You may recognize Robyn Brown as one of Kody Brown’s four wives, and her life has played out on TLC’s Sister Wives. Fans of Robyn may think they know her, and considering that she has decided to make her life an open book (even A penned one), there is a good chance of that being true, but how much do WE really know about Robyn, before she was famous? (Side note: I always feel silly saying Robyn is famous. She's literally "famous" for being someone's wife on television, who also has fellow sister-wives.)
Before Robyn married the love of her life, she was married to another man, and apparently, it was not a happy marriage. She also didn’t just suddenly become interested in plural marriage overnight, and initially had her doubts about marrying Kody. It’s actually something she asked God about. In addition to her faith and her love life, Robyn also has an acting credit, a ton of debt, and many secrets from her childhood that she was reluctant to share with non-polygamists. And that’s not even scratching the surface of the things that you should know about her before she was on Sister Wives; below are 15 things that shed light on who Robyn was, before she became Robyn Brown.
15 She Was Married Before, For Eight Years
Robyn Brown is now married to Kody Brown, and she’s not just his spiritual wife but also his legal wife, which caused a bit of heartache for his first wife Meri Brown because it means they had to get a divorce.
But Kody was not Robyn’s first husband, because she was actually married before, and according to Starcasm, Star Magazine named this man as David Preston Jessop. The pair were married in 1999, and the publication claims that it was Jessop who filed for divorce in 2007, and the divorce had the following stipulation; “Neither parent shall consume excessive amounts of alcohol in the children’s presence.”
A source, who claimed to be a family friend, also revealed that “The very last thing on Earth that David Preston wants is to have the private lives of his kids televised.” But Robyn has claimed that he hasn’t wanted to be in his childrens' lives, and she tweeted, “He doesn’t [see the kids] out of choice. I am not making them choose. I can’t control whether my ex chooses to take his time with them.”
Meri reportedly also weighed in, tweeting, “Those 3 amazing kids have not seen their bio [sic] father for nearly 2 years. Kody is their dad for all intents and purposes."
14 She Was Raised In A Plural Family Before Meeting Kody Brown
Many people may think that Robyn Brown only entered into a plural marriage when she met Kody Brown and became his fourth wife, but that’s not the case. As mentioned in the entry above, Robyn was married before, and although her marriage to David Preston Jessop had been monogamous, she actually grew up in a plural family.
She revealed more details about her childhood in the book, Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage (which she wrote with her fellow sister wives). She revealed that because she was the daughter of her father’s second wife, he could not legally or publicly acknowledge that she was his daughter and this hurt. She said, “This was difficult at times and hard for a young child to understand. I remember when I was about ten being at a park with my father and my mother and my full biological siblings. When my father noticed one of his colleagues approaching us, he walked away from my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and me. He acted as if he didn’t know us. Of course, I know that he was doing this out of necessity. He wanted to protect us and his job. Nevertheless, it hurt me terribly.”
13 After Her Divorce, She Developed A Tough Alter Ego
Going through a divorce is never easy, and after Robyn Brown’s first marriage ended (she had met her boyfriend in college and although she tried to make the marriage work, she was never incredibly happy), she decided that she needed an alter ego. All About The Tea noted that when Robyn and her sister wives—Meri, Janelle, and Christine—got together to write their book, Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage, they revealed facts about their lives.
And something that Robyn chose to reveal was how she apparently decided she needed a protector, who she named She-Rah.
The point of this was to protect Robyn’s softer, sensitive side, and considering that she was probably hurt from her divorce, you can understand why she would want to guard her heart, until she found someone to love again that is.
According to the publication, Robyn credits this alter ego for helping her cope with the pain that was caused by her first marriage and allowed her to work through her emotions. She also claimed that if any man was to approach her, they had to “go through She-Rah.” But apparently, Kody Brown wasn’t phased by She-Rah because he ended up pursuing his lady, despite being married to three more.
12 She Claimed Her First Marriage Was Not A Happy One
Earlier on this list it was revealed that Robyn Brown was married to David Preston Jessop, who is also the cousin of her sister wife, Christine Brown. And although Star magazine claims that it was he who filed for divorce, Robyn made it sound quite different because she claims the relationship ended because her ex-husband did not treat her, or perhaps her children, well.
