Just like sisters! Christine Brown and Janelle Brown formed a strong friendship before — and after — their respective splits from Kody Brown.
Kody’s polygamist family rose to prominence after the 2010 premiere of Sister Wives. The TLC series follows the Wyoming native and his 18 children, whom he shares with four different women, as they navigate the challenges of life within a plural brood.
The business man was legally married to Meri Brown from 1990 to 2014, when he opted to divorce her in order to lawfully wed Robyn Brown, who initially joined the family in 2010. Kody’s spiritual unions with Janelle and Christine began in 1993 and 1994, respectively.
After more than 20 years together, Christine announced her split from Kody in November 2021. The aftermath of the breakup played out during season 17 of Sister Wives, which premiered in September 2022. Viewers learned during the December 2022 tell-all special that Janelle and Kody had been “separated for several months.” News broke of Meri’s decision to leave the family that same month.
While Christine and Kody’s split came as a shock to some fans, the other wives weren’t surprised by the announcement. “If anything, it sort of inspired the others in one way or another to reevaluate their position,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2021.
At the time, the insider noted that Janelle and Christine were “really close” and “in constant communication” with each other amid the family’s shakeup. Kody, meanwhile, was “trembling and worried” that his remaining spouses would follow in Christine’s footsteps.
Janelle’s bond with the Cooking With Just Christine star was evident even to their children. In a January 2023 YouTube video, Kody and Christine’s daughter Gwendlyn credited her mom with helping Janelle find her voice.
“I think that she was encouraged by my mom who has also since the first season become a lot more empowered,” Gwendlyn said while rewatching her family’s reality show. “And they just seem to have encouraged each other to be more strong and independent and confident in themselves.”
Both Janelle and Christine reflected on their ups and downs with Kody during the Sister Wives: One-on-One reunion, which aired in three parts after season 17’s finale.
“I’m not waiting for him. I’ve kind of mourned that that part of our life is gone,” Janelle explained in a January 2023 episode. “I wasn’t heartbroken. It wasn’t heartbreaking for me like it was for Christine.”
The Utah native, who went Instagram official with boyfriend David Woolley on Valentine’s Day 2023, threw her support behind Janelle during the tell-all. “For Janelle, I think that she’s frustrated, and she’s so hurt. And that man that she was married to — she realizes that he’s totally different,” Christine said. “But she’s different too.”
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Scroll down for a look back at Christine and Janelle’s close bond over the years: