Sunday, January 1, 2012
Sister Wives: Joy Behar Interview 3/8/11
What better way to start off the New Year than to watch an interesting interview of Kody Brown and wives with Joy Behar from March 2011. I've also included a transcript of the interview. Boy, what a difference nine months can make. I made some highlights because the conversation was...interesting (possibly because it was pre- lawsuit). What are your thoughts?
JOY BEHAR SHOW
The Stars of the Reality Show "Sister Wives" Discuss Their Life Together as a Family with One Husband, Four Wives, and 16 Children
Aired March 8, 2011
JOY BEHAR, CNN HN HOST: Kody is one man with four wives and 16 kids. You may have seen his appearances on talk shows like this one, which unfortunately led to a Utah state investigation for felony bigamy. Here`s a scene from the hit reality show "Sister Wives." Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know how you feel. Is anybody worried or concerned?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody was asking me if there`s jealousy. There is an investigation being done. That does not mean he`s going to jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Here now to talk about their polygamist family in the new season of the TLC series "Sister Wives" are Kody Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. Hi, guys, welcome back to my show. We had so much fun last time. Glad to have you back. You`re still married to all these women.
No more kids since I saw you last. Taking a little rest, Kody?
KODY BROWN, POLYGAMIST HUSBAND: Sure.
BEHAR: So, what`s been going on since I saw you last? I know there`s an investigation. You`ve become big reality stars, right, and you moved to Nevada. So, tell me what`s going on.
KODY BROWN: Well, a lot of stuff.
BEHAR: OK, remind me how long you`ve lived together. Meri is your first wife. The one you are legally married to. How long?
MERI BROWN, Kody`S FIRST WIFE: Almost 21 years.
BEHAR: It`s been 21 years, Janelle 18, Christine 17. And the newest addition?
ROBYN BROWN, Kody`S FOURTH WIFE: Nine months.
BEHAR: OK. And you`re being investigated for bigamy in Utah. The way I understand bigamy is you have to be legally married to more than one wife. You`re only married to Meri. So what`s the deal?
MERI BROWN: All we know about the investigation is stuff we`ve read about in the papers. We`ve never been contacted directly.
BEHAR: So there`s a criminal investigation, I heard, going on, that you violated the Utah bigamy law.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Apparently.
BEHAR: You know nothing else?
KODY BROWN: We know exactly what was written in the papers and we know nothing else other than that. You`d have to talk to a lawyer and understand their speculations on it to understand more than we understand.
BEHAR: But they must have come to you and said, we`re investigating you.
KODY BROWN: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is all this uncertainty.
BEHAR: Something must have scared you because you moved to Nevada. Why?
JANELLE BROWN, Kody`S THIRD WIFE: First off, Kody has been talking about moving to Nevada for years. He has always loved it. We have all the factors of -- surely the investigation is one of the factors. We also talked about like the business opportunities, the housing, the real estate opportunities.
KODY BROWN: Vegas is in a slump, and Vegas always returns. What a great time to go and get affordable housing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when you need four homes --
BEHAR: We`ll get to that in a second. The Utah law says a person can be found guilty by cohabiting. You don`t have to be married. There`s a law on the books.
BEHAR: It`s possible, also, that Utah, the state that you`ve embarrassed them a bit by making it seem it`s a bigamy state, and they don`t like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have no idea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody`s really talked to us about it.
BEHAR: You need to speak to a lawyer because I know more than you do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have one. You can talk to him.
BEHAR: I mean, when you left Utah, were you a little bit scared that you might have to go to jail, Kody? You`re the perpetrator here. From
KODY BROWN: Yes. I never saw this as being a perpetrator. A choice out of faith and love, a religious choice, I made a choice to --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we made choices.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just wanted to be a family. That`s it.
BEHAR: Can you go back to Utah without being arrested?
KODY BROWN: No. If we went back, there would be more investigations, I guess.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t even know.
BEHAR: You need to tell TLC to get a lawyer on this and watch out for you.
BEHAR: So let`s talk about the houses that you all have. You all have four houses in this family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do now.
BEHAR: In Nevada. What do you do for a living, Kody?
KODY BROWN: I`m a salesman, but we all work.
BEHAR: You work?
JANELLE BROWN: Well now, in Nevada, we have business opportunities and things we`re working on right now. We just did --
BEHAR: They pay you nothing?
KODY BROWN: Nothing.
BEHAR: They pay you per segment?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They compensate us.
BEHAR: He doesn`t discuss the investigation, he doesn`t discuss the money. What would you like to talk about?
KODY BROWN: Our kids and our family.
BEHAR: OK. But I still don`t understand how you paid for four houses. In that show "Big Love" --
MERI BROWN: We all work.
BEHAR: It`s very similar to your situation.
