'Sister Wives' Star Meri Brown Talks Janelle Marrying Kody After Divorcing Meri's Brother

Janelle Brown was married to Meri Brown's brother, Adam Barber, prior to her marriage to Kody Brown.

Meri Brown is opening up about the complicated family dynamics that plagued the early years of the Brown family prior to the premiere of Sister Wives

Kody Brown's first wife spoke out in a rare podcast appearance on Miss Understood With Rachel Uchitel about the awkward connection between herself and Kody's second wife, Janelle Brown. 

Prior to Janelle's marriage to Kody, Janelle was married to Adam Barber, who just happened to be one of Meri's brothers. 

"I think it really weirds a lot of people out and the community's not that small," Meri said of where she and Janelle grew up. "So it's kind of weird that that all happened that way." 

Meri Brown and Kody Brown married in 1990. - TLC

Janelle and Adam were in a monogamous marriage and tied the knot in 1988. They never had any children. 

After Janelle and Adam split, Janelle went on to become Kody's second wife in 1993, spiritually marrying the polygamist. 

"It took a minute for me to get my head wrapped around it," Meri admitted of the marriage. "The whole thing was interesting. There was emotions. Let's just say, there was emotions."

However, despite the typical jealousies that Meri said permeate most polygamist families, Meri doesn't think that her strange shared history with Janelle impacted their family. 

"No, I think I was able to work through it," she said. 

Janelle Brown, Meri Brown, and Kody Brown in 1993. - TLC

In 2021, Christine Brown left Kody. A year later, Janelle followed suit and in early 2023, Meri did the same. Robyn Brown is Kody's only remaining wife. 

"I think that when we were at our very, very best, we supported each other," Meri said of the family's strong points. 

She added that when TLC producers first approached the family about doing a show, they were hesitant due to the legal risk of living a polygamist lifestyle. 

"We really didn't [want to do it]," Meri explained. "We had spent our lives hiding. I, personally, had spent my life hiding."

These days, Meri is "so happy" and hopes to one day find another partner. When she does, she plans to be in a monogamous relationship. 

"I always wanted one man, but I also only want him to want one woman," she quipped. 

Janelle Brown, Christine Brown, Kody Brown, Meri Brown, and Robyn Brown promote Sister Wives in 2010. - Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

As for her relationship with her other sister wives, Meri said that they remain politely estranged. 

"When I see them, we have cordial conversations, but I don't seek them out to have a relationship," she said. "I feel like I had a lot of time to be able to do that. In the past over a year since I've separated myself, Kody and I have separated and we're done, I have a lot of things that I'm working on in myself. And I think it's really, really important to be surrounded by the people that really encourage that."

Meri added that she will be a part of season 19 of Sister Wives, which is likely to be released later this year. The show's last season featured Meri's decision to officially end her spiritual marriage to Kody after years of estrangement.