From "Toddlers & Tiaras" to "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Mama June: From Hot to Not," reality TV star Alana Thompson has come a long way. She now has a boyfriend, Dralin Carswell, who is four years older than her.
Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson is no longer the little girl fans fell in love with in "Toddlers & Tiaras." She is now in her late teens and in a relationship. The reality star made it official on her Instagram page when she changed her bio to add her boyfriend's details.
Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson at The Grove on January 20, 2012 | Source: Getty Images
She put a red heart emoji next to her boyfriend's Instagram handle. Thompson revealed that Dralin Carswell is the love of her life even though he is four years older than her.
Carswell's Instagram page, which only has one post, has grown to over 1,700 followers. Here is a closer look at Carswell and Honey Boo Boo's relationship and why it caused fans to criticize the reality star.
Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson at the Build Brunch on March 14, 2019 | Source: Getty Images
In August 2021, just a few days shy of her 16th birthday, Thompson had a photo shoot with Teen Vogue, and during the interview, she revealed for the first time that she had a boyfriend.
Not only did he join her on the set, but the reality star also remarked that he is probably her only friend as she has trust issues when making new friends.
When Thompson spoke on the subject of friendships, she said:
"To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all. Because I feel like folks are so much like, 'Oh, my God, I'm friends with Honey Boo Boo.' I don't trust nobody really, so I don't have friends."
The interview may have piqued fans' interest to take a closer look at Thompson's personal life, but it did not solve the mystery of her boyfriend's identity.
END OF AUGUST 2021
By the end of August 2021, news sources officially confirmed Carswell and Thompson's relationship. According to the reports, they had been dating for six months.
The reports also said that Carswell attended a Nashville technical school before the pandemic. However, he now lives close to Thompson and her legal guardian.
According to The Sun, an insider revealed that her family approves of the relationship. The source also said:
"Dralin and Alana are attached at the hip and hang out together all the time. He was quiet at first, but he’s like one of the family now. He's just as fun and crazy as the rest of them."
While the world caught on about their relationship in August 2021, Carswell updated his Facebook relationship status in March 2021 to reveal that he was in a relationship.
Thompson made her relationship official on Instagram after she posted a sweet photo with her new boyfriend. In the picture, they sat side-by-side at a pumpkin patch, grinning ear-to-ear, and wore matching tees.
The now-deleted picture also had the word "bae" written in pink and white letters and hearts. Thompson had to delete the image because of the backlash she got from fans.
Once fans found out that he was 20 years old, they began to criticize Carswell. Some fans believed as an adult; he had no business with Thompson, who was not yet 18.
Another fan insinuated that he needed to go to jail. However, neither Thompson, her family, nor Carswell commented on the backlash.
Several months later, Thompson shared photos of her and Carswell having a walk in the park on a lovely day.
They wore matching black t-shirts with the inscription "Have a Nike day" written on them. They paired their tees with black shorts and white sneakers and held matching white cups.
Thompson carried a pink heart-shaped bag, and her left ring finger had what seemed like a diamond ring, sparking rumors of their engagement. In the caption, she revealed that park dates with Carswell were the best.
Thompson's mother, Mama June, spoke out about her daughter's relationship and supported and defended her. She said:
"She is getting a lot of hate because she's in an interracial relationship, he is older. But at the end of the day, Alana's not that 6-, 7-year-old child y'all fell in love with 11 years ago. Alana has grown up, she's graduating high school next year, guys!"
She was also quick to remind fans that Thompson's older sister and her husband Josh were about the same age as the reality TV star when they started dating.
Despite her apparent support for the relationship, Mama June also revealed concerns about Carswell. She said:
"He's good. He needs to hold down a job a little bit more. 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."
When Thompson's older sister showed off her newborn twins for the first time in a couple of family photos, the reality TV star was again spotted with a ring.
Thompson posed for several pictures with her nephews and nieces, her brother-in-law, and the rest of the family. The ring she wore made fans wonder about her relationship status even more.
END OF JUNE 2022
After the family photos sparked more talk of Thompson's engagement to Carswell, a family representative debunked those rumors and revealed that the couple was not engaged and the ring was "just a ring."
JULY 11, 2022
Thompson and her sister's family vacationed in Los Angeles. During the trip, Thompson met fans in Hollywood at a paid meet-and-greet. Carswell accompanied them on the trip. Alana Thompson and her family visited the beach and Universal Studios while they were there.
While many of Thompson's admirers are happy to see her relationship with Carswell continue, some are critical of her boyfriend's history of legal troubles.
JULY 21, 2022
Thompson's much older partner was accused of statutory rape involving a female minor in 2019 and was arrested for the offense, according to The Sun.
According to the police report, the mother of the victim in Carswell's case reported that Thompson's boyfriend was only 18 when he allegedly had sex with her then-15-year-old daughter.
However, the woman's daughter allegedly said that what transpired between them was "consensual." Carswell's case was dropped after he completed a pretrial diversion program.
According to reports, an assistant district attorney said they could not establish statutory rape based on the evidence but could "prove to create a false statement."
JULY 21, 2022
After the news of Carswell's previous case came out, Thompson provided his response to the criticism. She said she and her boyfriend's age was not the source of the issue among fans; instead, it was her boyfriend's ethnicity. She said:
"In our relationship, the two most things that everybody is always talking about is our age gap and definitely because he's Black and I'm white and we're an interracial couple."
Thompson emphasized that her mother and sister's views, not those of the public, are genuinely important to her. Thompson's sister, Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon, 22, expressed delight over her younger sister's blooming love life.
Shannon said that Carswell's sister is "emotionally mature enough" to date him. She also stressed that Thompson's relationship with her much-older beau has not interfered with Thompson's goals.
Meanwhile, Thompson raved about how she and her boyfriend connect, saying their conversations have been smooth. She said they never shared uncomfortable or quiet moments.
AUGUST 1, 2022
The criticism has not dampened Thompson's determination to prove that she and her boyfriend are meant to be. She recently posted on Instagram about their most recent outdoor adventure.
The two seemed at ease in coordinating sweaters, sweatpants, and sneakers. Thompson captioned her post without a lengthy message, "stronger than ever 💗."
The teen's sweet post received over 32,000 heart reactions and hundreds of comments from people who admired the couple's relationship.
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