastwood and wife Dina Eastwood seemed to be happy as can be with their life in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. "Everyone enjoyed being around them," a source familiar with the family told People. However, it all changed with the 2012 premiere of E!'s "Mrs. Eastwood and Company," a reality series that followed Dina and the couple's daughters Morgan and Francesca Eastwood. Clint, who popped up on the show from time to time, apparently wasn't thrilled about being a reality star.

"Clint was furious about the show," said a former colleague of Clint. "It went against everything he stands for: he's incredibly private, and she put his kids on TV." What happened next was like a real-life episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap." The Eastwoods' marriage started to fall apart, and Dina found comfort in the arms of an old friend named Scott Fisher, who was divorcing his wife Erica Fisher. And what do you know, Erica hit Clint up and they soon sparked up a romance.

In 2014, the Eastwoods finalized their divorce, following a bitter battle over custody and support of their children. In a 2013 chat on Bethenny Frankel's talk show, Dina explained it was Clint's entourage, not her ex-husband, who made their divorce so difficult. "'He's probably the sweetest guy I've ever met. He is the sweetest, he is a loving, kind, low-key person so my intuition was still great on marrying a good person," she said.

Alexis Neiers' pretty wild life

The evolution of E!'s 2010 series "Pretty Wild" is much wilder than anyone ever imagined. It was supposed to be about three young women, including two sisters, making their way in Hollywood. After filming the pilot, Alexis Neiers, one of the stars of the series, was arrested for her role in the infamous "Bling Ring" robberies. Per E! News, Neiers went to prison for 30 days for her part in the burglaries scheme, which netted about $3 million in cash and valuables from A-list stars including Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom.

Instead of scrapping "Pretty Wild," E! turned the reality show into something else, rolling cameras on Neiers' journey before lockup and after her release. In 2010, the reality star was busted a second time for possession of heroin, revealing to E! News she had been struggling with addiction for years. "I had been on drugs pretty much consistently from around my middle school years until I got sober when I was 19," she said. "By the time I was 15, I became addicted to Oxycontin, and from there my addiction progressed really quickly."

In a 2019 interview with ET, the author of "Recovering From Reality" said she wants people to know you can have a normal life after reality TV stardom. "If I can publicly burn my life down and have everybody ridicule me for it and have a very public addiction and go to jail multiple times and heal, then you can too," she said.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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 Cake Boss family's legal woes

On TLC's hit series "Cake Boss," master baker Buddy Valastro and his staff whip up their world-famous confections for special occasions. In 2012, life wasn't so sweet for a member of the Valastro family. Remigio "Remy" Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who was previously married to Buddy's sister, was sentenced to nine years behind bars after being accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl. Gonzalez had appeared on the show, and he was contrite in his statement to the court. "I want to apologize to the victim," he said, per NJ.com. "I truly am sorry for all the pain and all the embarrassment I caused." In 2014, the Cake Boss himself was arrested for DWI. 

According to ABC News, Valastro reportedly tried to use his reality star status to keep himself out of trouble, telling the officer, "I had a couple drinks. You can't arrest me! I'm the Cake Boss!"

As we all know, reality stars aren't above the law. Valastro pleaded guilty to driving while impaired. His driver's license was suspended for three months, and he was fined $300. According to TMZ, he told reporters, "One is too many and I will never get behind the wheel of a car again if I have a drink, even if I have a sip." In a tweet to his fans, the Carlo's Bakery proprietor added, "I thought I was fine to drive, but I wasn't. I put people in danger. I am very disappointed in myself."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Lynne Curtin's daughter led a double life

Lynne Curtin was on "The Real Housewives Of Orange County" Seasons 4 and 5. While her marital problems with husband Frank Curtin played out on camera, her daughter Alexa Curtin was living a secret life as an adult film star named Jayden Taylors. "When I found out Alexa became involved in porn I became physically ill," Lynne said in a 2014 interview with The National Enquirer. "She thought she could make a few movies under an assumed name, get her nose and boobs redone, and nobody would ever recognize her."

Alexa's life only went downhill from there. As People reported in 2014, the reality star's daughter alleged an Orange County deputy sheriff had sexually assaulted her. In 2017, a jury awarded her $2.25 million in the civil rights lawsuit. In a statement to People, Alexa said she hoped her victory would encourage other victims to come forward. "I want them to know they're not alone and should not be afraid to speak up if they've been sexually assaulted even when the perpetrator is someone who is supposed to protect you," she said.

