30 'Sister Wives' SECRETS That Will Blow Your Mind!
A married family of two is bound to face tough times here and there, so to think of the drama a husband and his four wives go through is almost unimaginable. But that's just the case with the cast of the hit TLC reality show Sister Wives. From facing trouble with the law and divorces to war with the church and endless jealousy, you won't believe what this family of 23 deals with on a regular basis.NEXT »
Only One Legal Wife
Although Kody Brown is known for having four wives, he is currently only legally married to Robyn, his fourth wife. Kody had to divorce Meri, the first wife he married in 1990, in order to adopt Robyn's three children from a previous marriage. In 1993 and 1994, Kody "spiritually" married Janelle and Christine. And even though Kody and Meri are now legally divorced, the two are still spiritually married like the others.
Meri Was Catfished
While first wife Meri was going through her divorce with Kody, she began talking to someone who she believed was a man named Sam. But as it turned out, "Sam" was preying on Meri's loneliness and lying to her the entire time. And it wasn't just little white lies either. In fact, the person Meri had fallen for was actually a woman named Jackie Overton! And even worse was that one of the other wives knew the entire time!
Robyn Betrayed Meri
As if finding out that she was having an online relationship with a complete stranger, Meri was betrayed by one of her own sister wives. It was later revealed that Robyn, the fourth sister wife to join the family, knew that Meri was being catfished the entire time. "Robyn sat back and just watched as the whole scam unraveled," a source told In Touch. What a plot twist to add to the scandal!
A Family Of Felons?
The Brown family first all lived in Utah, but while everything seemed to be going smoothly, Kody and his wives ended up facing federal charges. Since it's illegal in the state to live together with someone you aren't married to, the whole family had to pack their bags and move. Given just three days notice, the Browns jumped one state over and settled in Las Vegas, Nevada where living a life of polygamy is legal.
Awkward Family Ties
If you're wondering how Kody met second wife Janelle, it's a pretty wild story. Before Janelle married Kody, she was actually married to first wife Meri's brother, Adam Barber. In fact, Janelle and Kody had met and felt a connection while Adam was still in the picture before he divorced Janelle in 1990 after being married for just two years. What a twisted turn of events!
The Strangest Gift Of All
While it's no secret that Robyn's children were adopted by Kody, it seems that she's trying to cover up their past. In fact, she had a portrait drawn up of a young Kody and the three children as babies in an attempt to give the illusion that they were together all along. Apparently, Robyn was heartbroken that the three kiddos - Dayton, Aurora, and Breanna - were conceived by another man.
Adding Another Wife
Could Kody possibly be adding a fifth wife to the family? He has been hinting at this, but three of the four wives have threatened to file for divorce if it were to happen. Rumor has it that Kody's nanny, Mindy Jessop, is in his sights - and she's actually Robyn's step-niece! A friend of Robyn's even told Life & Style magazine that Kody has "wanted someone really young, like 19 or 20. And she has to be attractive and thin."
They Struggled Financially
It can be financially draining providing for such a large family - 23 people in all, including the children. At one point, the Brown family only had $10 in cash and $5 in five separate joint bank accounts. They had even accumulated $230,000 in debt between mortgages and purchases. Kody and his first three wives all filed for bankruptcy before Robyn married into the family.
Their Side Jobs
If you're wondering how the Brown family managed to dig their way out of such a substantial amount of debt, you're not the only one. Although Kody has been somewhat vague about what he does to earn an income, he has been quoted talking about LIV International, a global detox products company. The wives also reportedly run an online jewelry shop called My Sisterwife's Closet.
As you can probably understand, Meri wasn't too thrilled when Janelle joined the family back in 1993. When Janelle first moved into their house, she recalled Meri being "demanding and overbearing." The sister saga then continued when Meri became even more infuriated seeing Janelle beat her to the punch to getting pregnant! Meri even admitted to acting "harsh and aggressive" towards Kody's new wife during that time.
'The Man Talk'
Apparently, Kody has given all of his children a talking to about being involved in romantic relationships. "You should not be sexual until you had graduated from high school, ever. And I would prefer that you wait until you are married," he tells the kids. In fact, he even tells them that a "kiss is a token of commitment." He also believes that physical contact too early on in a relationship leads to breakups.
War In The Church
The entire Brown family was reportedly forced out of the Apostolic United Brethren church in Utah after Meri's catfish scandal came to light. "It was a huge, kind of war in the church," an insider on the matter said. "The church elders told Kody that he would never be welcomed back, even if the family moved back to Utah." Many people who follow their faith believe the TLC show is produced just for ratings, not as a documentary like Kody has always pitched.
If you're wondering whether or not the Brown children will follow in their parents' footsteps, you might be surprised to learn that Kody and Meri's daughter, Mariah, is the only one who has said she would be open to practicing polygamy when she married. And though she struggled with being comfortable about her sexuality growing up, Mariah is now a confident lesbian.
The Family Tree
Curious about all of the 18 Brown children? You're not the only one. In fact, it's so difficult to keep up with each family member that Kody actually ended up putting a family tree online - except this one only shows 16 of the children! But not all of them are related to Kody by blood. He is, however, the biological father of 15 of them - one with first wife Meri, six with second wife Janelle, six with third wife Christine, and two with fourth wife Robyn.
