“Sister Wives” is an American reality television show documenting the daily lives and drama of a polygamist family, mononymously known as the Brown family. While the series continues to air on the TLC network, some recent developments brought the future of the show into question.
The family, led by the father and patriarch Kody Brown, has gone through a few drastic changes, as three of Kody’s four wives have officially separated from the family. Despite these changes, the series continued filming, and as before, follows Kody, his wife Robyn, and now ex-wives Meri, Christine and Janelle, and their eighteen children.
With this recent drama unfolding, more people than the usual popular reception enjoyed by “Sister Wives” began expressing an interest in the show. The newfound excitement again brought to attention the series scandals, and quite certainly, “Sister Wives” have had several controversies, some of which the stars would, of course, rather want viewers to forget about.
As intriguing as the series scandals might be, few of them catch the attention quite like the history of one star, namely Meri Brown, Kody’s now ex-wife who gained a lot of attention for her questionable behaviour, and now Meri earned a reputation among viewers and fans of “Sister Wives” as an antagonistic character.
With so much interest in Meri’s past life and current antics growing, it would only be natural that we compile and explain some of the sister wife’s most controversial scandals.
What To Expect
As we dive into Meri’s boiling pot of scandals, we will take a brief look at the role she once played in “Sister Wives”, and discuss her future in the show now that she’s officially split from Kody.
Beyond that, we will dive into her long list of controversial antics, from her connection with the Lularoe brand, her feud with fellow wife Janelle, and the controversies surrounding that hot topic, and of course her infamous catfish scandal that shocked fans and viewers as much as the rest of the Brown family.
More than that, we will also look into the abuse allegations against Meri that recently surfaced, how her relationship with Christine developed over the years, and we will also look into Meri’s behaviour on social media, before finally diving into the circumstances surrounding her earlier divorce from Kody before their final split.
Who Is Meri Brown?
Meri Brown was the first wife to Kody Brown, who married the polygamist patriarch in 1988, years before he would meet and spiritually marry his other wives. Meri was at one point also the sister-in-law to Kody’s second wife, Janelle, who was previously married to Meri’s brother.
Meri became famous with the debut of “Sister Wives” in 2010, as the leading matriarch of the polygamist Brown family. As the first wife, and then the only one legally married to Kody, she assumed the chief role in the household. Meri’s further story as the series progressed also gained centre focus, as the show documented her personal struggle with infertility.
Despite her difficulties conceiving children, Meri did give birth to one child with Kody, but unfortunately her son Leon is the only child from their union. As such, Meri earned a great deal of sympathy from the audience, as well as from other members of the Brown family.
However, as the years progressed, Meri lost her prime position in the family when Kody decided to legally divorce her so that he could marry his fourth wife, Robyn, and legally adopt her children. The change nonetheless affected Meri’s role in the Brown family.
Since her official split from Kody, Meri continues to appear in the show, and while she might no longer be a sister wife, her role remains that of a co-parent with Kody. For the most part, it seems like Meri and Kody only remained in contact both on the show and in real life for Leon’s sake. However, the future of “Sister Wives” is certainly in jeopardy.
How The Scandals Unfolded
One of Meri’s most famous scandals is a controversial connection with the product brand Lularoe, which has been publicly outed for being a common pyramid scheme, or rather in this case, a multi-level marketing scheme. Commonly with such schemes, the product brand, which in this case promotes the sale of female leggings, recruits representatives to promote their products, but often the schemes exploit people and defraud them out of their money.
Lularoe is definitely one such scheme, with numerous investigations and lawsuits against the company to confirm this, and there is even a Discovery channel documentary, “The Rise and Fall of LulaRoe”, exposing the brand for its true nature. To make matters even worse, the products promoted by LulaRoe are low quality and known to be faulty.
Meri and her fellow sister wife, Christine, became involved with the LulaRoe brand back in 2016, shortly before the brand was exposed. Thanks largely to their expansive fan base from “Sister Wives”, and their social media following, the two sister wives became successful representatives of the brand.
Despite the scandalous nature of the company being exposed, Meri continues to work with the brand, obviously to the distaste of her many fans who questioned her need and motivation to continue pushing an MLM scheme. Christine, on the other hand, has since completely disassociated from LulaRoe, but it keeps people questioning why would members of a seemingly affluent family need alternative income.
— TradewithZIK (@chris_zik) May 16, 2016
The War At Home
It’s no secret that Meri and Janelle, Kody’s second wife, never got along, as many of their confrontations both ended up on camera and became the subject of discussion in their co-written book, “Becoming Sister Wives”. Naturally, people would wonder what causes all this tension between them. Well, there doesn’t seem to be any simple answer.
Kody and Janelle first met after Janelle married his brother-in-law, and because of the ties they already had, the two would often run into each other, and eventually their relationship progressed to an intimate level. However, this was enough reason for Meri to develop distaste towards Janelle, as she not only broke Meri’s brother’s heart but also possibly became a homewrecker.
Despite this, both Janelle and Meri often stated during interviews that this was not the true reason why, but Janelle would insist that Meri’s aggressive disposition was the reason why they never got along. According to Kody, his union with Janelle was a blessing that eased the tension and problems that already existed between him and Meri.
However, when Janelle joined the polygamist union in 1994, the tension at home became palpable, and attracted the attention of viewers following a severe argument over a pond on the family property. While there was no clear reason for the constant bickering between the two women, it was rather obvious to the audience that Meri struggled with jealousy.
