Coming face to face. After tensions rose between the polygamous Brown family amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sister Wives star Kody Brown finally confronted his son, Gabriel “Gabe” Brown, about his unwillingness to follow his rules and guidelines set in place to prevent the family of 23 from spreading COVID-19 amongst themselves.
“I feel like everyone in my family is so focused on being right or doing right that nobody is willing to kind of take a step back and say this is ruining our family,” Gabe, 21, said in his confessional in a sneak peek of the Sunday, January 16, episode published by Us Weekly. Kody shares Gabe with his second wife, Janelle Brown.
The father and son duo, who has been estranged for much of the coronavirus pandemic due to their differing views on what guidelines to follow, met up on the family’s Coyote Pass property to have a long overdue discussion about their differences.
“So while I’m talking to Gabriel here, I’m not laying down the law because I can’t get the support of Janelle to lay down the law,” Kody, 52, said in his confessional. “It’s weird. In the time that COVID has been going on, I felt more and more and more like that was Janelle’s house and it wasn’t my house. And the irony of this situation — which is not good for relationships — is that [fourth wife] Robyn [Brown]’’s house, as I’ve been there more, made me feel like that’s my house and my rules and my family. It makes me mad at myself all these years that I haven’t been what I would call ‘more patriarchal,’ more in charge.”
Kody and Janelle, 52, have also had differing views on what is best for their family amid the coronavirus pandemic. Since Kody did not agree that their kids should continue their social lives amid the pandemic and Janelle felt it was OK for them to do so, Kody stopped visiting Janelle’s house as frequently out of concern that he would contract COVID-19 from one of the kids and spread it to the rest of their family when he visited his remaining three wives and their children. Along with Robyn, Kody was also married to first wife Meri Brown and third wife Christine Brown at the time.
While Kody felt that he is not the head of Janelle’s household, she insisted that her children — they also share sons Logan Brown, Hunter Brown and Garrison Brown as well as daughters Maddie Brush [née Brown] and Savannah Brown — all love their father despite the tension and distance.
“This has all been very hard for them that he’s being dictatorial about his rules,” Janelle said in her confessional.
Gabe told his dad that he was told that he shouldn’t hang out with his friends amid the pandemic, but that since his girlfriend, Peyton, was self-isolating, he was allowed to still see her. Kody denied ever approving that, because he felt he couldn’t be sure that Gabe’s girlfriend was following the same protocols. Because Peyton and Gabe started dating shortly before the lockdowns in March 2020, Gabe revealed his father has never met or spoken to his girlfriend.
“I can’t take Peyton out of the equation,” Gabe told his dad. “OK, I understand that, Gabe. I mean, Gabriel, the real issue here is you had to choose between me coming over or seeing your girlfriend,” Kody said.
“Why?” Gabe asked as he started to get emotional. “Why was I made to make that decision?”
Sister Wives airs on TLC Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.