“I do not know what happened. But during the breakup with Christine [Brown], Maddie stopped reaching out to me,” Kody, 54, said during the Sunday, October 29, episode of the TLC series. “Might have been COVID or I have no idea what was going on, but she quit reaching out to me.”
Janelle, also 54, denied that their daughter Maddie’s actions had anything to do with Kody’s third wife, Christine, 51, leaving in November 2021. It did, however, have everything to do with Kody.
“Maddie doesn’t call him because of his behavior, lately,” Janelle alleged in a confessional, which was taped in spring 2022. “She’s like, ‘I don’t what to do with him. I don’t know who this guy is.’”
Janelle — who shares Maddie, 27, as well as Logan, 29, Hunter, 26, Garrison, 25, Gabriel, 22, and Savanah, 18, with the patriarch — explained that Maddie’s kids also play a role in her sudden avoidance of Kody. (Maddie shares son Axel, 6, and daughters Evangalynn, 4, and Josephine, 8 months, with husband Caleb Brush.)
“She has to consider her children. She has to consider the stability of what they see or perceive as a grandfather,” Janelle claimed. “There’s a lot of things at play here. It’s not just Maddie not calling him.”
Maddie isn’t the only one of Kody’s children who began distancing themselves once the family began to fall apart. Kody revealed in the episode that his and Christine’s daughter Ysabel also seemed off after their split.
“Ysabel seems to be uncomfortable a lot of the times,” Kody told the cameras, noting that his and Christine’s youngest daughter, Truely, “seems perfectly fine.” (Christine moved to Utah after her split from Kody in fall 2021 — and has since married David Woolley.)
“My relationship with my dad, it’s never been like 100 percent solid. With the divorce, right now, everything’s rocky,” Ysabel, 20, who lives with half-sibling Maddie in North Carolina, said in a confessional. “Nobody knows what to do in a divorce. Then in a divorce with a polygamist family even more so, nobody knows what to do.”
Elsewhere in the episode, Kody confessed that one of his biggest fears about Christine leaving was pegged to how it would affect his bond with his kids. Christine and Kody share son Paedon, 25, and daughters Asypyn, 28, Mykelti, 27, Gwendlyn, 22, Ysabel and Truely, 13.
“There’s one thing that I’m constantly concerned about, which is sort of this gloomy cloud hanging over us most of the time. Because after the divorce and stuff like that, there seems to be a little bit of a … it’s a nuance, it’s a little undertone of sort of a strain,” Kody explained. “Like do I trust? Can I trust? From my kids.”
He later pondered whether his desire to have the whole plural family live under one roof as the catalyst to it all falling to pieces. In addition to Christine leaving, Janelle confirmed in December 2022 that she and Kody had separated. Meri Brown then announced in January that she and Kody had ended their romantic relationship. He is still married to fourth wife Robyn Brown.
“I wonder if some of the failures in plural marriage were my part in and expecting too much from the family,” Kody told the cameras. “With this one family idea, we might have been more successful had we been in different homes with the kids kind of growing up like they were cousins.”
Sister Wives airs on TLC Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.