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Kody Brown and his “sister wives” are no more. At least for now.
Meri Brown, 51, of TLC’s reality TV show “Sister Wives” confirmed this week that she has ended her 32-year marriage to Kody Brown, 53. She is the most recent partner to leave Kody.
While the show is continuing for now, three of the four women have left their polygamous unions with Kody, leaving him with one remaining wife, Robyn Brown, the only legal union among the family, which shares 18 children.
Marriage with more than one individual is outlawed across the U.S. However, Kody Brown has called his relationships with Meri, Christine and Janelle Brown “spiritual unions,” arguing that their marriages are also legal.
Meri Brown said Kody “made the decision” to end their marriage, according to People, which on Thursday teased a look at a “Sister Wives: One on One” interview special, which will air on TLC on Sunday.
The announcement comes days after Janelle Brown also confirmed to People she had separated from Kody Brown.
Last November, Christine Brown announced she and Kody had dissolved their relationship after 25 years together, Us Weekly reported.
Whether the recent separations would spell the end of the TLC show was not immediately clear. However, even after Christine Brown left the family last year, she remained on the show’s most recent season, which debuted in September.
During the TLC interview with host Sukanya Krishnan, Meri Brown is shown a clip of Kody Brown in which he says, “I don’t consider myself married to Meri. If she wanted to move on and marry another, she wouldn’t get an argument with me.”
Meri said the pair never discussed their separation.
“Like, he just made the decision,” she said. “I’ve never heard him say that to me.”
The announcement of Meri Brown’s separation from Kody affirmed what many viewers had suspected. And many of them voiced their support for Meri.
“It’s about time,” author Jami Denise tweeted. “Honestly, I can’t believe any of them stuck with this abusive j— this long.”
One viewer said she hopes Meri finds someone who “loves and respects” her, while another said she “deserves better.”
Several others were critical of Kody’s behavior, with author Danielle Gray calling him “an awful human being” who was “very controlling” and “cruel” toward his wives.
“I love that these women finally had the courage to stand up for themselves and leave him,” said another viewer.
Since the first episode of “Sister Wives” aired in 2010, the family has moved several times throughout the show’s 17 seasons, first living in Lehi, Utah, then in Las Vegas and most recently in Flagstaff, Ariz., where the family owns rural property and had been building a home.
Meri said she and Kody had been working on their relationship since moving to Flagstaff but during a recent anniversary noticed things were crumbling.
After she suggested the two go public about their relationship status, Kody declined, saying he didn’t “want that to be out there publicly because I don’t want that judgment.”
Even so, Meri Brown said that if Kody is interested, she’d be open to reconciling their relationship.