Season 7 Tell All
Erica Hill: As we learned last season Meri had been catfished. She connected with someone online who wasn’t actually who they claimed to be. This season we found out that the fallout and the saga was far from over.
That is not true. Meri was not catfished. It has never been proven it is a lie that was made up by the trolls, Meri’s new friends. There is zero proof that she was catfished. I did not catfish her. She is lying to save her own ass.
Erica Hill: Before all of this happened, had any of you heard of this term catfishing before, did anyone know what it was?
Christine: I knew what it was.
Meri: I had never heard the term before.
Erica Hill: What did you know about it Christine?
Christine: Aspyn actually informed me on it. There was a show that she would watch on tv that was situations like this where 2 people would meet online and one person would assume the other person was exactly who they said they were and it would come out that they rarely were that person. And when finally they did meet face to face, it was awful. It was awful.
Erica Hill: Meri you said that you felt like that it came from people following you from online that that’s how it started, why do you think you were so vulnerable in that moment?
Meri: I think it was just a lot of stuff that just created a perfect storm.
Erica Hill: Did you all realize where she was at?
Christine: I didn’t know she was that low. I knew that, I thought that with Mariah moving away she would be looking for something new and something more to fill up her time and what she would do. And so she was a little bit vacant but that was because she was figuring out what she was going to do. I didn’t know there was a real problem.
Erica Hill: Kody, did you have any concept of how low she was feeling at that point or where she was at?
Kody: I had no ideas for month that catfishing or whatever was going on. It seemed to me that when Meri offered up the legal divorce so that I could legally marry Robyn so that we could adopt the kids that entire process seemed to open up some sort of emotional gap. It opened something up.
He said catfishing or whatever. Again he is not sure what to think. And now that he has read my blog he is questioning Meri’s story. A lot. That’s why they are struggling so badly.
Erica Hill: Were you concerned that that was too much at that point?
Kody: I didn’t understand it because all the wives you know just we have an equal relationship so a legal marriage does not mean or indicate anything other than you know something legal we used it just so we could adopt kids and so on and so forth. And so whatever effect that had on Meri…
There is no equal relationship. Robyn is the favorite. Meri told me that’s how they all feel. The legal marriage with Robyn has caused a lot of hurt feelings and jealousy. And Robyn has been drunk on power since they day it became legal. She has taken over the position in the family that Meri used to hold. Meri is really having a hard time fitting in because she’s so used to being the one everyone came to.
Robyn: I think it was the public. I think it was the public’s reaction to it…
Kody: We would get haters that would say oh so you would see them on social media Oh good job Meri run get out of that mess, you know. Janelle why don’t you hurry up and follow her. You know people would make assumptions about our family they didn’t even understand. So that’s alright we got haters um (Flips the camera off and its blurred out) Sorry you can use it, print it, um yeah.
He actually flipped the camera off? What a douchebag. That is your audience. I’m glad the show got cancelled. Look at how disrespectful he is to everyone. I have haters too. You don’t see me flipping anyone off or talking mad amounts of shit to them. I ignore them or block them. That’s what everyone on Earth tells you to do. Ignore the haters and be the better person.
Erica Hill: Kody that’s really strong for you.
Kody: No no, it is. They came in and they messed with our marriage. They really, they came in and they messed with our marriage. And I think this catfish, I don’t know, was a hater that came in with motivation to somehow get a wedge in where we were already weak and dangerously affect us.
No one messed with his marriage. He is pissed because he now knows that I slept with his wife for 6 months. Again the catfish and he says I don’t know. Because Meri’s story is falling apart and Kody knows it. I fell in love with her. She fell in love with me. She wanted out. And I wanted her out based on what she told me she wanted.
Erica Hill: You said you were already weak but in the same breath you’re saying these are the people that came in and sort of really damaged the relationship, so are you saying that the low point that Meri was at, that’s really a result of people out there commenting on things on social media? (Meri shakes her head NO) Is that ignoring the fact that there was a weak point in your relationship?
Kody: You know you, you, put yourself out there and you’re very vulnerable with what we do and being in the public eye we are naive. And we should have known but we didn’t.
He has addressed haters before and he said before during a tell all he no longer reads anything. So how does he know what the haters say if he no longer reads it? He got caught here in another lie. He’s uspet because of what the haters say and do. He reads it and this is how he reacts to it. By flipping off the audience.