That same jealousy would eventually escalate as the years went by, and especially hit the fever point when Janelle became Kody’s first wife to conceive. Things became even more difficult, and with Meri’s later-diagnosed infertility, the truth became clearer, at least for the audience. Needless to say, Meri and Janelle never buried the hatchet, and their dispute is still on-going, even after their split from Kody.
The Catfish Scam
While not at the top of the list, the following scandal might definitely be considered as the lowest point in Meri’s life, by herself and many others. Of course, the scandal in question is also the most famous controversy Meri became involved in, and sadly she was the victim.
In 2015 Meri fell in love with a man, or so she thought, who she met online and was later identified as the tycoon, Sam Cooper. Unfortunately, he was not exactly who Meri believed he was, and as it turned out, ‘he’ was a con woman known as Jackie Overton.
As Meri would later explain, at the time she felt alone and carried a lot of emotional baggage, specifically because of all the tension in the house, and because she felt that she was being pushed out of the family. Naturally, as any con artist would, Jackie took advantage of Meri’s vulnerability.
When Kody learned about Meri’s emotional infidelity, he didn’t keep the peace and reacted as many others would, expressing his disappointment. Undoubtedly, the scandal caused even more tension in the house, and many of the other members of the Brown family voiced their emotions, saying that they felt betrayed by Meri’s actions.
As could be expected, many viewers believed that this was the breaking point for the family, and some suggest that the catfish scandal, as it earned its reputation, became the starting point for the Brown family’s disintegration. Regardless, it was nonetheless a shock for both the family and viewers.
More Than Just Abrasive
As viewers would know by now, Meri can be quite confrontational at times, and some members of the Brown family would even describe her as harsh and abrasive, while others consider that to be an understatement.
In recent years, certain members, specifically among the Brown children, have come forward with allegations against Meri, saying that she was both emotionally and verbally abusive towards them. Janelle and Christine’s children even admitted that at times they didn’t feel safe around Meri, and Paedron, Kody’s son he conceived with Christine, stated that calling Meri abrasive is too light a term to describe her disposition towards the rest of the family.
Gwendolyn, Christine’s daughter, later stated that Meri was a very scary person, and although she was afraid of her, Meri never attacked her. However, Gwendolyn would admit that she did once witness Meri turn violent, and the incident in question was towards Mykelti, Christine’s daughter and Gwendolyn’s sister.
While these allegations paint a darker side to Meri, no reports of what happened since have surfaced, and as far as can be deduced, Meri never faced any criminal action for her behaviour, and it should be noted that the allegations against her have never been confirmed.
Understandably, considering that Meri may have behaved aggressively towards Christine’s children, her relationship with Christine has been quite rocky. In fact, now that both of them are separated from Kody, Christine wants nothing to do with Meri. Over the years the two have had their fair share of altercations, and it’s safe to say that they don’t see eye to eye.
However, before the abuse allegations came to light, viewers never quite knew or understood the reasoning behind their feud. Regardless, Meri still stated that she felt betrayed after Christine became the first of Kody’s wives to leave the family, though she would do the same not long afterwards.
The Controversial Divorce
Meri has certainly had fans and viewers puzzled over the years, all because of her odd behaviour, both on the show and on her social media. It’s no secret that Meri assumes a very open persona online, as her social media accounts seem to be very active, and are more often flooded with inspirational messages.
While some fans have expressed how tiring her constant posts are, it has left many questioning Meri, with some wondering if the sister wife might have gone online looking for attention and acceptance on social media, simply because she couldn’t find it at home. Regardless of her reasoning, her messages tended to be cryptic and confusing, leaving fans puzzled.
Even more so, her behaviour on the show was just as puzzling, and one incident left fans believing she might have exploited her infertility to gain sympathy. The occasion in question was when Kody suggested that Meri rely on one of her sister wives as a surrogate to conceive more children, using the in vitro fertilisation process.
Meri adamantly declined Kody’s offer, leaving many to think that she used her infertility as a way to deflect criticism from her behaviour.
As the years passed Meri and Kody’s relationship grew more and more strained, but ultimately their relationship would hit an all-time low when Robyn, Kody’s fourth wife, came into the picture. At the time, Kody stated that his decision was motivated by insurance and adoption laws, but his choice to divorce Meri and legally marry Robyn nonetheless shocked fans and viewers.
Unfortunately, this would also mark the possible ending of Meri and Kody’s union, as not long afterwards, when Christine made the decision to move on with her life, Meri also decided that it was time for a new chapter in her life.
Being a controversial polygamist family would certainly be loaded with drama, and for the Brown family and stars of “Sister Wives”, this is a bit of an understatement.
Meri once held a chief position in the household, but with the feuds between her, Janelle and Christine, Meri built a reputation as an antagonist for many reasons, including the LulaRoe pyramid scheme, also becoming a victim of a catfish scandal. Any sympathy faded away considering Meri’s behaviour on social media, and using her infertility as a shield, although returning somewhat when Kody decided to divorce Meri and marry Robyn, probably marking the ending of Kody’s relationship with Meri.
Christine, Janelle, and Meri all decided that they’d had enough of this polygamist marriage, placing the show, “Sister Wives” in jeopardy. Filming still continued, and if the Brown family drama intrigues you, feel free to catch up on the latest episodes.