'Sister Wives' spotlights Kody Brown's estrangement from sons Gabe and Garrison. What happened?

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Sister Wives” stars Janelle and Kody Brown shared devastating news on March 5.

The former couple announced the death of their 25-year-old son Garrison rown in identical Instagram posts.

“Kody and I are deeply saddened to announce the loss of our beautiful boy Robert Garrison Brown,” Janelle's post reads. “He was a bright spot in the lives of all who knew him. His loss will leave such a big hole in our lives that it takes our breath away. We ask that you please respect our privacy and join us in honoring his memory.”

Fans of the former couple's TLC reality series have watched Garrison and his siblings grow up over the years. Kody Brown has 18 children across four marriages, though three have ended. In recent seasons, Garrison and his brother Gabriel's (Gabe) estrangement from their father has been chronicled.

Below, we're breaking down the timeline of Kody's feud with his two sons.

What role did the COVID-19 pandemic play in Kody's feud with Garrison and Gabe?

Kody Brown's strict COVID protocols have been the subject of many arguments on “Sister Wives” Season 17 and 18. The Brown patriarch was vocal about wanting to shield his family from contracting COVID-19.

He asked his wives and children to modify their behavior so he couldn't spread the virus as he traveled from house to house. His rules included social distancing, cutting back on socializing and changing clothes after returning from outings, per the clip.

In a "Sister Wives" scene that aired in January 2023, Janelle and Kody Brown discussed the effect the rules had on his relationship with two of his sons.

At the time, Kody wasn't staying over at Janelle's house since his sons weren't being compliant with his protocols.

"If Garrison and Gabe cease their social lives, then I can come home," he said.

He continued later on, "My boys think it's fine that they're going out and continuing social lives while I'm making these humongous sacrifices. And you are too, because you and I are unable to see each other."

The mother of six seemed to side with her sons. She said Garrison was saving up for a down payment on a home. "I'm not going to kick him out this close to that goal," she said.

Janelle added that Garrison is "not really social anyway," and that his friends have moved away. “I’ve been starting to worry about him because he’s lonely,” Janelle told Kody.

Gabe, meanwhile, wasn't willing to stop seeing his girlfriend, nor did Janelle think he should.

Kody saw his sons' behavior as an affront. "It looks to me like nobody cares if I'm at home," Kody told Janelle. In a confessional, he said, "They don't care to answer to each other or to me. But I'm still answering to them."

Kody was frustrated following the conversation. “I’m on the verge of washing my hands of it. I’m gonna have Gabriel and Garrison move out of the house," he said, though he added he couldn’t “evict” them because Janelle’s name was on the lease.

In her own confessional, Janelle said she thought Kody was being too harsh by suggesting the boys leave.

"This is a different day and age,” she said. “You don’t just kick your kids out of the house at 18 and say, ‘Hope you do good.’”

The feud continued to have ramifications on Garrison and Gabriel, according to their mother. Janelle, in an October 2023 episode, said she was worried about how her kids were coping.

“I have worried about my boys’ mental health,” she said. “Gabriel feels everything very very deeply ... and Garrison just seems angrier, sadder. He’s not as happy-go-lucky as he used to be.”

What did Gabriel and Garrison say about their relationship with their father?

Gabriel discussed the tense dynamic with his father in Season 18 of “Sister Wives,” which aired in October 2023.

“Me and Garrison are at odds with our dad because when we expressed our discontent with how things were going with COVID, I was met with just a wall, there was no line of dialogue,” he said “I think that was what really drove the wedge between us.”

Garrison, in a “Sister Wives” Season 18 episode that aired in September 2023, said he and his brother had reached out to their father.

“We’ve reached out and tried to be open, but it’s been neglected and overlooked for offenses that were believed to have happened but they never did,” he said during a confessional with his siblings Savanah and Gabe.

Kody refuted this statement in his own interview. “The idea that Robyn and I are rejecting them is not true. I have reached out only to get rejection. They’re not being fair,” he said.

Kody Brown shared regrets about estrangement from his sons

During a “Sister Wives: One on One” special that aired in January 2023, Kody said his sons essentially had two options during the pandemic: Follow his protocols or move out.

“They went out and found homes when (Janelle) had to move. Why couldn’t they have gone out and found homes so that they could keep dating during COVID?” he said.

Kody then emphasized that he was just trying to “protect” his family from COVID-19 and added that he didn’t anticipate his estrangement.

“Now with those two boys I’m estranged from them. I can’t even have conversations with them anymore,” he said and called their dynamics “very sad.”

The father of 18 also apologized and sent his sons a message.

“Boys, I’m sorry. I was trying to protect my family. Next time, I’d manage it differently and I’m sorry,” he said.

Gabe recalled the ‘last time’ he ever spoke to his father

While filming a confessional interview in an episode that aired in October 2022, Gabe shed light on one of the reasons he was estranged from Kody.

“In January, I got COVID. I didn’t even have a fever, I just lost my smell. October rolls around — specifically Oct. 11, my birthday — and dad calls me and we have a small discussion about how bad my COVID was,” he said.

“I shouldn’t have done this but I did anyway. I didn’t remind him that it was my birthday because I wanted to see if he remembered and he didn’t,” he continued.

Gabe recalled how Kody tried to call him back and say “happy birthday.” He described it as “the last time I ever talked to my dad.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com