Erica Hill: Meri is that what you think happened because what I’m hearing from all of you is this was not new. This being in a rough spot in your relationship being in a very difficult place this just didn’t just all of a sudden happen you said you were having a couple of rough years you said the relationship hadn’t been good for a while.
Meri: Yeah, no we were definitely at a weakened place I think even way back before I even had offered up to Kody and Robyn about doing the legal divorce.
Again proving what I have been saying for months. For years Meri was not happy.
Erica Hill: Are these 2 separate instances then? You being where you were and ultimately being taken by this catfishing scheme and then the public reaction to what was happening legally. Are those 2 separate things or are they connected?
Meri: I think it’s just a big snowball effect that made it so that I was vulnerable and got into the catfish situation.
Remember Meri is a direct person. Janelle said she is very black and white. Why is Meri not answering yes or no to these questions? She is offering up a summary but not a direct or a black and white answer. She is playing defense now defending her catfish lie and stories that go with her lie.
Erica Hill: What was it that you were hearing from this person that was so appealing to you?
Meri: At the very beginning this person was fun, funny, just good conversation. I don’t know first it kind of cool to just kind of have that companionship I guess.
She heard me be funny and have deep conversations about life. She heard me talk a lot about God and how much God has always taken care of me. She heard how I was falling in love with her and she heard how much I loved her. With all of my heart and soul I loved Meri.
Erica Hill: The word love was used at one point in some of these exchanges. What kind of love was that, that you were referring to?
Meri: That I felt for this person that I thought was a person? Um I, I cared about who I thought she was portraying him to be. Um, because I have a trusting heart and a loving heart and I felt I mean its like I talked to this person Okay, okay love you bye you know kind of conversation.
She reduced it from she was in love with me, to she cared about me? We all know that’s not the kind of love she was referring to. Listen to the voicemails. She was gushing with love for me just as I was for her. She was in love with me completely. This is a complete lie and this is the one thing that a lot of people have said to me. They realized if she could lie so blatantly with all of these voicemails she had to be lying about other things too. She pissed off a ton of her fans by saying that about me. It was not love you bye. Anyone that knows me, knows that is my line. And has been forever. To my friends and to my family that is how I hang up the phone. Love you, bye. Always. She’s stole my line Lol
Erica Hill: Did you ever feel like you were crossing a line? Especially a line you know based on the vows that you took in your marriage?
Meri: (Long pause) I didn’t know what was going on and what was going to happen and I actually even told this person. I said I’m not, I’m not crossing any lines. That, that, that is not me and I will not do that. Um, so the feelings that I had were confusing.
She is a direct person avoiding answering a direct question. No or yes is not here in her answer. We completely crossed all of the lines. We had sex within 6 days of talking publicly on Twitter. And we continued to have sex for 6 months.
Erica Hill: So you set that out there I’m not going to cross any lines but just by putting that out there was there that though process was there even a fear that maybe at a weak moment you would cross that line?
Meri: Nope. No not for me. I, I know what my boundaries are. And I won’t do that.
She did it Lol We had sex over 60 times. I have proven that in my Rated R section Lol
Erica Hill: Kody did it ever feel for you like a line was crossed?
Kody: Um, well I didn’t know what was going on I was lost in this. And Meri and I were struggling enough that it was very hard to communicate. And so where I was in the end was um in that scene where Meri says I gotta do something I’ve gotta, gotta, I need a break. I thought that she was saying I need a break from this marriage. And I believed that her struggle was that Meri wanted to leave me and be free of the burden of this relationship and our marriage, this is where I was at, at the time.
Again he doesn’t say yes or no. They are going with the catfish story until it dies. She did want to leave him because of how badly he treats her.
Meri: I know, I know.
Kody: But that she didn’t want to be out of the family. Um, that she wanted to be part of the family still so I was just confused and all I wanted to do was give her the space to figure it out and you guys all said all of her sister wives said whatever you need, we’ll do whatever you need. Help us help you.
Instead of sitting his wife down he avoided it? Wrong. He got into a huge fight with her over me. She cried to me and talked to me about it for 2 days. He told her to stop talking to me or else. And she refused.
Erica Hill: When you learned about this catfishing scheme and what went on do you believe she was being emotionally unfaithful to you?