Kody and second wife Janelle had a total of six children together, born from 1994 to 2004. After their fifth child was born in 2001, Janelle suffered from a severe case of postpartum depression. As a result, she actually ended up leaving the family for two years to get better and build a life outside of the sisterhood. She then eventually moved back in with the family once Kody bought a larger home.
Maddie, Kody and Janelle's 21-year-old daughter, was the first Brown child to tie the knot. She and husband Caleb Brush, who is actually one of her aunt's brothers, insist that they are going to stick to a traditional marriage. "He told me he could never express how much he loved me, but he wanted to spend his life trying, and went down on one knee and pulled out a box," Maddie told People magazine. Nowadays, the two have a big surprise up their sleeves.
Unfair Time Allocation
While Kody is supposed to switch staying with his four wives every night as part of the polygamist "rules," he's been in pretty hot water with the "sisters." Three of them have complained that he's been spending more time with Robyn than anyone else. But according to shocking recent reports, Kody and Robyn's stellar relationship might just be a thing of the past.
Robyn Wants A Divorce?
Rumors about Robyn leaving Kody have been swirling around for months, but according to the fourth wife's friend, Kendra Pollard-Parra, it's no joke. "She can no longer trust him," she told Life & Style magazine. "He is becoming a hothead, he has no filter and it is freaking Robyn out. They [used to] fight and yell at each other. Now Robyn simply ignores him, which makes him even more infuriated."
Like Father, Like Son
Kody's interest in polygamy didn't come out of the blue! His father, Winn Brown, was also a polygamist. In fact, he had three wives of his own - Genielle, Bobbie, and Sheryl, the mother of Kody's second wife, Janelle. And though it certainly wasn't quite as big as Kody's is now, Winn still had more children than the average parents do today - a whopping nine of them!
Mom Marries The Father-In-Law
As if Janelle being previously married to Meri's brother isn't weird enough, the family has yet another odd love scandal. Most of Janelle's family was unsupportive of her decision to join a polygamous family - but not Sheryl, her mother. In fact, Janelle's mom was so intrigued by the concept that she married Kody's polygamist father, Winn, three months before Janelle and Kody spiritually wed.
The Apple Falls Far From The Tree
Though Mariah has reportedly said she would be open to a polygamous lifestyle, some of the children oppose the idea, especially now that they're becoming adults. "I don’t want to do plural marriage," Kody and Christine's 22-year-old daughter, Aspyn, said on the show. "I kind of feel bad that none of us want to, but it was just not what we were meant to do, I guess."
A Decision The Groom Should Never Make
Choosing a wedding dress is something most women dream of. And even though it's traditional for the groom to not see his bride until she walks down the aisle, Kody actually picked out Robyn's wedding dress himself! Christine was so upset over it that she walked off the set of the show, and Janelle recalled her being completely devasted over Kody's decision.
A Scandalous Kiss Before Marriage
Picking out Robyn's wedding dress wasn't the only thing that Kody did to upset his wives. Christine, who was initially happy when she heard the news that Kody and Robyn got engaged, was anything but pleased when she found out that Kody "sealed the engagement with a kiss." Kody and Christine had not kissed until they wed at the altar, so surely enough, jealousy overwhelmed her.
Though Kody has four wives, he's publicly said that welcoming more men into the family - other than his children, of course - is not something he approves of. But it seems as though he's fine with his wives who have been married to men in the past, that includes second wife Janelle, who was previously married to Meri's brother, and fourth wife Robyn, who was married and divorced before she tied the knot with Kody.
Maddie Has A Bun In The Oven
It looks like Kody and the wives are going to be grandparents! That's right - Maddie and husband Caleb, the brother of Kody's sister-in-law, are expecting their first child. "I think I’ll be the disciplinarian parent just because Caleb already has such a soft spot for the baby," Maddie said. Their precious little one is expected to enter the world in just a few weeks!
Since first wife Meri isn't able to carry more children - she has one child, a daughter named Mariah - Robyn actually offered to be a surrogate for her. However, Kody shot the idea down and said that if it wasn't going to happen naturally, then it wasn't meant to be. The Brown family does already have 18 children, after all, so another kiddo would probably just get lost in the bunch!
Kody and first wife Meri wasted no time with their relationship. Kody even proposed to her after only two months of knowing each other! But their time together hasn't always been rainbows and butterflies. Meri's catfish dilemma certainly got in the way of things, and she admitted to pushing Kody away. The two have even tried to save their relationship by going to therapy.
The Mormon Church actually rejected Maddie, Kody and Janelle's oldest daughter, because of her parents' lifestyle. "The LDS church rejecting me for my parents' choices was one of the most devastating things I have been through," she said. "After that happened, I sat and reevaluated everything I had learned about the church. In itself, the church is absolutely beautiful. Not with all the politics though."
Meri Was Fired!
Personally involved or not, some people just aren't comfortable with polygamy. Though it's unclear what first wife Meri's occupation was before Sister Wives went on the air, she did once retell events of the dilemma that she faced at work when she explained her new situation. Her supervisor was initially shocked, but still supportive. Two months later, however, Meri was fired by the management team.
They Really Know How To Put On A Show
The way the Browns act towards each other isn't always as it seems, at least according to Kendra Pollard-Parra, Robyn's friend. "The family is arguing constantly," she said. "They pretend to be happy for the show, but the family is a mess. [Kody is] definitely seeking another wife right now." Perhaps it is true, but Kendra could also just be lying for her own publicity!