According to E! Online, she tweeted the following message, which also shed light on her marriage. She wrote, "Just to clarify, I do not tolerate my kids getting bullied. I ended my first marriage because of abuse. My kids come first ALWAYS."
She has three children from a previous marriage, the oldest is David Jr., the second is a daughter Aurora, and then a second daughter and the youngest, Breanna, and although Kody Brown has since legally adopted these three, that doesn’t mean that Jessop’s decision was made because he doesn’t care about his children.
On an episode of the show, Aurora called her father to thank him for signing the papers, to which he replied, “It wasn’t what I wanted to do but it was the right thing to do, I love you guys and you wanted this.”
11 And It May Have Only Happened Because She Had A Baby
Something else we learned about Robyn Brown before her marriage to Kody Brown and her time on Sister Wives, is that she actually had her first child out of wedlock. This may not seem like such a big deal to many people, but considering that Brown was a Mormon, this was a big deal.
According to Hollywood Life, in a 2013 episode of the TLC show, she said:
"When I found out I was pregnant, I was devastated at that point. I was really scared. I spent the next nine years trying to make it right. I was trying so hard to love my husband at the time."
Her comments make it seem as though the couple only married because she was pregnant and out of fear of her future (especially considering it was frowned upon in her faith). But this is not all, she really doesn’t paint her ex in a good light and sat the family down for a lesson on how it’s important to wait, not like what she did when she was in college and having a rebellious phase. She explained, "[she] took her purity and gave it to someone who begged for it...and he didn't respect it."
10 She Met Kody When He Was At A Party With Meri
Imagine meeting the love of your life while your wife is right next to you? Even more, imagine she’s completely okay with it?! The strangest thing about how Robyn met Kody Brown is that his legal wife at the time, Meri, was with him.
Oprah notes that when at the party, Meri and Robyn immediately hit it off, and Meri recalled this moment in the season six preview of Sister Wives. She said, "So Kody and I were out one night and we went over to a friend's house, and Robyn happens to be this friend's cousin. So that's where we first met Robyn."
But it wasn’t just Meri that she had a connection with Robyn. After this first day, she and Kody started talking and soon found that they had developed feelings for each other. The relationship started off pretty slow, because every other weekend Kody would reportedly drive eight hours to see Robyn and spend time with her.
But it wasn't always easy, and Robyn has admitted there were times before she got engaged that she felt as though she was a homewrecker because some of the other wives had issues with various parts of the relationship in the beginning. She revealed, "They had a really wonderful thing, and I've stirred it up."
9 At School, She Hid Her Religion From Her Peers
Robyn grew up in a plural family, and she discussed this in an interview with Las Vegas Sun, saying, “I was born into a plural family, but I always had a choice. I decided this was what I wanted to do. My first marriage, which was monogamous, ended in divorce. I had three children from that marriage, so our family is plural but also blended. It's been a growing experience, but a love and life experience as well. This was the family I was meant to be in.”
Her ability to speak about her religious beliefs, her unusual family structure, and her decision to raise her children in a plural family seems to come easily to her. After all, she made the decision to become a reality TV star and her life is like an open book. But it wasn’t always.
In her book, she wrote about how she had never revealed her religion while at school, and she confessed that no one in middle school, not even her friends knew she was from a polygamist family. And they had clever stories for covering their tracks; she wrote, “My mother would usually explain the presence of her sister wife by saying she was my father’s sister or his wife from a previous marriage who remained amicable with the family. For the most part, people bought it.”
8 She Went To A Large Public School
Robyn Brown grew up in a plural family, as she discussed in their book, but she also commented on her schooling. She said, “I went to a sizable public school. There were students from different races and religions, but the majority were LDS. My fellow students, and even my teachers, often made disparaging comments about polygamists. They said we were backward and wrong. They openly made fun of the polygamous families.”
Knowing how everyone else felt about her faith, it’s not surprising that she chose to keep it a secret, but it seems she didn’t give her extended family that same respect.