KODY BROWN: He`s got three wives. That`s all he`s got common with me. And he`s a salesman.
BEHAR: Let`s talk about the kids. And how are they handling all the attention?
CHRISTINE BROWN: It`s actually been positive for them. My son and my daughters are doing awesome in school. They`re getting to be themselves and talk about the family openly.
BEHAR: The kids don`t tease him when they say "I`m got four mommies"?
KODY BROWN: They`re fairly proud about it. And because they`ve come affront with our coming out, they`ve been up front. So our children have this confidence. Plus in the school system there`s 20 kids. Who`s going to pick on somebody that has 19 brothers and sisters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are 16.
BEHAR: How many do you want, and you said none. That`s what you call a Freudian slip.
MERI BROWN: OK, true story. Aspen is almost 16 years old. And in her social studies class, they were asking how many kids in your family. It comes to her and she says I have 15 brothers and sisters. She`s proud of her family and it`s good for her to be that open.
Children like me, Robyn, we couldn`t say how many siblings we had, so for her to say 15, we loved it. They were like, whoa 15, hey, we know about you. You`re on sister wives. She`s loves it.
BEHAR: The liberty factor supersedes the weirdness, I think.
BEHAR: We`ll be right back in just a minute with more of this whatever it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KODY BROWN: Kids are being taught tolerance in school now. And I remember growing up in school and being taught the value of civil rights and tolerance. It`s not just taught now. It`s a morality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m grateful for that.
KODY BROWN: I am too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: That was a clip from the new season of TLC`s reality show "Sister Wives" about a polygamist family. And I`m back with Kody and his menage a quatre.
BEHAR: Do you think of your wives as goddesses like Charlie Sheen?
KODY BROWN: No comment.
BEHAR: He is like two, his two goddesses, you have four.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are married to him.
BEHAR: I know you have religious ceremonies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s very serious.
BEHAR: You`re not legally married.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
BEHAR: Would you like to be? Would you prefer that?
KODY BROWN: I`ll be honest. If I had my choice, yes, I would.
KODY BROWN: For credibility.
BEHAR: You want them to have claim on you. Why?
KODY BROWN: Because I love them, and I want to make sure they`re taken care of.
BEHAR: But they`re taking care of themselves, right?
KODY BROWN: Yes.
BEHAR: The fact you`re only legally married to one, that`s one issue, when your kids go to school, that you`re living in sin according to the church. How does that impact you at all?
KODY BROWN: I`m not necessarily going to categorize myself like that, so I`ll just tell my children, no, we see it this way.
BEHAR: And they just go along with that?
KODY BROWN: They are susceptible to peer pressure as well.
BEHAR: How much jealousy is there with you girls, because I don`t even know you and I`m jealous?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure, there are good days and bad days.
BEHAR: What is it about? Getting more time with Kody?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stuff like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It comes down to your own insecurities.
BEHAR: It`s only natural to be jealous when a woman is monopolizing your husband.
JANELLE BROWN: See, I don`t feel like these guys are monopolizing him at all. I feel like I`m being treated well. My life is rich because I have my sister wives.
BEHAR: So you don`t need your time with Kody anymore because you have your sister wives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s true.
MERI BROWN: I don`t see him really sit down ever and watch TV. He doesn`t have a daddy disappears too. He`s really --
BEHAR: Tell us about disciplining the children. We talk a lot on the show about disciplining children. I`m against spanking, any brutality against children, even if it`s just a little spanking, I don`t agree with any of it. Where do you come out on that?
CHRISTINE BROWN: I love your point of view. It`s wonderful. I like a logical approach to this. The consequence should be related to what the problem is. If they`re mean to someone, they can take on chores. If they`re fighting between themselves, they can do a chore later.
BEHAR: What if they steal something?
KODY BROWN: Verbal discipline -- this is wrong.
CHRISTINE BROWN: There are penalties.
ROBYN BROWN: My little girl likes to wear dresses every day. If she does something wrong, I say, you have to wear pants.
BEHAR: You`re really tough.
KODY BROWN: It`s like video games. Listen, if you don`t behave, you lose your privileges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re very much a no violence family.
BEHAR: You don`t go for hot saucing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, that`s wrong. We don`t believe in that.
BEHAR: Is this medication involved here?
Last time, you told me that marriage is not about a sex. I don`t want to bring up sex, but there are 16 kids involved here so we know there has been some sex in this group.
KODY BROWN: We don`t talk about that. Stay away from the bedroom for the sake of having some kind of sanctity for our lives.
BEHAR: In public you don`t want to talk about that.
KODY BROWN: I wouldn`t tell me best friend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t talk about it among our sister wives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s private between me and my husband.
BEHAR: Each one of you has your own thing.
KODY BROWN: I have to have them trust me. If we were two buddies, I would not tell you a thing about it. I might tell you about a fight or argument, but not about that. They need to trust me.
