‘Sister Wives’ husband divorces one wife, marries another

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Kody Brown, right, stars in TLC's "Sister Wives" with wives (left to right) Christine, Meri, Robyn and Janelle.  Photo courtesy Joe Pugliese/TLC

Kody Brown, right, stars in TLC's "Sister Wives" with wives (left to right) Christine, Meri, Robyn and Janelle. Photo courtesy Joe Pugliese/TLC

(Reuters) The husband in a household featured on reality show “Sister Wives” has legally divorced one of the four women he lives with and married another, a spokesman for the show said on Wednesday.

Kody Brown and the four women he calls his spouses live in Nevada and have 17 children. Their life has been broadcast on the TLC cable channel since 2010. Legally, Brown is married to only one woman, even though he says all four are his wives.

While previously living in Utah, the family legally challenged the state’s ban on consenting adults cohabiting in a marriage-like relationship when they are already legally wedded to someone else.

Last year, a U.S. District Court judge finalized his earlier ruling that struck down that provision, in a case that the Utah attorney general’s office is appealing.

Brown and the women he calls spouses, Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn, are part of the Apostolic United Brethren, a Utah-based church that follows a plural marriage doctrine. Last season, the program followed their move from Utah to Las Vegas.

“We have chosen to legally restructure our family,” the Brown family said in a statement. “We made this decision together as a family.”

In the arrangement, Kody Brown divorced Meri and married Robyn, said Raul Rojas, a spokesman for the TLC show.

A Clark County, Nevada, marriage record said Kody Brown and Robyn Brown obtained their marriage license in December.

Celebrity website TMZ reported that the divorce and marriage was meant to ensure Robyn’s children have access to insurance and similar benefits. Rojas declined to confirm that.

Polygamy is illegal in all 50 U.S. states. Critics of the practice say it denigrates women and places them in a subservient position in relation to their husband.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Mohammad Zargham)

  • ben in oakland

    Heterosexual marriage apparently leads to divorce and polygamy.

    maybe we should ban it.

  • Ella Camp

    If polygamy is illegal here in this country, why are these people getting away with fragrantly breaking the law?!!

  • Ella Camp

    I tried to delete the above reply- first because I spelled flagrant wrong- and the I realized that only one of those women is legally married to the man.

    They shouldn’t call what they have polygamy if it isn’t . Lots of people nowadays just live together without a marriage certificate.It’s always the children who suffer in this- they have to live in this society, and according to this society, they are considered illegitimate.

  • lois

    It’s because they smell so good.

  • Ella Camp

    Maybe they ARE fragrantly breaking the law 🙂

    The fragrance is the cover-up

  • Ella Camp

    We could ban marriage period, if it wasn’t for the money part- money controls everything in our lives- it’s the God of this planet. 🙁

  • Scott

    It IS polygamy and the Brown’s are very open about it. One cannot legally obtain more than one marriage license. One marriage in a relationship such as theirs is legally recognized while the rest are considered “spiritual” marriages…and the claim is that each spouse places the same importance on both types of marriage. I have a great interest in the show and in their whole family dynamic. I feel it can be a very good thing if done right and fair for all involved. I think it’s absolutely absurd that polygamy is “illegal!” How can anyone tell me who I am allowed to live with and consider my family…that’s really far reaching!

  • Tammy