Kody: (Long pause) No. I think that she, she was just in a place where she was having a friendship. This is how I viewed it, it just got, it got diabolical, it got downright evil. But Meri had never met this person. So when you talk about emotional or anything like that I think um, it’s not a word or a term that I would give any credit to. Because you know, all it is, is talking. That’s all that it is. So um, I don’t see it in that light. I don’t see that there was an emotional affair as you call it. I don’t see that at all.
Again it was not a friendship. Friends don’t do the things we were doing together. Friends don’t take 2 trips to Disney together or go spend a week in bed in Utah together Lol We were in love. He is trying to save the show by saying this.
Erica Hill: I’m Erica Hill, we’re back with the Browns. Meri at what point did you realize that you were in fact talking to a woman posing as a man?
Meri: (Big sigh) Um, it wasn’t like it was a specific day. It was kind of this gradual thing. There was still apart of me that wanted to trust who I thought he was at the beginning and the things that he said to me at the beginning. I still wanted to trust that. I didn’t want to believe that I was dumb enough to fall for this stupid thing.
It was 2 weeks after we broke up and I refused to talk to her. She was reading all the trolls were saying and she was reading twitter nonstop. She decided it was the only way to get out of admitting to an affair. She went along with what the rumors on the internet were already saying. And she lied.
Kody: They even started doing crazy things like developing additional avatars you know fake people. So there’s this entire conspiracy 10 20 30 fake people I had, I have no idea how many, I just don’t know but who are basically uh on social media just bantering back and forth.
What additional avatars? Notice they never name off names or use screen names to prove anything they say. The only fake people are the trolls. They don’t use real names, they all create multiple accounts. Read my blog we have screenshots of over 40 accounts Lindsay has removed from Twitter for multiple accounts. I have my account, Lindsay has her account. That’s it. And we both put our real names on there.
Robyn: I was getting messages um through social media that Meri was having an affair, that she was meeting this guy that, and just from like anonymous people and basically trying to tell me you know all of this. All these things about Meri, what she’s doing, that she’s leaving the family and all of this stuff. And every time I’d go to Meri I would say have you met this guy? And she would say no. I’m like, what’s going on Meri. And there were times, there were times she would just cry she wouldn’t really talk to me. And other times she’d say he’s just a friend and she wouldn’t really talk more. She would say I just want, how did you say it, you said I just want out of this. I just want out of this and I thought she was talking about us. And she was talking about that situation.
Kendra. Robyn was getting messages from Kendra Lol
Erica Hill: Did you ever want out of this family or this marriage?
Meri: (Long pause) There was a time in my dark, dark spot early on before I started figuring stuff out about this person. Um, that she was, she was saying things she was putting things into my head that really kind of made me question and I’m like, what is it do I really want and I didn’t know what I wanted because I felt like that I was, I was just in a dark place and I didn’t know what I wanted. But as I started thinking about it I was like, doesn’t matter how crappy Kody and I might be. I didn’t want to be away from the kids. I mean it really just went back to the kids. It went back to the baby that was coming you know I’m like I want to be there.
Again no direct response. No yes or no. She didn’t want to be away from the kids. She’s not saying I love my husband. I’m not going to leave him. She doesn’t say Kody loves me and we can work it out. She throws the kids in front of her and clings to that.
Erica Hill: Janelle you said it was a huge wake up call for you too. How so.
Janelle: You know I guess I just cause Meri fundamentally is a person who is definitely very black and white and you’re not going to cross this boundary. We are really very trusting people and to be taken advantage of in such an evil way was such a wake up call for me.
Meri: She honestly was watching all of us. I know that she had tried reaching out to Janelle quite a few times in different personas um and was very obsessed with Robyn. It’s, yeah. She’s scary.
Prove it. I am male. I was not watching anyone at all. There was no contact with Janelle or Robyn. Robyn added me to her Twitter. Twice. I kicked her off because Meri told me to get rid of her. She is lying and offering zero proof. She is creating these lies as she sits there because she has never said that before.
Erica Hill: It wasn’t just her sister wives that were hurt by the catfishing drama the ordeal has also opened old wounds between Meri and Kody.
Pretty powerful session for all of you. When you see it again. Do you feel any responsibility Kody for the vulnerable place that Meri had found herself in?
