'Sister Wives' Star, Janelle Brown, Once Called Meri Brown's Family 'A Novelty'

Janelle Brown has spent nearly 30 years in a polygamist marriage. The Sister Wives star was not raised in a religion that believes in polygamy, though. Rather, Janelle was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She opted to convert after her first marriage to Adam Barber, Meri Brown’s brother, ended. However, the mother of six had an interesting way of describing her thoughts on polygamy before she became a Brown. She once referred to the family as “a novelty.”

Janelle Brown says her marriage to Adam Barber only lasted six months 

Janelle Brown has spent nearly 30 years married to Kody Brown. Together, they have six children, and she appears heavily committed to the family’s alternative lifestyle, despite the negativity surrounding the family in recent years. Kody, however, isn’t Janelle’s first love. 

In 1988, at the age of 21, Janelle married Adam Barber. Janelle revealed in the family’s book, Becoming Sister Wives, that Adam converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before their marriage. He wasn’t particularly committed to the church, though, suggests Janelle. She alleges the marriage was short-lived. While their divorce was finalized in 1990, Janelle claims they only lived together for about six months. 

Janelle once referred to Meri Brown’s family as ‘a novelty’ 

The Brown family insisted that they kept a low profile before signing up for TLC’s Sister Wives, but they might not have been all that discreet. At least, Janelle Brown and Christine Brown weren’t. Before marrying into the Brown family, Janelle knew Kody and Meri through her ex-husband. She said she would tell her friends that Adam’s family were polygamists. 

In the family’s book, Becoming Sister Wives, Janelle revealed that she was proud to know people in the subculture, claiming she considered the family “a novelty.” She would eventually join a polygamist family herself but would spend the early years of her marriage telling people she and Kody were siblings. She wasn’t lying either. Before Janelle married Kody, her mother, Sheryl Usher Brown, married Winn Brown, Kody’s father. 

Christine didn’t avoid the spotlight either. The mother of six was born into a prolific polygamist family. She also spent a fair bit of time before Sister Wives speaking to the media. Christine appeared in an HBO documentary and sat down for an interview on 48 Hours. She even lectured at the University of Utah about polygamy.

Only one of Kody Brown’s wives has never legally married 

The fundamentalist sect that the Brown family once belonged to generally looks down on divorce. Still, only one Brown wife doesn’t have a legal divorce to her name. Robyn Brown spent nearly a decade married to David Jessop, a cousin of Christine and Kody Brown’s. Meri Brown and Kody filed for divorce in 2015, so Kody could legally wed Robyn, and obviously, Janelle had been previously married, too.

As it stands, Christine is the only member of the Brown family who has not been legally divorced at some point. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t consider herself divorced, though. Following her separation from Kody in November 2021, Christine revealed that she thinks of herself as divorced. She has opted not to seek a spiritual divorce from the church because she hasn’t been associated with the church in years. 

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