Out with the old and in with the new seems to be the current slogan for Kody Brown, star of TLC’s hit reality series “Sister Wives” – which documents the lives of a polygamist family living in Nevada. According to reports, Brown has divorced his wife of over 20 years, Meri, in order to legally marry one of his three "sister" wives.
E! News explained that due to Nevada state law Brown could have only one wife at a time, legally. He married Meri in 1990 before meeting his other sister wives, Robyn, Christine and Janelle, all of whom he “wedded” through a spiritual union.
However, Brown has now decided to do a bit of wife swapping. TMZ reported that he divorced Meri so that he could be legally bound to Robyn, the youngest of the sister wives, with whom he spiritually tied the knot in 2010.
"We have chosen to legally restructure our family," the Brown family revealed in a statement to E! News. "We made this decision together as a family. We are grateful to our family, friends and fans for all their love and support."
So what was the reasoning behind Brown’s wife-trade? Well, TMZ explained that it involved giving Robyn’s children “more security.” As of Season 5 of “Sister Wives,” Brown had a total of 17 children with his four wives, including three from Robyn’s previous relationship. Considering that Robyn is the only sister wife with children outside her spiritual marriage with Brown, it makes sense that he would want to marry her for legal reasons involving the children.
However, RadarOnline theorized that the wife swap occured because of a more controversial reason. According to the publication, Brown and Meri, whose “unexplained secondary infertility” has been discussed at several points during the show, were butting heads after she refused to have another child with him – with Robyn as their surrogate. Meri has only one child with Brown, a daughter named Mariah, who is now 18.
But we find that conclusion to be a bit off considering TMZ stated Meri is still very much involved with Brown and the three sister wives even though she no longer dons the title of Brown’s legal wife.
"Sister Wives" is currently in its fifth season. New episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on TLC.