Sister Wives

‘Sister Wives’ From Food Stamps to TLC Fame — A Peek Inside How The Browns Milked The System

Becca is a Senior Editor for All About The Tea. She's a coastal girl who loves the outdoors, and writing about the sneaky and silly side of reality TV. Her bio is short, but her snark is endless. She loves writing for the sharpest posters in the world.

Sister Wives_Food Stamps

Rebecca Kimbel is a motivational speaker, producer, and an escapee from fifth generation polygamy.  In 2011, Kimbel took on the stars of TLC’s Sister Wives, uncovering and blasting the Brown family for soaking the taxpayer, many times over. Kimbel’s has made it her mission to shine her light of truth, into the dark and dysfunctional world of plural marriage.

Kimbel reports,

Kody Brown, the owner of two defunct businesses, is connected to three bankruptcy filings.  Kody, along with his first wife Meri, declared bankruptcy in June of 2005. The action freed the couple from $85k, and aside from just under $2k in medical bills, all of the debt stemmed from credit card charges.  

Kody’s third wife, Christine, was collecting food stamps, even while filming  “Sister Wives.” She declared bankruptcy in March of 2010, and was eventually forgiven $25k of debt. Kimbel labels the listed financial helper noted in Christine’s bankruptcy paperwork, as a “mysterious companion.” On an episode of the TLC show, Kody spoke of one of the children he shares with Christine requiring an emergency appendectomy, and noted the  financial hardship of having no health insurance. This medical bill was listed in Christine’s bankruptcy papers.  $2k of the bankruptcy debt was attributed to medical bills, and the remainder was for credit card debt.

READ: ‘Sister Wives’ Robyn Brown Plots To Erase Her Kids’ Biological Past Through Creepy Family Portrait

Kody’s second wife, Janelle, declared bankruptcy in 1997, in a similar scenario. 

Robyn Brown was divorced from David Preston Jessop in 2008, and the couple’s debt was separated in the settlement.  Robyn walked away, owing  $32k.  Amusingly, Robyn scored the VCR and the vacuum cleaner, and Jessop landed the mobile home, in their deal. How very appropriate!  Consequentially, Robyn and her three children entered the Brown clan with a chunk of outstanding debt. 

Kimbel reports that this scenario is not unusual in plural families, and that the men very rarely personally financially support all of the children they spawn. She explains that polygamist men are “very creative” in enlisting others to support their children. Kimbel clobbers Kody Brown, and reminds us that the Brown synopsis is quite the norm, in polygamous circles. 

“Why is Kody Brown having more children, when he can’t support the ones he’s got? Is using the law to protect someone from the bills they create a lifestyle that we want to legalize in America?  How many children can one man have, without the financial obligation that sticks?  There hasn’t been an effective way to force polygamous men to support their families.  But there are laws to force YOU, the taxpayer, to do it for them.  People who create needy people as a way of living, is a polygamous lifestyle.” 

This video is an oldie but a goodie, and especially significant in light of the ongoing, high-stakes Utah lawsuit, involving the Browns. Live and let live just doesn’t fly when someone else is footing the bill. Kimbel gives her empathetically personal assessment, of TLC’s portrayal of the Brown story. 

“Sister Wives reality TV show is not reality. It is an attempt to deceive the public into accepting polygamist cults. Kody Brown and his wives are from the same polygamist group I was born and cultured in. I am fifth generation fundamentalist polygamist. I was born a slave and sold as a slave.” 


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