Police have launched a bigamy investigation into the polygamous stars of a new reality TV series.
The show, “Sister Wives,” premiered Sunday on TLC. But detectives began investigating Lehi advertising salesman Kody Brown and his four wives when the network first announced the show several weeks ago, said police Lt. Darren Paul.
“Admittedly, [the investigation] was brought on by the publicity surrounding the show,” Paul said. “It’s rare because most of the time people don’t bring this kind of attention onto themselves. But it is a state law, and we’re going to investigate it.”
Paul would not say whether police have found evidence that Brown legally married more than one of his four wives: Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown. But, he noted, Utah code defines bigamy through cohabitation, not just through legal marriage contracts.
Detectives are still investigating and have not turned the case over to prosecutors to be screened for charges, Paul said. Bigamy is a third-degree felony.
Kody Brown has 13 children and 3 stepchildren. He and his wives have said their plural marriage is no secret; they have told their employers and coworkers and their children’s friends and teachers, they said in interviews this weekend with The Tribune.
Brown did not return calls from The Tribune on Monday night. A TLC spokeswoman said the network had not learned of the investigation before being called by a Tribune reporter and had no further comment.