Maci Bookout received an outpouring of love from her fellow Teen Mom stars — especially Leah Messer, Catelynn Lowell and her husband, Tyler Baltierra — for the compassion she showed to her ex Ryan Edwards while he was struggling with addiction.
“I just wanna say that I commend Maci for just supporting Ryan through it all,” Leah, 30, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, August 14, while promoting Teen Mom: The Next Chapter. “I know me and [my ex-husband] Corey [Simms] had went through our challenges with that, and it was … difficult.”
Leah sang Maci’s praises for being “so supportive” of her ex-boyfriend. She further applauded Maci, 32, for putting her and Ryan’s son, Bentley, “first” and making the 14-year-old the most “important” thing.
During a July episode of Teen Mom: The Next Chapter, fans saw Maci sit down with Ryan, 35, after she learned he was on “suicide watch” following an arrest. Ryan was sentenced to jail in April after being booked for a DUI and possession of a controlled substance, and on a harassment charge from estranged wife Mackenzie Edwards, who filed for divorce in February. Ryan was released from jail in July, according to The Sun, and was ordered to rehab.
Although Maci has moved on from Edwards and is married to Taylor McKinney, she told Ryan during the July episode that the next time he was struggling to “just call me.” (Maci and Taylor, 34, share daughter Jayde, 7, and son Maverick, 6. Ryan shares two children with Mackenzie.)
Catelynn and Tyler, both 31, had only nice things to say about how Maci and Taylor approach parenthood.
“We always say, like, we’re just proud of, you know, Taylor and Maci because they do go off [of] what’s best for their kids. And they are open and honest to their children,” Catelynn exclusively told Us on Monday in a joint interview with Leah and Tyler.
Catelynn noted that Maci and Taylor are “just great parents. They’re doing the best that they can with the best that they have. And I’m just super proud of them.”
Tyler told Us he felt a more personal connection to the situation after growing up in a house where his dad struggled with addiction. (Catelynn and Tyler share four daughters: Carly, now 14, whom they gave up for adoption in 2009 when they were teenagers, and Nova, 8, Vaeda, 4, and Rya Rose, 24 months.)
“Being the child of an addict father, I really sympathized with Bentley. I think Bentley’s far beyond what I even was when I was that age,” Tyler said, noting the close bond Maci has with her firstborn son. “He asked Maci for therapy, and I told her privately, I said, ‘I wanna let you know that is the sign that you’re doing a good job as a mom. That your child felt safe enough to come to you at that age and say, I need therapy. I want therapy. Like, that’s huge.’”
He continued: “I’m really proud of Maci just for the fact that she’s navigating having to coparent [with someone] who’s struggling with addiction. I mean, that’s a huge thing. She’s never dealt with this in her own family dynamics before … it is new territory.”
Tyler added: “I commend her and Taylor for how they’re handling the whole situation. I think they’re doing a killer job at this whole parenting thing.”
Teen Mom: The Next Chapter airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi