Little Alana Thompson's reality-TV career is over, at least on TLC. A TMZ report yesterday claimed that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo matriarch June Shannon is dating a convicted child molester who abused one of Shannon's own 8-year-old relatives—and now TLC has officially axed the hit show. "TLC has canceled the series ... and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately," the network's statement reads, as per the Hollywood Reporter. "Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children's ongoing comfort and well-being." A whole new season of episodes was reportedly already filmed, but TLC won't be airing them, TMZ reports; a source tells the site that the network will pay for tutors and counseling for Shannon's kids.
Yesterday's TMZ disclosure not only said that Mama June has been seeing 53-year-old Mark McDaniel—recently out of prison after a 10-year stint for child molestation and now a registered sex offender in Georgia—for "the last few months"; the site also posted a photo it said "was taken a few weeks ago" at a hotel-room gathering that appears to show Shannon and McDaniel hanging out in bed. McDaniel was put away in 2004 after being accused of forcing the 8-year-old into oral sex, TMZ notes; Shannon was reportedly dating him at the time and supposedly still has contact with the victim. At least two people are saying the story (and the image) are fabricated. "My mom left Mark 10 years ago," June's daughter Lauryn (aka Pumpkin) tells Radar. McDaniel's son Michael echoes that dating timeline to E! Online and says his dad is innocent. (Read more Honey Boo Boo stories.)