For the better part of the last decade, the Bravo alum has seen the inside of jails and courtrooms multiple times. In 2021, Alexa pleaded guilty to multiple offenses in four out of five cases against her, including drug possession, DUI, vandalism and petty theft. She received a 68-day jail sentence, and she must complete California's three-month DUI program for first offenders.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Return to Amish stars denied having a baby together

TLC's "Breaking Amish" follows a group of young adults as they make the transition from their sheltered Amish communities to life — and hopefully love — in New York City. The big question for viewers and producers was how much of it was real. It seems Rebecca Myler and her future husband Abe Schmucker were hiding a lot. In the first season, the two cast members, who came from the same tight-knit community, claimed they didn't know each other very well. The duo were later pictured with a baby on the Breaking Amish the Truth Facebook page. Schmucker and Byler initially denied having a child together, but Byler eventually confirmed on her Facebook page that Schmucker was indeed the father. 

But the cast member in this TLC franchise with the darkest secrets was Jeremiah Raber. In 2017, the "Return to Amish" star was arrested for domestic violence, after getting into a verbal dispute with his wife, Carmela Mendez. She showed officers several bruises allegedly caused by Raber, according to Radar.

After he was released from custody, the vlogger took to Facebook. "I never felt love growing up. ... I kept looking to people on my Facebook for approval of everything that I did," he wrote. "That has ruined my relationship and marriage with my true love. ... I do love you Carmela."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Sister Wives stars once said they only had $15 to their names

Since "Sister Wives" premiered in 2010, viewers have been obsessed with the complicated relationships of polygamist Kody Brown, his four wives (three of whom are now ex-wives), and their 18 children. Over the course of 17 seasons, there have been more than a few surprising revelations. Before they were reality stars, the clan's patriarch and first wife Meri Brown filed for bankruptcy. In 2005 court documents revealed by Radar, the pair claimed they had $15 between them at the time. The couple, who were earning about $4,600 a month, reportedly were ordered to pay $188,000 to creditors, trustees and lawyers. They've certainly come a long way since then. In 2020, The U.S. Sun reported the cast members earned up to $400,000 per episode. 

In a scandal that rocked Season 9 of the hit series, Meri was catfished by an online scammer named Jackie Overton, a woman posing as a man named "Sam." "This catfish was just planting things in my head and telling me how horrible my family was and specifically how horrible Kody was," the Lizzie's Heritage Inn owner said on the show. "I just pushed Kody away. ... He's not the one I should've pushed away," Meri added. Things became strained over the last decade for the couple, who in 2023 announced on Instagram the decision to cut the cord on their marriage, which left Robyn Brown as the last sister wife left standing.

Tamar Braxton was blindsided while filming an episode

"Braxton Family Values," which premiered in 2011, follows the five Braxton sisters, Toni, Traci, Towanda, Trina and Tamar. Sadly, the series took a tragic turn. In 2018, Tamar revealed on "The Wendy Williams Show," why she walked off set during a family meeting with OWN life coach Iyanla Vanzant.

"A lot of things happened to me in my childhood that I was too afraid to talk about or too ashamed to talk about," Tamar told the host. The singer said she had been sexually abused by several family members as a child, adding that she was blindsided when Vanzant brought it up while shooting the episode. In a 2021 interview, Tamar told People, "How it came out was very traumatic for me," she said, noting that the pain from her childhood was affecting her mental health in other ways.

In 2020, "The Surreal Life" star hit a breaking point. As The Blast reported Tamar had been rushed to the hospital following a suicide attempt. On the "Tamron Hall Show," the star shared, "There has been a time where I wanted to [die], but this was the first time where I've actually acted on it." The "Love And War" hitmaker shared that she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and she goes to counseling on a daily basis.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Jen Shah got time for her role in a telemarketing scam

Jen Shah brought the histrionics right out of the gate on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. The Utah native, who made her mark in Season 1 with her epic meltdowns, was also famous for flaunting her extravagant lifestyle. "I probably spend $50,000 a month," she once said on the series. In 2023, the entrepreneur was sentenced to over six years in prison for a decade-long telemarketing scam that bilked money from thousands of people – many of whom were retired and living on fixed incomes.

Per ABC News, Judge Sidney Stein said at the sentencing, "In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, [Stuart] Smith, and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims' money," Shah vowed to pay the $6.5 million she owes in restitution, and she expressed remorse for the victims. "I wish I could have stood outside myself and seen the harm I was causing and changed course," she said. "I am profoundly and deeply sorry."

"Sorry" may not be good enough for Trisha, a 75-year-old retiree who was informed by the Federal Trade Commission that she may have been ripped off by Shah's scam. "I invested more than half of the savings I had for retirement. I gave them directly about $47,000," Trisha told ABC News. Hopefully, that's something Shah will think about while she serves her time in a federal prison in Texas.