After marrying Kody Brown in 2010, Robyn was a reality star, and wrote, “most of my family was horrified by the attention they worried the show would bring to them." She continued, “I fear that when I made my choice to participate in Sister Wives, I didn't realize the domino effect that would follow. Suddenly, my siblings’ friends who knew me from growing up might realize that if I’m a polygamist, then my brothers and sisters are, too. Several of my siblings who are still in high school became very angry with me for outing them by proxy.”
7 She Was A Stay At Home Mom
Robyn Brown has done a lot in her life, and when she was married to her first husband she was reportedly a stay at home mom. Things have certainly changed in her life now, because while she is a hands-on mom, she has also become a reality TV star, she has racked up 143,000 followers on Twitter, and she’s also proven that she’s business savvy.
Robyn is ambitious and in 2014, she launched a jewelry line called My Sisterwife’s Closet, along with her fellow sister wives. Although it has been reported that it was started as Robyn’s pet project and has now turned into a source of income for the women.
Their website includes a quote about their mission, which reads: “We have always had a dream to develop and design quality products made in the United States that the everyday woman would use and treasure… but add our own personal touch while promoting femininity, strength, and family.” And some of their pieces include items that have significance for them, like the Autism sterling silver and 10k gold puzzle piece necklace. Of the piece, Robyn wrote, “Dedicated to my son Dayton who always challenges me to think outside the box. You are always in my heart.”
But not everyone loves it. According to a Bustle writer, the prices are very expensive, and the jewelry is tacky, which would have no mass appeal and only really be bought by “a select group of diehard Sister Wives fans, and for the type of success the Browns are seeking, that's just not going to cut it.”
6 She Spent Way Too Much Money At Victoria’s Secret
When Robyn Brown’s first marriage ended, she was left in debt. According to Starcasm, she revealed that when she was getting a divorce in 2007, she agreed to take on the credit card debt, in the hopes that it would “make peace.” And her debt issues didn’t just disappear when she joined Sister Wives and the Brown family, because on an episode of the show, she even met with a lawyer to help her work with creditors so she could start paying off what she owed, and building herself a credit record.
When she got divorced, she became a single mom but despite the fact that she was working, she was unable to afford to pay all the bills, as well as rent, so she moved back in with her parents.
She also couldn’t even make the minimum payments on her debt.
But the companies’ that she owed money to may surprise you, because Hollywood Life dug up her divorce records which were filed in Ravalli County in Montana, which reportedly broke down Robyn and her former husband’s separate debts. It was revealed that she owed almost $1,000 to Victoria’s Secret, as well as thousands more in debt to Target and Sears.
5 She Considered Saying Goodbye To Kody Because Of ‘Sister Wives’
The problem Robyn Brown first had when she was courting Kody is that his life was playing out on a TLC show, and this raised concerns for her. She recalled these concerns in their book Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage, writing, “While Kody and I were courting, I went through a period where I turned to God and asked Him, ‘You seriously want me to be on a TV show? This what you want for me?’ It just seemed preposterous. I know that God guides my life, but He seemed to be leading me down a strange and dangerous path.”
And here’s the shocker, she felt so strongly that she considered not marrying Kody. She revealed, “I did consider not marrying Kody because of the show. I was searching for stability and simplicity. Instead, I was hurtling towards a big scary unknown. I remember being very concerned about the consequences we might face when out show aired."
These concerns were obviously not just only herself, but also her children, because the decision would directly affect them. She obviously weighed up the pros and cons, and the pros far outweighed the cons because she ended up marrying Kody in 2010. And then four years later, in 2014, she went from being his spiritual wife to his legal wife.
4 Her Family Members Condemned Her Reality TV Decision
Although Robyn Brown took time to think about her decision and how it would affect her and her children, her love for Kody ultimately prevailed. This led her to join the TLC show, Sister Wives, and it’s a decision she has appeared to embrace.
However, not everyone was thrilled, because she was not just affecting her own life, but also the secretive life of her family and some of her family members. In her book, which has proven to be quite the treasure trove of information, she touched on the reactions she received when revealing she would be becoming a reality TV star.
