TLC certainly has a knack for churning out intriguing reality television shows with longstanding runs, and “Sister Wives” is one of their better-known series. With 16 seasons behind them as of this writing, resident polygamist Kody Brown and his remaining wives are returning for a 17th season!
Following Season 16’s shocking divorce and family rifts, viewers of the show cannot help but fall down the rabbit hole that is the complex nature of reality television’s favorite polygamous family. Sure, fans now know plenty about Meri, Christine, Robyn, and Janelle thanks to TLC’s cameras, but perhaps the untold truth of second wife, Janelle Brown, is even more interesting than what she shows on television. Ever even-keeled onscreen, Janelle proves there is far more to her than what meets the eye. She might be chill compared to the other ladies, but make no mistake, Janelle is no wallflower, nor is she a follower.
Janelle Brown was raised outside of polygamy
Meri, Christine, and Robyn Brown (the other three sister wives) were all raised within polygamist cultures. Hence, when it came time to settle down into wedded bliss, the transition into plural marriage was nothing new for these women. On the other hand, Kody Brown’s second wife, Janelle, was not raised in a polygamous family. She was raised in the Mormon faith, a denomination that does not support plural marriage.
As a young, already wed adult, Janelle became intrigued by the unconventional polygamous lifestyle, which was introduced to her by Meri and Kody Brown. Before becoming a Brown, Janelle had been wed to Meri’s brother, and it was during this formative time that she discovered perhaps life had a different calling for this smart and vibrant lady. Despite being brought up in a more conventional family, Janelle chose to become a second wife and sister wife.
Throughout their years together, Janelle and Kody have forged a friendship and bond that has thus far stood the test of time. They seem to have much in common, and one of those commonalities is their decision to enter plural marriage later on in life. Kody’s father entered polygamy later in life, and Kody grappled with whether or not that life was truly meant for him. Both Kody and Janelle share the experience of growing up in a nuclear family and later entering a plural union.
Her marriage to Kody isn’t her first union
Kody Brown might be Janelle Brown’s true love and father to her six children, but he wasn’t her first love or her first husband. Prior to entering the Brown family, Janelle was married to a man named Adam Clark Barber. Adam had a sister and a brother-in-law who Janelle became quite close with, and that couple was none other than Meri and Kody Brown. So, for a time, Janelle and Meri were sister-in-laws!
During her union with Barber, Janelle felt a strong pull to the Browns. That force was so undeniably strong that she divorced her first husband after only two years of marriage, moved to Montana with Kody and Meri, and became Kody’s second wife. Kody and Janelle courted for a mere two weeks before making their spiritual union official. Meri and Janelle have run the gamut of relationships, going from in-laws to sister wives in a short span of time. The Brown family tree sure has a lot of branches.
Janelle and Kody are more than just husband and wife
Fans of the hit series “Sister Wives” know that Kody and Janelle Brown have been wed for many years now, but it may come as a surprise to learn that they had another relationship title aside from husband and wife at one point in time. In the book “Becoming Sister Wives,” Janelle explains the other connection she and Kody share. Janelle’s mother was long opposed to the idea of polygamy. However, that all changed following two failed marriages and an introduction to one Winn Brown, Kody Brown’s father. Sheryl and Winn were spiritually wed, with Sheryl assuming her position as the third wife in the elder Brown clan.
With this union, Winn Brown became both Janelle’s stepfather and father-in-law. Depending on how you view polygamy and the binding nature of spiritual marriage, this would also make Kody and Janelle step-siblings in the eyes of some. The Brown family is packed with familial connections just about everywhere you look.
Kody and Janelle Brown’s marriage suffered setbacks
As of the “Sister Wives” series’ 17th season, one wife is out of the picture, and fans wonder if another might be right on her heels. Christine Brown and Kody are wed no longer, but is Janelle Brown next to leave? Time will tell, but if the couple is enduring bumps in the road, it isn’t a first for them. Early in their union, Janelle left Kody and Meri for two years! Janelle and Meri had relationship woes, and Janelle was battling postpartum depression. Of that time, Janelle revealed in “Becoming Sister Wives:” “I was at my breaking point. I couldn’t see my way out of my depression. I told Kody I was leaving. That night, I got into the car and drove to my mother’s house” (via OK!).