Hulk Hogan's family's behind-the-scenes troubles

Hulk Hogan's reality series ran for four seasons on VH1, but it took its toll on the family. "Hogan Knows Best" starred the WWE superstar, his wife Linda Hogan, and their children Brooke and Nick Hogan. After the series aired its final episode, Nick was arrested for reckless driving in Florida. In August 2007, ABC News reported the former race car driver was drinking and driving way over the speed limit when he crashed his car into a tree. Nick, 17 at the time, was seated next to his best friend John Graziano, who hadn't buckled his seat belt.

Graziano suffered severe brain damage from the collision. In 2008, Nick was sentenced to eight months behind bars. "I will never ever be able to say I'm sorry enough," the DJ said in court, per People. As Tampa Bay Times noted, Hulk reportedly settled a lawsuit with the Graziano family for more than $1 million. As for the "Thunder in Paradise" star, his marriage was imploding at around the same time.

In 2007, Linda filed for divorce, after she learned about Hulk's affair with Christiane Plante, her daughter Brooke's best friend. On Access Hollywood, Maria Menounos asked Hulk, "There have been rumors that maybe this divorce was a ploy to protect your assets." He dismissed these rumors and alluded to Linda's own relationship with a much younger man named Charlie Hill.  "If this is a ploy, her being intimate with a 19-year-old kid is pretty good acting," the wrestler said.

The Osbournes shared the details of their addiction issues

The Emmy-winning series "The Osbournes" debuted in 2002, and at the time, it was MTV's top-rated show. The family, which includes hard rocker Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon Osbourne, and their kids Jack and Kelly Osbourne, came from England with more than their share of baggage. On a 2004 episode of CNN's "Larry King Live," Sharon revealed that Kelly, then 19, had entered a rehab facility in Malibu. This came after a British tabloid asked Sharon to comment on a photo of her daughter making a drug deal.

The couple said Kelly insisted she wasn't struggling with drug misuse at the time. "Well, being a drug addict and an alcoholic myself, telling the truth comes very — it doesn't come very easy, so you tend to B.S. a lot," Ozzy shared with King. "We just had to take evasive action very quickly, because the amount of pills that was found in her bag was astounding." In 2021, Jack celebrated 18 years of sobriety

That same year, Kelly shared that she'd relapsed after staying sober for four years. On her Instagram Story, the former "Fashion Police" star opened up about why she wanted to share this update with the world. "I knew that if I didn't, I could have flown under the radar for a long time like that and no one would have known," she said. "And I just would have spent the last four years building a life that I just destroyed in one drink."

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

Dog the Bounty Hunter revealed his own criminal past

"Dog the Bounty Hunter" star Duane Lee Chapman had a rough go of it as a kid. In his 2007 autobiography, "You Can Run But You Can't Hide," the A&E reality star opened up about the abuse he experienced at the hands of his own father.  "As a young boy, I never knew that other kids didn't get hit by their dads. I thought it was a rite of passage to have my father knock me around," he wrote. Chapman vowed to stop the cycle of abuse. "Until very recently, I never understood that none of his abuse was my fault ... and yet I swore that I would never beat my kids." Chapman would go on to have 12 kids of his own, and while he vowed to stop the cycle of physical abuse, the bounty hunter's relationships with several of his children are fractured at best. 

In 2012, Chapman opened up about another personal detail from his past — his own criminal record. In 1977, Chapman was sentenced to five years in prison for a murder in Texas. The reality star was sitting in a car outside a house where his friend shot a pot dealer. "In Texas in the '70s, if you were present, you were just as guilty," Chapman told the Toronto Star. The "Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens" actor, who was paroled after 18 months, added, "I shouldn't have went and I shouldn't have been the person I was back then."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

RHONJ alum Danielle Staub has quite a shady past

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Danielle Staub was one of the series' most combative cast members. In Season 1, she provoked Teresa Giudice's infamous table flip, and years later, she got the boot following her hair-pulling incident with Margaret Josephs. As Josephs later told Elasq, "No one wants to work with someone who is so unstable." 

As chronicled by The Smoking Gun, the details and allegations regarding Staub's past are rather colorful. Staub, formerly known as Beverly Ann Merrill, was collared in 1986 for trying to hold a man named Carmen Centolella hostage for $25,000 after a drug deal went sideways. Staub and her accomplice, Daniel Aguilar, allegedly kidnapped Centolella, tied him up, pistol-whipped him, shoved a gun in his mouth, and threatened him. After facing multiple felony charges, the "RHONJ" alum pleaded guilty to extortion, and was sentenced to five years of probation.

Speaking to NJ.com, Centolella, who caught his first episode of the Bravo series in 2009, said, "I wish I could jump through the TV and wring her neck like she did to me." In her 2010 memoir, "Naked Truth," Staub admitted she met Aguilar when she worked for an escort agency, but clarified what her line of work entailed. "I was not paid to go up to men's hotel rooms," she wrote. "I was paid to establish relationships."