Meri Brown's Catfishing Scandal On Sister Wives Explained

For the Brown family on "Sister Wives," there is never a shortage of scandals. From being investigated by police for bigamy, to a divorce filing, the Brown family has seen it and shown it all to fans. But if there's one scandal that threw the Brown family for a loop, it's the catfish scandal Meri Brown found herself in.

Meri is Kody Brown's first wife. After meeting Kody, Meri recalled being "taken with Kody right off the bat," per Entertainment Tonight. The two then legally married in 1990 with the desire to have more wives join their family. From there, Kody went on to spiritually marry his second wife, Janelle Brown, and then his third wife, Christine Brown. While Kody spiritually married his other wives, he remained legally married to Meri. That is, until Kody's fourth wife, Robyn Brown, came into the picture. In an effort to adopt Robyn's kids from a previous marriage, Kody divorced Meri so he could legally marry Robyn, per Today.

After Kody and Meri legally divorced, the two remained spiritually married. But the divorce still wreaked havoc on Meri and Kody's relationship. In fact, Meri felt so neglected by Kody, she sought out an online relationship to fill the void — only to find out the person on the other end of the computer was not who she thought it was.

Meri Brown sought solace following her divorce from Kody Brown

Months after Meri and Kody Brown legally divorced, Meri found herself online talking to multiple people — including one man named "Sam Cooper."

Meri and "Sam's" relationship first started on Twitter. For the next six months, Meri found herself in an online relationship with Sam. The two talked non-stop, and Meri felt so comfortable with Sam that she even sent him suggestive photos during their relationship. But that's when things took a turn. In the midst of her and Sam's relationship, Meri found out that she wasn't actually talking to "Sam." Instead, she was talking to a catfish named Jackie Overton, per In Touch Weekly. The revelation was heartbreaking for Meri, who said that when talking to Sam, "he was compassionate and understanding" and made her laugh — something she wasn't getting from Kody.

After finding out the person behind the phone wasn't who she thought it was, Meri ended up isolating herself away from Kody and her sister wives. "This catfish was just planting things in my head and telling me how horrible my family was and specifically how horrible Kody was," Meri said during "Sister Wives," per In Touch Weekly. "That was one of the reasons why I didn't want [Kody] around. I was just angry ... I just pushed Kody away. He's not the one I should've pushed away."

Meri Brown's catfish scandal still affects her relationship with Kody

To this day, Kody and Meri Brown are still affected by Meri's catfishing scandal. When Meri began to push Kody away, Kody said the situation "woke [him] up" to what he and Meri's relationship was really like, per Entertainment Tonight. Since then, the two have gone to couples counseling to try to rebuild their relationship. While working on their marriage, Kody revealed that because of everything that had happened, he didn't want to be romantic with Meri any longer. "And from that experience, Meri and I sort of saw our marriage just dissolve," Kody said in a "Sister Wives" episode, per People.  

Since then, the two have continued to weather a tumultuous relationship with numerous highs and lows. But even if there is a "high" in their relationship, it's never been the same as it was before the catfishing situation. "Kody and I have always had kind of an up-and-down relationship. But we've always kind of come back together," Meri said, per People. "And it's kind of weird, over the last five, six, seven years, we really haven't come back together. He knows that I want to really move forward." But Kody doesn't feel the same way — even to this day. "I'm not going to ever be in a conjugal relationship with her because I'm not going to go through that emotional torture ever again," he said, per Entertainment Tonight.