Kody: (Long pause) Um yeah. Absolutely you can’t um be in this situation that we were in and not feel like well geez if we would have just communicated, if I would have just said something nice, if I would have been a better husband, if we would have had better things going on. It just had gotten so to the point where reflectively I look back on this experience we had just criticising each other that is just sad to me. Heartbreaking. Sad. And um…
He admits to failing her. That’s why she kicked him out of the house.
Erica Hill: You said when you look back on it did it feel that way at the time?
Kody: Oh I think we were both so angry at each other we didn’t care.
Meri: I agree.
Kody: Yeah, we were both just pointing the finger and saying you did this to me.
Exactly. Very angry.
Erica Hill: Do you feel at this point there are any other unresolved issues between the two of you?
Kody: Oh yeah there are.
Meri: Oh yeah. There’s always unresolved issues
Kody: We dug this hole over many many years and we’re filling it back in.
Erica Hill: Are you committed to filling it back in?
That’s the most generic answer ever Lol Yep. She’s leaving.
Kody: I think we’re committed, yeah.
Erica Hill: Since the last Tell All the catfisher has released a lot more material. There have been some texts, there have been pictures, there have been statements, how did it make you guys feel and how does it make you feel that today it doesn’t seem to be ending. This experience keeps going on.
Meri: It’s really frustrating. I felt like I was kind of forced into doing insane things because of all the things she said to me about you better call him and leave him a message you better tell him how much you love him. You better tell him you know and all of this kind of stuff and I did. And because I was afraid of what, what she would do otherwise. You know, and so I played into it and I made it completely worse. And part of me is just completely humiliated that I did this to my family you know. If I could take it all back I totally would. Absolutely.
She went to the press. If she would stop going to the f—ing tabloids this would go away. Then her and her friends started selling stories to the tabloids to keep this going. I waited 6 weeks before I began posting proof on my blog. I did not have Lindsay tell Meri to call me and tell me how much she loves me. That’s another lie. Lindsay stayed out of it. She listened to both of us talk about things. But she stayed out of our relationship. She was not forced to say or do anything. Everything she did, she wanted to do. Read the text messages. Listen to the voicemails. That is not someone’s tone if they are being forced to say things. Those are not rehearsed or forced words at all. That’s a normal couple relationship talking about feelings and how much she loved me.
Erica Hill: How much of what she is putting out there is true?
Meri: As far as texts and voicemails and stuff?
Erica Hill: The stuff that’s being put out there yeah, how much of that is true?
And this was another lie that pissed off the fans. They know her voice it’s very distinct. Her voice is in all of those voicemails she left on my cellphone.
Erica Hill: So is there anything you want to set the record straight on?
Meri: The fact that I never met the person because there is not a man that exists um its a woman who did this all. She manipulated I fell, I fell prey to her manipulation. I did
I am a man. I do exist. And if her story is that Lindsay catfished her, again she’s lying because she did meet Lindsay and hang out with her. There was no catfishing and no manipulations at all.
Erica Hill: What about the voicemails? Is that your voice in a voicemail?
Meri: (Big sigh) So I personally have not listened to or seen everything that she puts out. I’m not going to allow her to get into my head that way. But from what I understand um somethings sound like spliced together like parts of conversations but I also know that I did leave voicemails. He would always tell me you know leave a message anytime you call me, leave a message or whatever and I wouldn’t. And then she would, she would, his female friend she would call me and she would like you need to call and leave a message and if I didn’t then he the male persona would start saying things on social media like kind of bashing Kody or saying I was going some place with him or make it sound like we were meeting up or something like that. And I felt like the only way I could make that stop is to leave a message.
Meri was all over my blog at first. She heard the first 10 voicemails I put out. Then all of a sudden Robyn was on my blog and Kody was on my blog. Than the kids. We have all of their IP addresses. It matches up to the IP addresses on my blog coming from Nevada and Utah.
Erica Hill: So you left a message but you haven’t listened to these voicemails that have been put out?
Erica Hill: Kody have you?
Kody: No but what I did with Meri is I, is we as this all came to light and it would gradually come to light more and it would gradually come to light more and Meri would say my life is being wrecked by this she’d give me some details and then it would get worse and she would give me details I finally said hey you know listen they can’t come into our house they can’t come into our lives. They can not harm us if we don’t let them in so stop the media stop, stop everything, stop this.
