Reality show families get their 15 minutes (or more) of fame by being different from the average American household in some way. The Duggars drew attention for their 19 children and their ultra-conservative beliefs; the Roloffs helped viewers understand the lives and challenges of people with dwarfism; the Slaton sisters of 1000-Lb Sisters made their weight-loss struggles public; the Browns of Sister Wives offer a glimpse into polygamous life. Then there were the Stanleys, who became famous for…well…behaving badly. As the stars of Gypsy Sisters, Mellie, Nettie, Kayla and Dovie – along with cousins Kayla and Annie – live within the Romanichal Gypsy community of West Virginia. In their world, women marry young, stay home to “cook, clean, and have that bling,” and get into one another’s business – often with disastrous results (via YouTube).
Like its predecessor, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, Gypsy Sisters became famous for its sisterly family feuds. Often the fights turned physical, with the siblings having it out on their own home lawns. Many was the time one sister vowed never to speak to another again. But surprisingly, all the brawling wasn’t the reason the show was canceled after only four seasons.
Mellie's offscreen drama may have doomed the show
Gypsy Sisters ran from 2013 to 2015 – a relatively short life for a reality show. (By contrast, 19 Kids & Counting ran for seven years, and its spinoff, Counting On, is on its sixth year and still going.) TLC cited poor ratings as the reason behind the decision (via TMZ), but it’s thought that other factors may have contributed to the plug-yanking.
Mellie Stanley and her husband Randall Scott “Skott” Vuncannon had been having issues for some time, but one incident may have proven too much for the network. A few weeks before the cancellation, the couple had a fight which culminated in Skott throwing Mellie’s puppy against a wall, killing it. He fled the scene when police arrived, but was later apprehended (via Starcasm).
That wasn’t the end of the drama for Mellie, however. In 2018, she was arrested for using phony coupons to purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores in several states, according to In Touch Weekly. It seems to be a family hobby; her mother, Lottie Mae Stanley, spent nine years in jail for multi-state bank fraud. Happily, Mellie seems to have her life together now. Her Facebook page indicates that she’s engaged to a man named M.J. West, and the two welcomed a daughter named Serenity-Faye in March 2020 (via Instagram).
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