Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People follows the Browns, a large family trying to live as far removed from civilization as possible, often going months without seeing anyone outside their family.
Despite the show's positive reception and popularity, the family's oldest son, Matt Brown, hasn't appeared on the series for some time now. Following Billy Brown's death in February 2020, Distractify spoke exclusively with Bear Brown (via email), who gave us an update on his older brother.
Matt Brown hasn't appeared on 'Alaskan Bush People' since Season 8.
A few years ago, Matt became estranged from his parents while battling substance abuse. He first entered rehab for alcohol addiction in 2016. Since then, the former reality star has come forward with some shocking allegations that explain where he is now.
"I could see myself spiraling," Matt admitted to People at the time. "I was more withdrawn. I was slower. Things didn’t excite me the way they used to." After spending 35 days at an inpatient treatment center, Matt turned his "weakness into a strength."
"In life, we all get lost every now and then and have to find our way back," he shared. "Not everyone makes it back, and I’m happy to be one of those who did."
When the Browns moved from Alaska to Washington in 2018, Matt chose to stay in California, where he had sought treatment. The decision further distanced him from his family, and he entered rehab for a second time later that year following allegations from two different women that he had sexually assaulted them.
"We miss him terribly, but we’d rather lose him from home for a little while than lose him forever," the late patriarch, Billy, told People at the time. "We just want him to do what he needs to do to get better."
So, is Matt still in touch with his family?
"Matt’s been doing his own thing," Bear told Distractify. "I don’t really see him much these days. I hope that he finds the peace and serenity in his life that he’s looking for though."
Matt celebrated one year sober on March 21, 2021, sharing a video on Instagram captioned, "Face your fears it will be OK. I love you."
"So I wanted to tell everybody if life is rough for you or if these hard circumstances that we're all in right now have caused you to slip or relapse or even just to get into a mindset that you don't like, it's human. That happens to all of us, and it's going to be OK," he said in the video.
Matt alleged that production gave his family drugs and that his parents stole his money in an Instagram video.
In a video on Instagram posted on April 11, Matt alleged that Alaskan Bush People is what led to many of his current struggles.
"Everybody's told me that other people's secrets aren't mine to tell, but they're destroying me, and they've been destroying me for a long time," he opened his 10-minute video. "I'm cold, and I don't have any money. And I hardly have anything to eat."
He claimed that production initially pitched the show to Discovery with a false perception of how the family lived their lives, leaving out that the Browns had a generator, television, and used electricity occasionally. This continuous lie he felt he was telling viewers through the show was one of the roots of his addiction, Matt said.
In addition to these allegations, Matt said production gave his family drugs — specifically, cocaine — which further enabled his addiction.
He claimed he doesn't have anything to his name and is really struggling to make ends meet, despite the show's lucrative success.
"We made a lot of money off the show, and because my dad controlled everything, all the money went to him," he said, alleging that his family kept more than $300,000 from him, specifically. "I didn't have any money or anything. My dad kept that all."
Matt has continued posting updates on his situation since the first video, and Discovery has yet to comment on the allegations.