In 2015, Sister Wives star Meri Brown was caught in a catfish scandal, which caused a major strain in her marriage to husband Kody Brown. While the drama played out in several seasons of the hit TLC reality show, many fans are still confused about what happened between Meri and a man named “Sam Cooper.”

Meri’s relationship with “Sam,” whom she met on Twitter, kicked off in March 2015. This was not long after the Lizzie’s Heritage Inn owner divorced her husband so that he could legally marry his fourth wife, Robyn Brown, in order to adopt her kids from a previous marriage. Well, after six months of online communication, Meri’s romance with “Sam” came to a sudden halt after she discovered that her Internet lover was actually a woman named Jackie Overton.

Jackie, an infamous online scammer, tricked Meri into falling in love with her by pretending to be “Sam,” a business tycoon in his early 40s. After flirting publicly via Twitter, Meri and “Sam” (a.k.a. Jackie) started to chat privately on the phone. Meri even sent “Sam” naughty text messages, which Jackie later leaked, that included images of the TLC personality posing seductively with a banana.

sister wives kody brown can't leave meri amid marriage issues
TLC (2)

Once Meri discovered that “Sam” was Jackie in August 2015, she was understandably devastated. In retaliation to Meri ending their relationship, “Sam,” who insisted their romance was the real deal, exposed the reality star’s sexts and private voicemails via “his” blog. “Sam” went so far as to write a book titled Almost Meri’ed, which was later made available on Amazon.

Meri, who shares daughter Mariah with Kody, has been very candid about how being catfished affected her family life.

“This catfish was just planting things in my head and telling me how horrible my family was and specifically how horrible Kody was,” Meri previously said on Sister Wives. “That was one of the reasons why I didn’t want him around. I was just angry. I’m just angry at him. I just pushed Kody away. I did. He’s not the one I should’ve pushed away.”

Even though the catfishing scandal happened in the past, it still comes up when Meri and Kody discuss their broken relationship. During a teaser for the season 16 reunion, which airs on Sunday, January 30, the patriarch reflected on their “difficult” marriage. He also claimed Meri thought she was the “victim” in the scandal and didn’t “think she did anything wrong.”

Meri acknowledged that her marriage was strained long before the catfishing situation. “A lot of people like to look at that as the defining moment and the fracture in mine and Kody’s relationship, and it wasn’t,” she said.

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