Thankfully, she returned home and has remained there over the years, but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t find herself questioning polygamy and her place in the bunch. While Janelle has been a staunch supporter of polygamy, life has her asking hard questions about her future. “I’ve caught myself in the last few weeks really reflecting and being like, ‘Okay, look: do I still choose plural marriage?’ ”
Janelle is the wife who keeps everyone guessing what is rolling around in that big old brain of hers. While Meri, Robyn, and Christine wear their hearts on their sleeves, Janelle holds her cards closer. In Season 17, it will be interesting to see what awaits Janelle Brown.
A history of sister wives issues
With several women sharing one man’s love, it is no great surprise that issues come up. While Janelle Brown is pretty chill, she has had beef with a few of Kody’s other ladies. As Janelle was the second wife to enter the family, she and first wife Meri had their fair share of personal struggles as they learned to navigate a three-person marriage. The TLC series managed to catch and document the strain between the wives over the years, but the fractures in their relationship started long before the series ever aired. In “Becoming Sister Wives,” it is revealed that the strain began in those early years, as Meri and Janelle didn’t first develop a friendship before Janelle came into the fold. Furthermore, the wives both experienced varying levels of insecurities and uncertainties as they learned to cohabitate as one family.
Meri isn’t the only Brown wife Janelle didn’t become besties with. She also keeps wife number four, Robyn, at arm’s reach. While the two wives don’t seem to have blowouts or catfights, Janelle also doesn’t wish for a deep and meaningful relationship between them.
Janelle’s favorite sister wife?
Meri and Robyn Brown are certainly not fan favorites of Janelle Brown, but what about Kody’s (former) third wife, Christine Brown? Janelle and Christine have a bond and friendship that seems to effortlessly continue, even though the family dynamics have changed drastically. Christine left the family in 2021, but her love for Janelle remains strong, and Janelle supports Christine’s decision to move on with her life. While Christine no longer wants to live the lifestyle, Janelle still very much believes in it. The ladies are on different paths, and have different views, yet are still family and friends in every sense of the word. They even took some of their kids on a Disney getaway together!
While cool now, the two women were not always so simpatico. In the “Sister Wives One on One” special, Janelle revealed the following feelings about her now former sister’s wife. “Christine married Kody one year after I married Kody. It was a huge blessing because she was able to buffer,” Janelle said. “I thought she was a princess in the beginning. We hated each other.” They clearly have come a long way over the years.
Janelle is an accomplished businesswoman
The sister wives always seem to be trying something new to make a buck. These hard-working, husting ladies have dipped their toes in countless business ventures, with some proving more lucrative than others. Janelle Brown has always been a career-oriented lady, and she doesn’t just stick to a single career path. She worked at a company called E Z Pantry before the family moved to Nevada, where she then obtained a real estate license. Following another move, she got on the Plexus bandwagon, selling the company’s weight loss products along with the help of her former sister-wife, Christine.
Janelle is also a certified health coach and runs Strive With Janelle. She has partnered up with the health and beauty subscription box company, FitFabFun, and launched NTYK, LLC, a “retail trade” business. Janelle Brown is a woman with vision, passion, and drive, and there seems to be nothing she cannot accomplish, setting an excellent example for the Brown children.
Her net worth isn’t as massive as one might think
Considering the Browns have been on television for 16 full seasons, one might think they are rolling in the dough and cashing in on sharing their unique life experiences with the world. So what exactly is second wife Janelle Brown’s net worth? It is not as much as fans might think. Per Celebrity Net Worth, Janelle has amassed a fortune of $400,000 so far. She continues to build up her brand and venture into new business endeavors, so that number could surely climb in years to come.
Keep in mind, Janelle is one of four Brown adults contributing to the family income. First wife Meri Brown also has a net worth of $400,000. Fourth wife Robyn Brown’s net worth is $600,000, and Kody Brown’s net worth is reportedly $800,000. If you put those numbers together, the family isn’t doing too shabby, especially when you consider the Brown kids are quickly growing into adults and starting lives of their own, lessening the massive number of dependents under the Brown roof.
