What is “Seeking Sister Wife”?
a TLC reality series that premiered in January 2018 “Seeking Sister Wife” follows couples or throuples who follow the polygamist lifestyle, and wish to add women to their family unit. The majority of cast members come from Mormon or secular backgrounds; some are new to the world of polygamy and encounter hardships when it comes to accommodating a third person in their relationship.
Despite rumors of cancellation, it’s been confirmed that “Seeking Sister Wife” will return for a fifth season.
The Brineys, the Alldredges, and the Snowdens were the main families in season one of “Seeking Sister Wife”. Drew Briney was a fundamentalist Mormon with three wives – April, Angela, and Auralee – and 15 children. The vast family lived in Utah, where polygamy is illegal, and eventually had to relocate to Oregon.
Drew became interested in the Mormon faith during his childhood, despite not being brought up in it. After a few years of marriage, he convinced April to try the polygamist lifestyle, and when she agreed, began courting Auralee, dating for around half a year before ‘marrying’, and having six children. As for Angela, she and Drew met each other and tied the knot in under a fortnight, birthing a son in the same year.
April began dropping hints about her disillusion with polygamy, and viewers noticed that she and the other wives weren’t getting on as well as before. During the filming of the show’s second season, she packed up her things and returned to Utah with her and Drew’s underage children. Blindsided, he filed for divorce immediately afterwards.
The production team then decided that the Brineys wouldn’t appear in season two, despite scenes having been filmed. Drew, Auralee, and Angela deleted the Briney family website and blog, and went back to leading a private lifestyle, although Drew made the most of his fifteen minutes to promote his science fiction and fantasy novels. These days, April is active on Instagram and other social media platforms, and has thousands of followers.
Next up is Jeff Alldredge; he and his two wives, Vanessa and Sharis, had a much healthier family dynamic, but left “Seeking Sister Wife” in its third season after a few unlucky encounters. In season one, Jeff began courting a potential sister wife named Melina, but things didn’t work out. He tried his luck for a second time with Jennifer Linnerth, a compulsive liar who would sensationally fake her own death to avoid staying at the Alldredges’ home, and who we will further discuss later on.
Although Jeff finally found a third wife, Donna, they split in 2021 after a year of union, and he was forced to ask his fans for money to pay for the child custody battle that ensued. These days, Jeff, Vanessa and Sharis live in South Dakota; it remains unclear if they’ve found a permanent third sister wife, or if they’re happy with their current dynamic.
Dimitri and Ashley Snowden’s story is far more sinister. The couple had been spiritually married for just under a decade, and shared three children when they became interested in polygamy, and were approached by TLC. Over the course of three seasons, they courted five potential wives: Joselyn, Christeline, Tayler, Vanessa and Jakira, however, none of the relationships worked out, and “Seeking Sister Wife” would actually be the catalyst that ended Dimitri and Ashley’s unconventional union.
Ashley had one non-negotiable rule: there could be no physical intimacy between Dimitri and the sister wife without them first becoming spiritually married. Dimitri showed a clear lack of respect for Ashley’s boundaries during a date with Joselyn, in which he hooked up with her. Ironically, Ashley was angrier with Joselyn than with her spiritual husband, and put a stop to the courtship as she felt she could no longer trust her potential sister wife. During his courtship with Jakira, Dimitri stuck to the rules, but all three considered that she wouldn’t be a good fit for the Snowden family.
— Bossip (@Bossip) April 19, 2019
Ashley and Dimitri met Vanessa Cobbs in season two. Vanessa and Dimitri soon became spiritually married, but she suddenly ended things without giving a clear reason. Undeterred, the Snowdens returned for season three of the show, and courted their last potential sister wives, Tayler and Christeline. In March 2020, the two women and Christeline’s two children visited Dimitri and Ashley, but were forced to stay at the Snowden’s home for longer than foreseen due to the coronavirus travel restrictions.
Although things appeared to be going smoothly, Tayler went to visit her family in Dallas a few weeks later, and never returned. She ended her relationship with Dimitri a month and a half later via videocall, and viewers were understandably intrigued, as she was the second sister wife to abruptly cut the Snowdens off. Nevertheless, Dimitri went further and further with Christeline, and they wasted little time in becoming married.
However, in May 2021, Dimitri filed for divorce from Christeline, and both were declared legally single in March of the following year. Two months before the initial divorce filing, Christeline took out a restraining order against Dimitri, claiming that he had been physically abusive during intercourse, and that he had violently woken her up at least once.
Christeline’s story inspired former sister wives to come forward with their version, as Vanessa soon posted a cryptic Instagram photo which she captioned: “Stop lying to the world and yourselves… There’s no shame in therapy.” Many took this to mean that she had had similar experiences with Dimitri, but it was never confirmed. Like Vanessa, Tayler also chimed in, and insinuated that she’d suffered something similar.
Ariadne Joseph was the second woman to directly accuse Dimitri of domestic violence. Prior to appearing in “Seeking Sister Wife”, the Snowdens and Ariadne lived together, and were in a relationship which ended when Dimitri allegedly manhandled and shoved her for confronting him about suspicious text messages he’d received.