He shakes his head a little bit yes and then says No to this. He has been all over my blog. I can prove that. How would Meri give him details and then more details unless she was reading my blog? My blog is the only place anything has been released. They both just got caught lying again.
Erica Hill: So don’t listen to the voicemails don’t look at the texts then you don’t see any of that and then you don’t have to see it?
Meri: I don’t want any
Kody: Don’t do anything like this. Listen this person doesn’t exist. They’re not a real person they don’t exist outside of our own minds so if we ignore them they go away.
I want Meri to apologize to me. Then all of this will go away. Until then I’m not going anywhere Lol
Erica Hill: With this other stuff being put out there is it concerning at all to you since you are not looking at it, since you haven’t listened to the voicemails so you don’t know for sure what’s on there, whether or not its you
Meri: The only thing
Erica Hill: Does it concern you that it could be something you want to hear because you want to set the record straight?
Human nature is curiosity. They all have at some point listened to voicemails and read parts of my blog. All of them.
Robyn: I think we kind of feel like we are setting the record straight right here right now. I mean Meri is saying look I didn’t have an affair, I didn’t meet him. I was being catfished um I was doing things because I was being threatened. So that is in a sense setting the record straight.
Kody: I’m literally at a point right now where I was going with Meri and the family just don’t talk about it don’t talk to him, don’t do anything. Because, here’s the thing we have our voice, we do, we have our voice. This person is still hiding behind an avatar. Some phony made up persona. Completely. This person has never manifested themselves to us.
I have never come out publicly to release an official statement with my photo, my ID, or anything like that no. I didn’t sign up to be apart of that show. I didn’t sign up to be a part of any of this. They put this in the tabloids then they are using it to exploit me, Lindsay, and Jackie for ratings. Only 1 episode this entire season had zero mention of this. The episode where Robyn gave birth. I didn’t sign up for any of this mess in my life. And here it is.
I have been on tv twice. I am in the Lifetime Movie we are working on that will come out next year. And I have Facetimed, Skyeped, and met several people now in person that have figured out who I am Lol I’m real. I want to keep my life as private as I can. The trolls, Meri’s friends go after every single person that talks to me on twitter. Go to Twitter. In the search box put in @notbatmanyet, that’s my Twitter name. And hit ALL TWEETS. See how many of these sick women post things to people who add me on Twitter or try to talk to me. They immediately send 4 or 5 of them to attack that person. And if anyone stands up to them, they go look up their lives, post all of their family photos and info. They contact their family members and they expose anything going on in that person’s life. So no, I am in no rush at all to expose my personal or professional life to that bullshit. I’m happy being unknown. The people who matter know and I share photos of myself and my babies. The people who don’t matter get nothing from me or anyone I know. My friends and family were told and also followed up by a letter from my lawyers telling them you do not talk about me to the press or online when this came out. And they all respect me enough to abide by it. My family and friends protect me because they love me. They support me and do what I ask them to do. Because they understand my life is private. My kids have nothing to do with this. They are doing it for me as well as my family.
Meri: Or to anybody else.
Kody: Okay. So this person is fake, pretending. It’s like listen if you want to play that game we’ll just ignore you because you’ll go away. And that’s kind of where we’ve kind of stopped this game right here. Is where Meri and I are working on our relationship. And we’re done.
If you ignore me why have you been releasing tabloid comments for 9 months now? That’s coming from Meri’s side of this, not from mine. I’m glad they are done. I want an apology from Meri and then I will be done too. Until then, my blog stays filled with all of the proof and evidence.
Janelle: You only have so much time in this life why not spend it on positive
Kody: We have a very, very busy life. We have a lot going on. This person goes away the minute that we choose to just say they don’t exist and guess what, they don’t.
I do exist. I’m right here. You can’t control me Lol And that pisses Kody off.
Erica Hill: So this is where you all are at now. When all of this happened I know it was very surprising. Shocking in a lot of ways. Was there ever a moment within the family that some of the rest of you didn’t feel like you could trust Meri?
Robyn: I was getting information that she was having an affair I was getting information that she was leaving us. I got the information that she was going to try to leave before the baby was born.
Meri: Through somebody else (Kendra) who was being catfished by the same woman.