BEHAR: And you trust him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
BEHAR: Even you, Robyn, the new wife?
ROBYN BROWN: Oh, my gosh, yes. And I have been through it. I had a really difficult marriage in the past and I wouldn`t have married again if it wasn`t the right guy, wasn`t trustworthy, who treated his wives right.
BEHAR: I can see why a lot of people might like this. First of all, it takes the pressure off one. So if you`re not jealous, particularly sexual jealousy is usually what happens. If you don`t have that, it`s like, OK, not tonight. Josephine, take him tonight.
BEHAR: It`s like, please, go to bed, say you have a headache. Go talk to Janelle.
KODY BROWN: It isn`t like that.
BEHAR: I know. You want the kids to have a polygamist lifestyle?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it makes them happy.
MERI BROWN: Every parent hopes your child will understand the way you think the universe works.
BEHAR: The thing about your show, I was watching it last night, most of these shows rely on nasty behavior. Yours does not have conflict in it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You didn`t watch that episode?
BEHAR: Generally speaking, there`s not a lot of fighting. It`s talking to each other, we`re cooking, daddy`s home. So how do you explain the success of the show? What is it about your show that everyone watches it?
KODY BROWN: We are a close society before we opened it up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the curiosity.
ROBYN BROWN: I really like the idea that the public wants to watch a family rather than the fight.
BEHAR: How wrong you are, Robyn.
MERI BROWN: We have a lot of people come up to us and say we love your family. You`re all about the love. OK, great.
BEHAR: It`s nice to see everybody gets along. I`m just wondering how long that can sustain. There has to be some hair-pulling.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`ve been doing it for 16 years.
BEHAR: I got to go. It`s always a pleasure to see you guys. The new season of "Sister Wives" premieres Sunday, March 13 at 9:00 pm on TLC. We`ll be back in a minute.
BEHAR: With me to talk about the criminal bigamy investigation into the Brown family is Ken Driggs, lawyer and polygamy historian. Welcome to the show. Now, the Brown family practices polygamy as part of their religious beliefs. Isn`t that protected under the freedom of religion? Personally, I say leave them alone. They`re not bothering anybody. What do you say?
KEN DRIGGS, POLYGAMY HISTORIAN: I agree with you completely. There are lots of other problems for law enforcement besides these people.
BEHAR: That`s right.
OK, Kody brown is legally married to only one woman. Her name is Meri, but he calls the other his wives. Does Utah have a case against him? He`s not literally committing bigamy in the legal sense.
DRIGGS: There are different kinds of bigamy statutes around the country. Utah, Texas, and a couple of other states have a statute that seems to give the state complete control of the term marriage. So conceivably he could be prosecuted.
BEHAR: I see. So just because he says he`s married to these women, he could be prosecuted in Utah, yes?
DRIGGS: In Utah and in Texas and a couple of other states. The vast majority of the states would not.
BEHAR: One of the reasons I think that the Browns moved out of Utah to Las Vegas is because of the Utah investigation charges that are being -- the investigation that`s taking place against them. Can charges be filed against them in Utah, even though they`re in Nevada?
DRIGGS: Yes. Once you go from one jurisdiction to another, it doesn`t mean that you cannot longer be prosecuted. The state where the alleged crime is supposed to have taken place can ask you be extradited back to their state for a prosecution.
BEHAR: Wow. That seems a little harsh.
DRIGGS: I can`t imagine that they`re really going to do it.
BEHAR: Why not?
DRIGGS: I think they have much bigger fish to fry. These are all consenting adults. There`s no allegations of minors. There`s no allegations of any other kind of misconduct. These are people who have agreed to this relationship, nobody is being deceived. I just think this is going to be an embarrassment for Utah if they pursue it.
BEHAR: Do you think the reason they even brought these charges up is because they were an embarrassment to Utah in the first place because they were on this reality show? That`s my theory about why they even started up with them.
DRIGGS: I agree completely. If they didn`t have this reality show, the state of Utah could care less. They don`t have enough jail space for the polygamists they got.
BEHAR: So you don`t think Nevada will launch an investigation, right?
DRIGGS: I don`t think Nevada will even want to look at them.
BEHAR: And so let me ask you one question before you go. If they did prosecute, how much jail time would this guy have to do?
DRIGGS: Well, it`s a felony conceivably. I believe this felony carries up to five years in the state of Utah. But again, even if they did prosecute him and they were convicted, I can`t imagine somebody would justify custody time for an offense like this. I just think it doesn`t make any sense from a public policy standpoint.
BEHAR: So it looks like they`re off the hook, which is fine.
DRIGGS: I think that`s probably true.
BEHAR: Thanks very much. And thank you for watching. Goodnight, everybody.