During her juicy no-holds-barred interview, Ariadne claimed to have told TLC producers the truth about Dimitri, with pictures and text messages to back-up her story, which made viewers wonder why a presumed abuser was given a platform. Rather than allow the scandal to overshadow season four, the network replaced Ashley and Dimitri with another couple. In July 2021, it was confirmed that the Snowdens were no longer together, but have since reconciled.
Scandals and Controversy
There have been so many outlandish moments on “Seeking Sister Wife” that some viewers have questioned the show’s authenticity, believing that the cast members are paid actors. There’s no doubt that the reality show has proven that real life can be stranger than fiction, so let’s look at some of the most scandalous things to happen in the series.
Jeff, Vanessa and Sharis Alldredge were looking to add a third wife to their relationship, which is where Jennifer Linnerth enters the equation. Viewers didn’t warm to Jennifer from the start, feeling that there was something “off” about her – but none of them could’ve foreseen what would happen next.
Jennifer was 33 years old and had been in contact with the Alldredge clan for months when she met with Jeff and his two wives at Nicaragua Falls. That would be the first and last time the hopeful Alldredges saw Jennifer in the flesh; the next time they spoke to set up another meeting, Jennifer claimed to have ruptured her appendix before going quiet for days. Jeff and his two wives were concerned by the silence, and rightfully so, as a family member of Jennifer texted them to say that she had passed away.
In April 2019, the Alldredges took to Facebook to share their side of the story. In a post, it was explained that Jennifer had been the one to get in touch with them. The blue-eyed redhead, who grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, told the family that she was a former model who wished to return to her polygamist and religious roots. Apparently, Jennifer also told them that her husband had died a year earlier.
At first, Jeff and his wives weren’t sure if Jennifer would be compatible with their lifestyle, but decided to give her a chance. When the Alldredges invited Jennifer to stay at their home, she faked having a ruptured appendix, so the family called every hospital in the area to see if she was alright. When nobody was able to confirm which hospital Jennifer was staying in, Jeff, Vanessa and Sharis had a feeling that they were being lied to.
Obviously, they didn’t believe it when a woman claiming to be Jennifer’s sister texted them with the shocking news of her death. Jeff later learned that Jennifer frequently lied, or conveniently forgot to mention some things… such as the fact that she didn’t come from a polygamist family, and that she had previously worked as a stripper, not a model.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of…
When the Alldredges exposed Jennifer, the latter went quiet on social media. To this day, fans don’t quite know why she would fake her death, instead of just turning down the invitation to visit Jeff and his wives’ home.
Next up is Garrick and Dannielle’s divorce. Although it was nowhere near as controversial, angry fans took to social media to voice their displeasure when Garrick suggested divorcing Dannielle so that he could legally marry Roberta, their potential sister wife. Roberta, who was Brazilian, needed a K-1 visa to enter the country and could only obtain one if she and Garrick intended to marry within the allocated three months.
Dannielle agreed to the divorce, thus giving up all her legal rights as Garrick’s spouse, and burst into tears at the courthouse while he looked on impassively. This didn’t go down well with “Seeking Sister Wife” viewers either, as Dannielle was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of a polygamist lifestyle, but didn’t want to displease Garrick.
In the end, Garrick wanted to have his cake and eat it, and when Roberta couldn’t immediately fly over to the US due to her mother’s ailing health, he immediately began looking for a third potential wife, without waiting for the second one to arrive and settle down with the couple. When Roberta found out, she was understandably displeased – and ended up cutting all ties with Garrick and Dannielle.
Last but not least is the case of Bernie and Paige McGee’s arrest for stalking her brother. Bernie and Paige’s polygamy journey was nothing short of a disaster, thanks to her jealousy issues, and by the time they were both on the same page, Bernie’s tragic sudden death at the age of 41 occurred.
News outlets confirmed that Bernie died of a heart attack and stroke while riding his bike on a summer’s day. He called Paige to let her know that he wasn’t feeling well, but when she arrived at the scene, EMTs were already trying to revive him. The devastated widow took to Facebook shortly afterwards to point a finger of blame at her brother, Patrick Marble, and alleged that he was the real cause behind her husband’s untimely demise.
“Patrick’s constant lies and attacks against us caused this!” a distraught Paige wrote. “We were financially put out for having to hire lawyers, investigators, and missing work for this bullsh*t. Patrick Marble has admitted numerous times he would not stop until we were fired from the show… The stress of going to court this coming Wednesday with fear of 1 year in jail wore on Bernie.”
Paige’s brother previously accused her and Bernie of harassment, leading to the couple being arrested on felony stalking charges. Paige alleges that the imminent court date had inadvertently killed her husband; the plot thickens, as she and Bernie only went on to “Seeking Sister Wife” in the first place because they wanted to pool resources with potential wives, and be able to purchase a property, but Paige later claimed that it was the legal battle against Patrick that had left them financially drained.
In any case, Bernie’s death was a heartbreaking incident, and Paige later had to ask fans for financial help via GoFundMe.