Her first exclusive interview was with ET and she claims that she has only seen McDaniel twice in the recent past:
According to Mama June, she has only seen McDaniel twice since his release, once at a coincidental meeting and the second time at an arranged meeting to give closure to her daughter Pumpkin, 14, who was raised believing McDaniel was her biological father.Shannon also revealed that Lauryn "Pumpkin" and Jessica "Chubbs" Thompson share the same biological father. He is Michael Anthony Ford. He, too, is a sex offender who was convicted of sexual exploitation of minors and was actually caught on "To Catch a Predator" back in 2005.
"Since two months to almost six years, she knew nobody but him," Shannon explained. "She was starting to resent Anna and she was starting to ask me questions. I can't answer those questions for Pumpkin."
Shannon says that she arranged a second meeting with McDaniel so that Pumpkin could ask him questions in an attempt to get closure and move on.
"I was sitting right there with twelve other people," she told ET. "It was a conversation that she wanted her answers: what happened, why did he leave, you know, if he was her real father. He admitted to her, no. I had already told her that but, you know, she wanted to hear from both sides of the story."
I already knew from another website about Ford's convictions (though not the "To Catch a Predator" angle) and that he was Jessica's father. Shannon says that Pumpkin didn't know about Ford being her father and she didn't want to shake things up by revealing this up until now. But then Pumpkin went years believing that McDaniel was her father and he'd actually harmed one of her sisters so I'm not quite sure I buy that explanation.
Here's the deal. I still don't buy it. Not completely, anyway.
I believe that coincidences happen. But they ran into and became chummy with McDaniel right around the time that she broke up with Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson. Plus if they were truly just having a group "let clear the air for Pumpkin's sake" meeting with McDaniel, why not explain this to TLC and the public right away before the story grew out of control. I mean, that's not an unreasonable thing to do for your daughter. She would still have her skeptics, but the family already had haters. Many more people would understand this explanation than not -- except now it seems less like an explanation and more like an alibi. Why wait all this time to share that information?
I'm also concerned about how Anna has had to cut herself and her young daughter off from the family because of this incident and that Shannon has accused her of selling her story at the expense of the larger family. In fact, Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson was accused of the same thing. Both Anna and Poodle have denied making any money from interviews. It just seems like projection and blaming by Mama June herself to me.