SALT LAKE CITY — The newest Utah polygamous family featured in a reality TV show says sharing their story with a wide audience has been liberating.
Brady Williams and his five wives were a bit apprehensive ahead of the airing of a pilot episode in September, but they said in an interview with The Associated Press that it was good to be open about who they are and what they believe.
“It really is like coming out of the closet,” said Brady Williams, 43.
His wives feel the same way, including his second, Robyn Williams, 40, who said: “I feel more free to just be who I am and not be so afraid.”
The show, “My Five Wives,” airs Sundays on TLC. It chronicles the life of Brady Williams, his five wives and their 24 children, who live in a small community outside of Salt Lake City dominated by a fundamentalist branch of the Mormon church. The family left that group and now practice polygamy because they prefer the lifestyle.
Their show begins airing in a social and political climate that has softened toward plural families.
A federal judge in Utah struck down key parts of the state’s polygamy laws in December, marking a victory for hundreds of polygamous families in the state. The ruling decriminalizes polygamy, making only bigamy – holding marriage licenses with multiple partners – illegal.
The family that brought that lawsuit against the state of Utah, Kody Brown and his four wives from TLC’s “Sister Wives,” is credited with helping create greater acceptance for plural families.
The Williams family members said they don’t expect viewers to be surprised by much. It’s normal times five, the family jokes.