An independent woman and world traveler
Most of Kody Brown’s wives have no issue doing their own thing. Fans of the series have seen Meri make moves with her bed and breakfast – Lizzie’s Heritage Inn – and Christine take off during the COVID pandemic with her biological kids. Janelle Brown decided to travel across the pond! She and her only biological sister took in the stunning sights of Lisbon, Portugal, courtesy of her hard work with Plexus. The all-expense-paid getaway marked the first of Janelle’s international travels since 1987.
She decided to make a slightly more permanent move as well and set up camp, literally, on the family’s property, Coyote Pass. Janelle and three of her kids called an RV home instead of trying to find another rental abode to reside in following the end of her lease. This side of the Brown family tried something new and fun, sans Kody’s input or approval. Janelle is all about adventure, independence, and trying new things during this stage of her life.
Janelle started the Brown brood
To date, the Brown family has a total of 18 children. Kody and Meri have one daughter, Mariah, despite their attempts, prayers, and struggles to expand the family biologically. Janelle Brown has six biological children with Kody — sons Logan, Hunter, Garrison, and Gabriel, and daughters Maddison and Savannah. Kody and his former wife Christine share six kids as well, a son named Paedon and five daughters, Aspyn, Mykelti, Gwendlyn, Ysabel, and Truely. Kody and his fourth wife, Robyn, have five children in total (three kids Kody adopted and two of whom are biologically Kody and Robyn’s together).
The eldest Brown kid is Logan Brown. He was born in 1994 to Kody Brown and his second wife, Janelle Brown. Many fans of the family assume Meri’s child Mariah is the eldest, as she is the first wife and has been wed to Kody the longest, but it was Janelle who started the Brown brood off with a bang, followed by Christine and then Meri.
She earned the title of Grandma first
At one time in their lives, the Brown parents were swarming with little ones, as many of the 18 children are very close in age. Time marched on, and those little ones have grown up right in front of viewers’ eyes. Some of the kids have gotten engaged or married, and two of the Brown daughters are parents themselves. Even though the Brown wives might be done giving babies to husband Kody, that does not mean the family has ceased to grow! Grandkids are rolling in, and Janelle Brown was the first wife to earn the title of Grandma. Just as she was Kody’s first wife to bear a Brown baby, she is the first wife to have a biological grandkid.
Her daughter Maddie and husband Caleb first welcomed son Axel in 2017 and then added a daughter to their beautiful family in 2019. Since Maddie’s children were born, Kody and Christine’s daughter Mykelti and husband Tony have also become proud parents.
Janelle Brown is a rocking grandma
Viewers of the hit TLC show often perceive Janelle Brown as the stoic, logical wife. She rarely becomes emotional (except perhaps for that time she told Kody off in Season 16) and seems to hold the esteemed title of the voice of reason within the clan. Because of how Janelle comes off in the reality series, it may be shocking to discover that she has a bit of an edge to her. Janelle loves her some hard-rocking music and has been known to attend concerts while living in Vegas, snakeskin leggings and all. “I listen to German industrial rock or older rappers like Eminem,” she confessed in a Season 16 episode.
While her husband Kody prefers working out to classical music, Janelle has confessed that when she sweats it out, she needs something harder to get her muscles moving. And anyone who follows her on Twitter may remember the KISS concert selfie. One thing fans adore about Janelle Brown is she has so many layers to her, and her quiet calm persona contrasted with loud, hardcore musical preferences highlight this notion perfectly.
Kids over Kody
Kody Brown revealed that he and his second wife Janelle Brown are simply not seeing eye-to-eye during his time on the Season 16 “Sister Wives” tell-all. Viewers caught onto this notion when Janelle admitted, “Several of his children are at odds with him because of how his COVID rules went down,” since Kody wanted everyone in the family to follow the regulations and rules he set. Fans of the show saw two of the older Brown boys push back against their father’s wishes, and when all was said and done, Janelle seemed to side with her kids, choosing their company over Kody’s amid the pandemic.
Janelle has six children with Kody, and since leaving Lehi, Utah, her children became her roommates and her family, as Kody rotated between the wives’ homes once they settled in Las Vegas. It is no great wonder that Janelle’s bond with her kids trumps hers and Kody’s. Another factor that might have come into play here was Janelle had her own thoughts and perspective regarding the pandemic. Never one to dismiss her own views, she aligned with the precautions that best suited her because this wife makes it a point to march to the beat of her own drum.