Living in the Alaskan bush is not an easy task, yet the Brown family has proven over and over again that nothing is boring about it. Whether it’s for their light-hearted nature and humor, their imaginative ways of solving problems, or even their family drama, the Browns have successfully charmed their way into their audiences’ hearts for several years now.
Nonetheless, the success of “Alaskan Bush People” is drastically contrasted by the many hardships faced by the Browns in recent times. Starting with the destruction of their home, the many health issues of some members of the family, and the unfortunate death of one of them, there’s no denying that difficulties have put a toll on the Browns.
So what role does the estranged Matt Brown play in all of these? What happened after he left his family for good, and how is his relationship with them now? Is there any chance for him to go back to the show? Stay here to know all!
Where Is Matt Brown Now?
Those who haven’t tuned in to “Alaskan Bush People” in recent times might be surprised to find out that the clan’s oldest son, Matt Brown is absent from the show and his family’s life altogether. Matt’s been estranged from the Brown pack since 2018, having struggled with several issues, including alcoholism, criminal accusations, and more recently the death of his father Billy in 2021.
While it isn’t rare for Matt Brown to find himself surrounded by trouble, the last couple of years has seen him having a simpler but seemingly calmer life away from his family. According to an InTouchWeekly report from late 2022, Matt has been living on his own in the North Cascades mountain area of Washington State.
Despite Matt’s nearby location to his family’s current North Ranch home, his relationship with them is as estranged as it was back when he left the pack a couple of years ago. As well, Instagram updates from Matt in 2023 show that he’s been exploring his adventurous side by embarking on trips all around the country in his pickup truck, on top of updating on his apparently successful path to sobriety.
All in all, Matt’s current life seems to be different from his times in “Alaskan Bush People”, but it’s not lacking in tranquility, despite all the issues he has faced so far.
YouTube Channel & Projects
Back when “Alaskan Bush People” premiered in 2014, audiences were taken by the out-of-the-box lifestyle of the Browns. The family’s lack of technological knowledge was one of those weirdly-charming aspects that fans equally appreciated and raised eyebrows at, so it’s really surprising to see how much technology and modern communication has become huge parts of Matt’s current life.
While Matt’s Instagram account has been actively updated since the time he left the pack in 2018, he’s been exploring the world of content creation in more recent times. As Matt writes on his YouTube channel’s description, his content follows his path to recovery, offering his audience a personal insight into his self-growth philosophy.
Matt’s content is a far cry from the often funny and chaotic “Alaskan Bush People”, yet it’s interesting and undeniably entertaining. Some of the travel mini-series’ he’s posted so far include “Road Wanderer Not Enough Runway” and “Built In The Air”, though Matt hasn’t shied away from sharing other more casual parts of his life, such as his visits to the dentist, his holidays-themed drawings and recovery-centered videos.
Since starting his YouTube channel in 2019, Matt has gained over 30,000 subscribers, and 1.4 million views combined.
Why Did He Leave?
Since the eighth season of “Alaskan Bush People” aired in 2018, and Matt was nowhere to be seen, fans have been wondering non-stop what pushed him to leave the show for such a long time.
Matt’s departure from the show coincides with the time that allegations of rape were filed against him in 2018. That year, Matt entered an alcohol rehabilitation program in California, where the family had temporarily moved when the matriarch Ami was undergoing chemotherapy to cure her lung cancer. In an interview with People back then, Matt’s parents Ami and Billy, lamented his situation, but affirmed that they wished for his recovery.
— SOS/CTS/HH (@SoapOperaSpy) October 13, 2021
Despite his parents’ words, it’s still probable that Matt’s relationship with the Brown family isn’t a good one. Besides not returning to Alaska with the family after leaving rehabilitation, in a 2021 Instagram video Matt accused his father Billy of keeping $300,000 of his earnings from the show for himself: ‘I’m cold, and I don’t have any money. And I hardly have anything to eat’, he claimed.
Although it’s unclear if Matt’s financial situation has improved with time, it’s evident that there were too many things going on with his life which prevented him from appearing on TV again.
Even though the Brown family has refrained from talking about Matt in the show, or even explaining the reason for his absence, they haven’t shied away from marking their distance from the estranged man in other ways.
In April 2020, rumors about the supposed tense relationship between Matt and the Brown family surfaced when his youngest sister Rain excluded him from her annual World’s Siblings Day post. As well, his siblings except for Bear refrained from wishing him a happy birthday that same year, and the following ones. Also that, a report by The Sun claimed that most of the Brown pack had given Matt their cold shoulder after his sexual abuse allegations were brought to light.
Fans’ suspicions about the rocky situation between the family were confirmed a while after Billy’s death, when Bear addressed the issue in an Instagram post: ‘It’s heartbreaking that he would say such horrible lies about Da just a few months after he passed away!’, he wrote in April 2021, in regards to Matt’s claims of not receiving money from the show.
Later in November 2022, Bear once again lashed out against his older brother on the pic-sharing platform with similar words, making it evident that their relationship hadn’t improved despite the passing of time.
The hardest time faced by the Brown family was the death of Billy on 7 February 2021. As revealed by Bear, Billy suffered a seizure and died not long afterwards.
