Mama June Takes Up For Honey Boo Boo, 16, Dating Older Boyfriend, 20

Everybody’s all up in Honey Boo Boo’s business, and Mama June Shannon says people don’t understand the situation.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, now 16, is in a relationship with 20-year-old Dralin Carswell, and Mama June is defending her every step of the way.

“She is getting a lot of hate because she’s in an interracial relationship, he is older,” Mama June said. “But at the end of the day, Alana’s not that six-, seven-year-old child y’all fell in love with 11 years ago. Alana has grown up, she’s graduating high school next year, guys!”

Mama June says it’s not like they just starting dating either.

“Yes, I’ve met Dralin,” Mama June added. “They’ve been together for over a year. People need to realize that she’s going to be 17 in August and that [Alana’s older] Pumpkin and Josh were the same age as they were.”

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Monday, Shannon did share one concern about her daughter’s boyfriend.

“He’s good. He needs to hold down a job a little bit more,” Shannon said. “I mean, he’s not bad. He doesn’t treat her bad or anything like that. They’re [young] and they’ve been together over a year. So, if they last? Fine. If they don’t, it can be her first love.”

Last month, Thompson shared a photo of herself holding hands with Carswell. Her caption read, “park dates with you are the best.”

Thompson went Instagram official with her boyfriend in September but later deleted the snap due to criticism of their relationship, according to Page Six.

Back in November, Thompson opened up to PEOPLE about growing up in the public eye.

“I feel like so many people still look at me as that little girl that very first came on TV,” she said. “Even when the posts about me and my boyfriend coming out, I feel like there was so many people that were still treating me like I was 6 years old.”

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