She wrote, “My family, however, was horrified by my decision. They could not accept or understand this choice. They found it morally wrong and personally dangerous. Some of my family members think that the plural lifestyle is too scared to show to the public. They believe that what I’m doing is sacrilegious. I’m muddying the waters of something celestial and sensationalizing it.”
But it wasn’t just about sharing their religious views with the world, but also about the attention that it would bring them.
Most of these people, like Robyn, had chosen to go through life without sharing their views, and she had essentially outed them.
3 She And Kody Had A 'Love At First Sight' Moment
After meeting, Robyn and Kody Brown sort of had a love at first sight moment, and according to Bustle, she revealed that Kody told her later that he had “loved me from the beginning.” She continued, “He said God told him that we all belonged together. It took months for me to be convinced that it was right. I was making sure this time that I had found my soulmate.”
Robyn also had baggage from her previous relationship, and she needed someone to be understanding like Kody. She explained, “The whole time Kody and I were courting, he was so patient with my fears and my issues that had come from my last marriage. He was so sweet, kind and loving, that he slowly broke down my walls, made me believe that a man could be honorable and that true love, the kind that lasts forever, exists and was ours to share.”
Despite these initial reservations, there was something that attracted Robyn to Kody straight away. According to Fandom, she said, "The first thing I noticed about the man was his eyes. I love laugh lines and this man had beautiful ones. I sat there just watching him and thinking he looked kind and happy. Suddenly he looked up and looked right at me. As he looked at me, a jolt of lightning shot through my body."
2 She Doesn’t Have All The Same Friends She Used To Have
When Robyn Brown decided to become a reality TV star, it was a decision that she did not make overnight. In addition to affecting her own life, and making the lives of her children very public, it was also a choice that was frowned upon by other polygamists, including her family. But that’s not all, it also seems as though Robyn has lost some friends in recent years.
According to an InTouch Weekly article, dated from 2016, one of her “close former friends” Kendra Pollard-Parra decided to give a tell-all interview revealing some less than pleasant family truths. In addition to telling the publication that the wives weren’t getting on, Kendra also claimed that at the time, Kody was “definitely seeking another wife right now. He wants a younger female, basically what Robyn used to be.” And her comments also revealed that Kody may have been considering her to be one of his brides.
She explained, “The first time he met me he said, ‘You’re so pretty. I’m looking for another wife!’ Robyn was laughing, but I was like, 'Eww!'” She continued to reveal details about Kody’s relationships with his wives, but strangely there was no mention as to why she holds the title of “former close friend.” Was it because Kody allegedly propositioned her? Or was she running her mouth?
1 She Has A Credit For An Appearance In ‘Just Shoot Me’
Perhaps one of the most surprising things to know about Robyn Brown is that she has an IMDb page, and Sister Wives is not her only credit. Apparently, she was also a cheerleader in CMT 2000 Countdown, and appeared on an episode of the comedy sitcom, Just Shoot Me, which starred David Spade as Dennis Finch, Laura San Giacomo as Maya Gallo, and Wendie Malick as Nina Van Horn.
The show was hugely popular and ran for seven seasons from 1997 to 2003, and Robyn appeared in the 1998 episode, "Steamed."
In it, she was a model. (This would have been before she gave birth to her son and got married to her first husband in 1999, and the timeframe would suggest this was also when she was in college, which Robyn has previously described as a rebellious time for her.)
Although Robyn didn’t have a memorable part, it may explain why she seemed like a natural in front of the camera. Surprisingly, this does not seem to be something that Robyn has discussed, and there has been very little mention of her brief fling with acting in the media. Could this be because the role was terribly insignificant and you would have to be trolling IMDb to realize that she was ever on TV before TLC catapulted her into stardom?
Sources: Ashley's Reality Roundup, Hollywood Life, Starcasm, Bustle, Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage, All About The Tea, E! Online, Fundamentalists Wikia, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Life, SheKnows, Oprah, Las Vegas Sun, My Sister Wife's Closet, Bustle, Starcasm, Hollywood Life, Bustle, Fundamentalists Wikia, InTouch Weekly, IMDb, IMDb