As seen in several episodes of “Alaskan Bush People”, Billy had long suffered from respiratory issues, and even underwent surgery in 2019, which seemed to stablise him for some time. However, in early 2021’s episodes, his daughters Rain and Bird mentioned that Billy’s health had been declining by then, but he had stayed on his feet to keep the family’s farm running.
Regarding the state of the relationship between Billy and his oldest son, in an Instagram video from the time, Matt affirmed that he was ‘fortunate’ to clear the air with his dad right before he died, admitting that he had been aware of his bad health for some time. While Matt’s later claims of having his money taken away by Billy surely put him on his family’s bad side, that hasn’t stopped Matt from showing his appreciation to his father through social media by cooking some of his recipes and remembering him on the anniversary of his passing.
Matt’s Addiction Problems
Although Matt Brown’s alcohol abuse tendencies might come as a surprise to many “Alaskan Bush People” viewers, his problems aren’t new by any means. Matt first went into rehab in 2016, as he’d often get drunk while out and around in Juneau, Alaska.
As he told People, he was used to the ‘city life’, but the lack of limits of people he hung out with was a free pass for him to increase his drinking habits, and with it he went downhill emotionally speaking: ‘I was more withdrawn. I was slower. Things didn’t excite me the way they used to’, he said.
Despite saying that his problem had apparently been hard to admit, due to his fear of being perceived as weak, Matt ultimately went into rehab for a couple of months. However, his return to Alaska brought back his old habits, ultimately pushing him to re-enter rehab. Back then, Matt’s father Billy said: ‘We miss him terribly, but we’d rather lose him from home for a little while than lose him forever’, as reported by People in 2018.
Regardless of the good wishes that Matt’s family sent his way before entering rehab for a second time, the relationship between the Browns would never be the same. After staying at the California-based Betty Ford Rehab Center for around six months, Matt remained in California, and had a long time to think about his issues and his family.
As he affirmed in an Instagram post from July 2020, his time in the center taught him more than just staying away from substances, but also gave him the ‘tools’ for ‘processing, addressing and dealing with the negative feelings and events of my past, that I just couldn’t get over’, he wrote.
Since leaving the center, Matt regularly posts updates on his recovery process and his positive sobriety status. Nonetheless, he’s also made some other eyebrow-raising claims about his situation, claiming in his infamous April 2021 tell-all video that he was provided drugs by “Alaskan Bush People” staff. While his claims have been denied by his brother Bear, it’s clear that the relationship between Matt and his family has too many layers that are yet to be uncovered.
Another great Alaskan Bush People episode last night! ✌️ Looking forward to next Sunday and episode five!! Have a great week, everyone! #AlaskanBushPeople
The sexual abuse allegations against Matt Brown are by far the most serious scandal ever faced by “Alaskan Bush People”. While the news came to light for the first time in 2020, the alleged incidents apparently took place in the summer of 2018 while the family were in California.
According to The Sun, both women who came forward with the allegations were former staff members of the show. One was a production assistant, who claimed she was sexually and physically assaulted in July of that year in a pool by Matt, who was apparently in a drunken state.
The woman affirmed she was saved back then by Matt’s manager, who also claimed she was abused by the oldest Brown son only three days after the first alleged incident took place. In the latter case, she affirmed she had undergone hip replacement surgery not long before the incident took place, hence leaving her in a debilitated physical state when he allegedly drunkenly abused her.
As seen in text messages posted by The Sun, the first woman confessed the situation to Matt’s brothers Gabe and Bear, who apologized and promised to make him ‘pay’ for his actions. The incidents were also reported to Los Angeles authorities, though they refused to prosecute.
Other Criminal Records
Despite their pursuit of a tranquil life away from civilization, the Brown family has faced their fair share of legal problems. Even the late Billy Brown has a criminal record for theft and residency documents falsification, the latter for which he and his son Joshua pleaded guilty in 2015, facing a 30 days arrest, several fines, and the restitution of $21,000 in funds the family illegally took from the government.
Matt is not safe from having a past similar to his family, as in August 2013, he was arrested for driving under the influence, and causing a bit of a ruckus in Juneau, Alaska. According to a Radar Online report, Matt was seen hitting a parked motorcycle while driving a 1986 Volvo.
When interrogated by officers, Matt was allegedly nervous and didn’t pay attention to the police questions, later claiming that he suffered from Attention Deficiency Disorder. As well, the car Matt was driving didn’t belong to him, but to a girl he’d been seeing before the incident, of whom he couldn’t offer a name or any type of identification to officers. After failing the sobriety test, Matt was arrested and bailed by his father for $250.
Will Matt Return To The Show?
While Matt Brown’s fans and followers would surely be elated to see him back on screen, the truth is that Matt coming back to “Alaskan Bush People” is an unlikely possibility.
Besides Matt’s currently rocky relationship with the Brown family, his negative claims about the show’s staff, the sexual assault allegations against him, and his long history of substance abuse make it safe to assume that the network is unlikely to consider Matt’s comeback to the small screen.
That being said, fixing his relationship with the Brown pack seems to be the first step for Matt, in reconnecting with his roots and going back home, but will that ever happen or is it just wishful thinking? Only time will produce those answers.