Is 'Return to Amish' Fake? The Cast Has Faced Controversy Before


It hasn't been easy for the members of the original Breaking Amish cast to adapt to their new ex-Amish and ex-Mennonite lives during this season of Return to Amish . After seven episodes full of births, brawls, and bar hopping, it's clear that having the support of each other has made the transition a lot smoother. Still, judging by the teaser for this week's reunion special, there's plenty of drama to go around with this dysfunctional family.

Surprisingly, the Return to Amish cast doesn't seemed to have been involved in too much controversy outside of the show, which is quite different from the first time around. When Breaking Amish premiered in 2012, many questioned the legitimacy of the show and speculated that Abe, Rebecca, Jeremiah, Kate, and Sabrina had been living less-than-Amish lives for some time, even though TLC originally stated that these young men and women would be leaving their religious communities for the first time. The cast has addressed the rumors in varying degrees throughout its three seasons on TLC, but the reunion show, which airs Sunday night, is always a good venue to address rumors and scandals that have cropped up since the show aired. Here's some of what the Return to Amish cast has had to defend themselves against over the years.

Image: TLC

Abe and Rebecca had a baby together prior to the show

On Breaking Amish, it looked like Abe and Rebecca didn’t know each other that well, but then a photo of them pictured with a baby made many think that they were close friends prior to the show, maybe even a couple. Many speculated that Abe was the father of Rebecca’s child. During the Breaking Amish reunion show, Abe and Rebecca asserted that they were just friends and would not discuss Rebecca’s daughter, even becoming belligerent over the subject. It remained a mystery until February 2014 when Rebecca posted the paternity test results of her daughter Kayla on Facebook, which showed Abe is in fact her father.

Image: Breaking Amish The Truth/Facebook

Jeremiah was married with children

When we first met Jeremiah on Breaking Amish, he was actually dating Iva, who would later star in Breaking Amish: Los Angeles. But before that, he was married to an ex-Amish woman named Naomi Stutzman for six years. Reports surfaced online alleging Jeremiah had been charged with domestic abuse. Jeremiah was arrested for domestic abuse in 2005, he pled not guilty, and the case was ultimately thrown out, according to the Breaking Amish reunion special.

The couple have three children together, but Stutzman told a CBS News affiliate in Harrisburg that he owed her $20,000 in child support, and TLC was helping him pay for it. In the Breaking Amish reunion, Jeremiah admitted that he regretted not paying child support but that he is paying it now, which Sabrina vouched for.

Image: Julian Rad/TLC

Sabrina was married

Not only had Sabrina already been on a reality show, but she had also never mentioned being married. A friend of hers tweeted out photos of Sabrina’s wedding, which many thought didn’t look the way a Mennonite wedding was supposed to. During the Breaking Amish reunion special, Sabrina said she was married, but she did have a Mennonite wedding with no dancing and no alcohol. Sabrina and her husband have since gotten divorced.

Image: Keith Nolt/Twitter

Kate entered a smile contest

Kate made her modeling dreams apparent in the first episode of Breaking Amish, but she said she had no photos of herself or her family because the Amish believe photos are a sign of vanity. However, a photo surfaced of Kate for an online smile contest. Kate confirmed that she had entered the contest during the Breaking Amish reunion special, saying that her boss at a bed and breakfast suggested she become a model and submit her photo for the contest. And yes, Kate was working while she was Amish, which she said is common in Lancaster.

Image: Breaking Amish The Truth/Facebook

Rebecca in a bikini

Many were shocked to see this photo of Rebecca in a bikini pop up online because, for one, it’s a far cry away from the traditional, plain Amish garb, and also because Rebecca was one of the more conservative members of the Breaking Amish gang. So some reasoned she wasn’t living Amish as we had been made to believe. When confronted with the photo at the Breaking Amish reunion, Rebecca was shocked it had gotten out because no one was ever meant to see her in a bikini. She simply said this photo was taken on a day when she had snuck out of her Amish community to have some fun, something many young Amish people do.

Image: Breaking Amish the Expose/Facebook

Abe was arrested for underage drinking

Abe is the most mild-mannered of the Return to Amish bunch, but a mug shot of Abe circulated online shortly after the show premiered, with a mug shot-worthy hairstyle and all. Abe said in the Breaking Amish reunion show that he had just turned 18 and had gone out drinking. When he came home in a car that night, the police pulled the driver over and asked for the passengers’ IDs since they smelled of alcohol. Abe didn’t have one and was arrested for underage drinking. He spent eight hours in a drunk tank, which he thought was “kind of cool” and was happy his parents didn’t find out about it — back then, at least.

Image: Nicholas Lorden/TLC

Rebecca was previously married

When Abe wanted to marry Rebecca on Breaking Amish, Mother Schmucker dropped her first big truth bomb on her son: Rebecca has already been married. Rebecca allegedly divorced a man named Rufus Hostetler. Hostetler also posted on Facebook insinuating that Abe was with his wife.

Image: Rufus Hostetler/Facebook

Kate had a DUI

TLC was actually pretty up front about Kate’s past wild behavior. We learned in the first episode that Kate’s father, the bishop of her Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had kicked her out of the house for acting badly. She went to live with friends in Sarasota, Florida, where there is also a prominent Amish community and got a driver’s license. One night, she drank and drove and was charged with a DUI. Kate was eventually welcomed back home, but we saw that she did have to return to Sarasota to appear for her court date.

Image: TLC

Jeremiah had left the Amish long ago

Stutzman told a CBS News affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that Jeremiah had left the Amish when he was 18 years old. He was in his 30s when Breaking Amish premiered. Photos like this one of Jeremiah in English clothes also surfaced online, which made many people question if Jeremiah was Amish at all. In the Breaking Amish reunion show, Jeremiah revealed he left the Amish multiple times but then returned, which is actually quite common for Amish youth.

Image: Breaking Amish the Expose/Facebook

Chapel's cancer battle

Since the legitimacy of this show and its cast members have come under question, some people think everything on the show is fiction. Chapel has shared many details of her battle with bone cancer on Return to Amish, and some viewers actually think she has made up the whole thing.

Sabrina responded to the rumors on her Facebook page. “If you think that that is a legit concern, you need your head examined,” she wrote in a post on June 24. “She doesn’t deserve to be hated on like this no wonder the world is the way it is these days what with people being so f**king ignorant all the time.” Chapel commented on Sabrina’s post writing, “Thank you so much for being at my side while these terrible f**ks say whatever they plz some people are ruthless…”

Image: Julian Rad/TLC