Kendra has verified me. Kendra has met me in person now. Lindsay and I have spent time with Kendra. Kendra told Robyn and Meri she met me and they got really silent. I have not catfished Meri or Kendra. This is another lie.
Robyn: Right, who was feeding me information. There was so many lies that when Meri told me, finally told me that she was being catfished as much as that’s horrible, okay. I was relieved.
Erica Hill: Meri you were worried at one point that there was a trust issue.
Meri: I have a hard time trusting myself. After all of this. So why shouldn’t they not trust me? All of these guys. I mean there is a lot of trust that I think needs to be rebuilt.
Erica Hill: Do you think you betrayed it?
Meri: Yeah. I think, I think I did. Yeah.
At least she finally takes some responsibility. Instead of blaming Kody, me, and whoever else.
Erica Hill: The sister wives and Kody weren’t the only ones reeling over the catfishing revelations this season we saw Meri took a trip to Utah to visit Mariah.
Erica Hill: Tough thing to watch probably huh Meri?
Erica Hill: Where are things right now for you and Mariah?
Meri: They’re not great.
Erica Hill: She’s home with you for the summer.
Meri: She’s home with me for the summer. Um but she’s still pretty angry with me. I can’t blame her.
Why can’t you blame her? If Meri is a real victim she has no fault. And remember Kody said in the last Tell All no fault, no blame at all on Meri. So then why is Kody and Robyn and Mariah all pissed off at Meri?
Erica Hill: Is it solely this event that’s gotten you to this point?
Meri: Um, I think this event kind of put it over the edge. I think this made it real tough.
It’s Meri being controlling with Mariah.
Erica Hill: Kody what’s it like to see this rift between Meri and Mariah?
Kody: I believe it will heal. I believe it will be fine. It’s just a matter of time and maybe some growing and maybe some communication. But I think Mariah sees there might be more damage done then is done. And for that sake being idealistic it’s like I wouldn’t doubt it if she’s, you know I don’t want to belittle what she’s saying but she might be punishing her mom.
She’s embarrassed and her mom did not care about what this would do to Mariah. How it would embarrass her with school and with her friends. She only cared about herself and how she felt loved by me. I asked her several times if she ever felt guilty and she said no. There was only a few times when she said she was feeling a little guilty but she said we aren’t doing anything wrong.
Erica Hill: Has she reached out to any of you any of the other sister wives as she’s going through this and trying to work it out with Meri and now that she’s home for the summer is she reaching out to any of you for guidance?
Robyn: Yes she does. And you know sister wife code you just validate her and back up her mama and try hard to help her to see where her mom is coming from and see what happened. But at the same time let her sit there and voice her opinion and express herself.
Erica Hill: I wanted to get Mariah’s take on the catfishing revelation and her relationship with her mother. So we sat down for a candid one on one conversation.
Erica Hill: So Mariah I know you struggled a lot with what happened with your mom. What’s all of this been like for you?
Mariah: Um, it’s been weird. I think is probably the best way to describe it.
Erica Hill: You said at one point that your mom made the mistake and she wants you to fix it. What did you mean by that?
Mariah: I think that she wants me to work through it fast so that we can figure this out fast so it can be done with. But I’m just not there yet?
Erica Hill: How did you first find out about the catfishing?
Mariah: Um, I guess I always had a from the very beginning I knew that was what was happening. You’re talking to someone online that you don’t know and I just. It was like a gut feeling I guess. I just.
Erica Hill: And so you mentioned something?
Mariah: I did.
Erica Hill: And did you tell your mom you need to cut this off?
Mariah: Um no but I don’t think if I had that would have done anything.
She was talking to both of us on the phone. She didn’t know that we were having an affair the whole time. And Meri asked me to give Mariah a job. Mariah emailed me her resume and from her experience we couldn’t hire her. She found a different job that she preferred and it worked out better that way. But Meri was pushing me already during the affair to take care of Mariah. Because Kody would cut off her money and she pays for all of Mariah’s stuff. Her college, her car, her food, her apartment. All of it comes from Meri’s money, not Kody’s money.
Erica Hill: Why do you think your mom was so vulnerable?
Mariah: I don’t know.
Erica Hill: No? Just kind of happened?
Mariah: Yeah, I mean. We as human beings can be vulnerable in any situations and I think that she was just in a weird place.
Erica Hill: Do you have sympathy for your mom in what she’s dealing with?
