TLC aired Part One of a reunion special for their popular new reality show “Breaking Amish” on Sunday night, partly in an effort to answer persisting questions fans have about the cast mates.
The reality show, which follows five young Amish and Mennonite adults as they allegedly leave their religious enclaves behind for the first time and start new lives in New York City, has been a huge ratings hit for TLC. Since its initial premiere, each episode has pulled in more than three million viewers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
While the series’ high ratings was likely an influential factor in TLC’s decision to air a reunion special, a first for the network, it also comes at an interesting time for the show, as rumors have begun to circulate that the cast has been lying about their circumstances to drum up interest.
TLC has provided little information about the past lives of the “Amish” stars, but as interest in the show has begun to grow, so have incriminating rumors about cast members. On Nov. 8, TLC finally addressed the mystery of how the cast mates were able to afford living expenses in New York City, by announcing that they had paid cast members to participate in the reality show. That same day NBC also reported that the network had provided cast members with a small housing stipend.
In a statement released before the reunion, the network said, "There is a lot of information floating around about the group featured on Breaking Amish. Much of it is not true, but some of it is -- and is addressed in upcoming episodes.” But while viewers undoubtedly still have many burning questions about the cast mates, the first installment of the reunion special focused mainly on their lives since the show began.
Access Hollywood’s Michelle Beadle hosted the special, beginning by asking how life had changed for everyone since the show premiered. “Everything changed. People know who we are now and that’s stressful,” said Sabrina. She also claimed that adjusting to life in New York was awful for her, saying, “If I would have had a gun, I would have shot myself.” Rebecca added that people were too judgmental of them.
What viewers may be most curious to learn about are details about the criminal pasts of three of the five cast members. Two cast mates Kate and Abe, have faced legal charges over alcohol: Kate for a DUI arrest, and Abe for public intoxication. While those charges were not addressed on the show, the topic of alcohol did come up, with Rebecca claiming that her cast mates drinking had gotten out of hand.
“They were always getting drunk,” said Rebecca. “Not socially drinking. It was annoying. It wasn’t even funny.” Kate responded that she had felt peer-pressured to drink by the others, but was later attacked by Sabrina for allegedly drugging her, during an episode late in the season.
But cast mate Jeremiah Raber faced far more serious charges of domestic abuse after his ex-wife came forward with allegations that she had been hospitalized on numerous occasions for injuries she suffered at his hands. Those charges have not yet been discussed on the show, and Jeremiah’s only personal revelations included confirmation that he hooked up with fellow cast member Sabrina in New York.
“If the world wants to know, we did it and enjoyed it,” he said. Sabrina interjected, saying that they had both been drunk and had begun to have sex, but that she had stopped him before things went further.
“I was drunk both times,” she explained. “We were both trashed and started messing around.”
TLC for their part indirectly addressed the other persisting rumors, saying, "There is a lot of information floating around about the group featured on Breaking Amish. Much of it is not true, but some of it is -- and is addressed in upcoming episodes.”