Jenelle Evans is shutting down haters who’ve criticized her parenting since her son Jace was reported missing for the second time in one month.
“There’s a lot of comments going on right now and it’s crazy,” Evans, 31, said in a Wednesday, August 30, TikTok video. The clip came two days after Jace, 14, was found at a gas station near their North Carolina home after Evans contacted police because she hadn’t heard from him in several hours.
The Teen Mom 2 alum continued: “A lot of my son’s actions [are] being pinned against me and I’m getting a lot of hate, a lot of comments. … My son has been having a hard time for the past two, three years. None of this has gone public because we’re trying to keep his privacy. “
Jenelle explained that when her mom, Barbara Evans, agreed to grant her custody of Jace several months prior — after more than a decade of Barbara caring for him herself — “there was a big reason behind why I got him back.”
Us Weekly broke the news that Jenelle was granted custody of her eldest son in March. In an exclusive statement to Us at the time, Jenelle explained that she and her mom “decided together to grant full custody back to me because we want to build our relationship back as mother and daughter.” She added that her mother thought it was “important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk.’”
Jenelle previously claimed that her mother wasn’t up to the task of raising Jace. “Right now, Jace is living full-time with me and this is because of his behavior and my mom can’t handle him,” she exclusively told Us in March 2021 after claiming that Jace’s behavior was “always good” when he stayed with her.
In her Wednesday TikTok, Jenelle shared more insight into Jace’s disappearances in recent weeks. (Before he went missing on Monday, August 28, Jace was reported as a runaway on August 15, with Jenelle’s manager August Keen telling Us at the time that Jace had “decided to run off” after Jenelle took his phone away because he “got in trouble at school.”)
“Sometimes kids get really mad about their phones if you take them away,” Jenelle said in the TikTok clip. She added that phones are “kind of like an addiction” for teenagers because they’re “so attached to them.”
The former MTV personality then reassured viewers that Jace is healthy and safe, wrapping up the video by explaining that, “Due to my son’s mental health, none of this is gonna be shared and I don’t want to really go into detail with anything.”
In addition to clearing the air about Jace’s recent disappearance herself, Keen addressed the incident on Monday. “Jace was out roaming the property like he usually does,” he explained in a statement. “He went off to the gas station, without telling Jenelle.”
Keen added that Jace’s temporary disappearance was “nothing to be alarmed about,” noting that “Jace is a teenager finding his independence, wanting a bit more freedom, and Jenelle is a momma bear.”
After Jace was safely located following his first disappearance, Jenelle told Us, via Keen, that Jace’s actions had “absolutely nothing to do with my situation with [husband] David [Eason],” noting that they “do not argue in front of our children or fight in front of our kids.”
Jenelle and Eason have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. They previously split in 2019 after Eason shot and killed their dog, Nugget, which led to Jenelle’s firing from Teen Mom 2 and the couple temporarily losing custody of Kaiser and Ensley. They later reconciled, which Jenelle revealed in a March 2020 YouTube video.
“I know some people don’t understand, but there’s a lot of worse things that have happened in my life than getting back with my husband and trying to work it out,” she stated at the time. For me, I was willing to give it a second shot.”