Jenelle, 31, took to social media on Wednesday, October 4, to defend herself — and her husband, David Eason — from recent abuse allegations made by Barbara, 70, in regards to Jenelle’s 14-year-old son Jace.
“I cannot begin to explain how badly my name is being smeared because of false allegations that all came from my mom’s mouth to begin with,” she wrote alongside an Instagram video of herself crying as “Praying” by Kesha played in the background. The former reality star mouthed the words to the track — which includes lyrics like “I hope your soul is changing” and “I hope you find your peace falling on your knees” — while staring at the camera and straightening her hair.
“There’s always 2 sides to every story and right now you’re only hearing 1 side: hers,” she continued in the caption. “I have been instructed how to handle my situation with her by multiple parties. I’m not going to let her continue to make me miserable and distract living my life. I’m not going to continue to let her control my emotions. She has tramatized [sic] my entire family so much growing up, she’s always made me afraid of her. Im not afraid anymore and I need to realize she can’t control me. I control my own family and my own sanity.”
Jenelle reported Jace missing — for the third time — on September 28 after he reportedly left their North Carolina home through a window. According to a Monday, October 2, police incident report obtained by The Ashley’s Reality Roundup, Barbara told police at the time that the teenager called her and explained he was “hiding” from his stepdad, who Jace claimed assaulted him. (In addition to Jace, whom she shares with ex Andrew Lewis, Jenelle is also mom of 9-year-old son Kaiser, whom she shares with ex Nathan Griffith and 6-year-old daughter Ensley with Eason.)
“Made contact with Barbara who advised [Jace] was not at the residence,” the police report stated. “She advised that she had spoken to [Jace] earlier in the evening when he called from an unknown number and told her about being assaulted by David Eason and that he ran away and was hiding.”
According to the document, Barbara — who had custody of Jace for the majority of his life until Jenelle was granted custody in March — had to turn down her grandson’s request to pick him up due to “ongoing legal and custody issues.” He was found on September 30 and reportedly taken to the hospital.
Eason, 35, took to Instagram on Wednesday, October 3, to address the assault claims. “It takes a sick person to spread lies on the internet about a child! Then the rest of you are sick for chiming in like you know something because you read their lies,” David wrote via Instagram alongside a photo of him, Jenelle and their kids, according to In Touch Weekly. “You people really need help! Our kids are in our custody and anything you read is not true!” (His Instagram account has since been disabled.)
Eason further claimed that “police reports have been falsified and the truth is already apparent to everyone involved,” adding, “Barbara is NOT involved and she is NOT allowed to speak to him right now. The best thing any of you can do for Jace is to stop talking about him all together please! Thanks.”
In Jenelle’s video on Wednesday, she claimed that Barbara is using “third-party tactics” against her but that “God knows the truth.” She concluded her lengthy statement by asking for “all the prayers and support” for her family and her husband.
“I need my son’s mental health protected so please I’m begging the media PLEASE STOP,” she said. “Your information is false and I will prove it very soon. Love you guys! 😭❤️.”
Prior to Jace’s third disappearance, Jenelle denied that Jace running away had anything to do with her and Eason’s fighting. She claimed his actions were instead connected to getting “in trouble” at school.
“We decided to take his phone away and that’s when he decided to run off,” she told Us Weekly in August through a statement from her manager, August Keen. She added that Jace’s decision to run away had “absolutely nothing to do with my situation with David, we do not argue in front of our children or fight in front of our kids.”
Eason, for his part, does have a history of violence. In May 2019, one year after Jenelle called 911 and accused him of cracking her collarbone — for which no charges were filed — Eason shot and killed Jenelle’s dog, Nugget, for biting Ensley on the cheek. He and Jenelle temporarily lost custody of their children for the incident, leading the couple — who tied the knot in 2017 — to split. While Jenelle announced her plans to file for divorce in October 2019, the pair ultimately reconciled.
Jenelle, meanwhile, reportedly attempted to get a restraining order against her mother in recent weeks but her request was denied.
If you or someone you know is experiencing child abuse, call or text Child Help Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.