Mariah: (Long pause) Um, I don’t know.
She doesn’t because Mariah knows my side of the story.
Erica Hill: No?
Mariah: I don’t know.
Erica Hill: Do you trust your mom?
Mariah: Not fully.
Erica Hill: Why?
Mariah: I mean a lot of things happened and I think it came down to the catfishing, the whole, my whole last summer.
Erica Hill: Do you feel like she somehow did that to you? Because she seems to you know. She was a victim in that.
Mariah: Yeah. I think um, I don’t think she did it to me. But what happened did affect me.
Erica Hill: It seems like sometimes when we watch your interaction it seems like there’s some anger about it too. Are you angry?
Erica Hill: Why?
Mariah: (Laughs) Um, it’s pretty obvious I just. I think I tried to tell her and I think I tried to make it not happen I guess. And she just did it anyway.
Erica Hill: So are you angry because you feel like she didn’t listen to you or because you weren’t able to stop something happening that you saw?
Mariah: Yeah. She didn’t listen to me.
Erica Hill: One of the things that came up during the visit with your mom is that you don’t want to live a polygamist lifestyle. Where did that come from?
Mariah: No I don’t think that had anything to do with my mom. I think if anything having that relationships with my other moms would have had that opposite effect but no so that wasn’t it. It was a lot of things I think. It was getting an education and being able to think for myself and learn different things made it so that wasn’t what I felt like I had to do anymore.
Erica Hill: Where do things stand now?
Mariah: I know mom’s ready to work on our relationship so I think she’s just kind of waiting on me to be ready. So
Erica Hill: So that’s where we’re at. Thanks for talking about this Mariah. I know it’s not easy. I really appreciate it.
Erica Hill: Have any of the other children expressed any concerns or come to you guys with any concerns?
Christine: Yes because the magazines at the grocery stores are always saying things and then the teachers at the kids schools are always saying things. So we understand that Meri’s leaving. And I’m like, seriously? Seriously. The kids all know that Meri was catfished. The kids all know that.
They can all thank Meri and her friends for the magazines in the grocery stores. Meri and her trolls friends have been getting paid for 9 months to sell stories.
Janelle: We had a pretty open conversation about it.
Robyn: The older kids.
Christine: The younger kids know too some of the other kids and teachers have said things to the younger kids too. And they look at the magazine covers and so Gwendylan God bless her, we’re in the grocery store and she’s like Mom Meri’s leaving dad? I’m like Oh My Gosh and she does that for shock value. Yes she does she loves the whole shock factor.
Meri: She knows that I’m not.
Christine: She said what is this deal so I had a conversation with her Meri was catfished you know she was catfished. These are all lies and she said what are you going to do about the lies. I’m going to ignore them because they’re lies. If I addressed that lie then that gets more attention. I’m not doing it. And so the kids are.
Meri: Our energy is so well used in other places.
Erica Hill: What about as a family do you feel like you guys as the Brown family, you have moved beyond this moved beyond the fallout?
Janelle: I think we’re moving forward.
Kody: Yeah. I think if we’re not careful it can chase us down again. You know, um so um we’re moving forward and we have plans on you know having our family. You know be successful.
Robyn: I think our biggest thing is trying to support Meri through this and trying to make sure she’s in a safe place emotionally like you were saying and pointing out more of stuff continues to kind of happen and so our biggest thing is to make sure our kids kind of understand what is happening if they do find out and also at the same time just try really hard to support Meri as she still tries to figure this out.
Kody: My biggest focus is to be strong, help Meri to be strong and ignoring all these little people trying to do their little things that don’t affect us really.
Meri: I know that this is really really hard on Mariah and for that I will do whatever I can obviously to fix the relationship with her when she’s ready because she’s made it clear that she’s not ready. But I did want to say to these ladies that as hard as it is for me that she’s got a better relationship with them. I’m glad that she does I’m glad that she does have that safe place. I’m super glad that she’s got such a good relationship with her dad. And I do. I go back and forth. I don’t have just one quick moment of jealousy and then it overshadows by the relationship she has with my sister wives but I’m so glad that she has it. It’s like something I kind of fight, everyday. You know? Anyway, but I’m glad that they’re there for her.
The End. The show is cancelled. Meri is leaving.
Wait to see what happens next 😉 This isn’t over.