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What happened to Atz Kilcher’s wife from ‘Alaska: The Last Frontier’?

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Discovery Channel’s “Alaska: The Last Frontier” has been on the air for over a decade, as people’s fascination with the Kilcher family never seemed to wane. The reality television series premiered on 29 December 2011, and featured the extraordinary lives of brothers Atz and Otto Kilcher and their families, as they followed a subsistence lifestyle and survived the elements in remote Alaska. As the show attracted considerable attention, people were naturally curious about Lenedra Carroll, the ex-wife of Atz, and her estranged relationship with daughter and singer-songwriter, Jewel Kilcher.

Background on Atz Kilcher and his family

Atz has seven siblings, but only the lives of his family and Otto’s were chronicled in the TV series. His family was of interest to many as his father was Yule Kilcher, a Swiss immigrant who settled in Kachemak Bay and along with his wife, Ruth, established a 160-acre homestead using her dowry, which later grew to 660 acres of land. Yule produced “A Pioneer Family in Alaska,” a documentary about his family’s life on a homestead, and showed it all over Europe sometime in the 1950’s. In November 1955, he was one of the delegates from Alaska who took part in a pre-statehood constitutional convention, and later served as a state senator from 1963 to 1967.

Yule and Ruth’s marriage lasted for 29 years; she left Alaska after their divorce in 1969, and remarried two years later. He passed away at the age of 85 in 1998, after she died the previous year. Articles were often written about the Kilcher family, and the children believed that their mother wasn’t given enough credit. Ruth raised eight children, and worked as hard as her husband in building and managing the homestead. Atz’s brother said, ‘It takes an idealist to get it to the ground, and then it takes a doer to make it happen. And so he was the idealist, I think. Growing up, mom was more the doer.’

Atilla Kuno “Atz” Kilcher was born in 1947 in Switzerland when the family went there for a visit. Growing up on the homestead meant hunting, fishing, raising and butchering animals, and growing their own food. There was no indoor plumbing or electricity so they had to haul water and coal. Atz and his siblings were homeschooled until they were in their teens since the school was too far for them to walk, and they could only ride in a horse-drawn wagon when it was low tide. He developed skills that were necessary to survive in the wilderness, and the harsh winters.

As the fourth child but first-born son, his life was tough, not because of the back-breaking work on the homestead, but because of the cruelty inflicted on him by his father. His siblings suffered too, but not as much as him, and he did his best in protecting those younger or weaker than him. In his memoir, “Son of a Midnight Land,” published in 2018, he wrote about having a volatile father, who humiliated, belittled, and hurt him physically. Atz later turned to alcohol and became abusive to his children as well, but apologized by way of letters and passages that spoke to them. He also made peace with his father before the latter died.

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Atz’s family stayed on the homestead, as they were given residential sites as per conservation easement – five acres for each child. Yule set up the Kilcher Homestead Trust and Kilcher Family Trust in the early 1990’s, to preserve the land for future generations and keep it from being subdivided among his children.

Get to know Lenedra Carroll

Life in the Alaskan wilderness appealed to Lenedra’s parents, Jay and Arva Carroll, so they joined her father’s brother Ward to live on an island near Fairbanks. The environment was harsh with wild animals abound and the population scattered. Even though life was difficult, as they stayed in a ‘tiny one-room log cabin with a sod roof and dirt floor,’ her parents still found it all very exciting. Jay ran trap lines and hunted, and they later moved from Wrangell to Seward as he became a manager for a utility company.

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Lenedra was eight when the family finally settled in the town of Homer. Early on in life, she learned that survival depended on one’s creativity, common sense, and good judgment. She greatly admired her father, and has fond memories of him imparting his wisdom and sharing his ideas with her. She said that Jay built an airplane in the early ‘50s and learned how to fly it with the help of a neighbor. With his savings, he bought a small air service, and his business grew to include a marine fuel dock at the harbor. Lenedra worked for him during summers, as she helped with the ledger and manned the radio. Her father would often take her along as he flew in mail, supplies, the locals, and the visitors in the area. Money was not the currency, as he was paid in fish and game, as most people there followed a subsistence lifestyle.

Lenedra married Atz Kilcher in 1969 after his two years of military service including in Vietnam; they divorced in 1982, with Atz granted custody of their children. Lenedra yearned to be free and was ‘committed to living on the wind… supported by the Unseen.’ Still lacking courage, she decided to just live life the way she wanted. She sold all her possessions, settled bills, bought plane tickets, and left her home of 41 years. At that time, her two children were away at school, and the youngest who was 16, was with Atz, so she ‘felt free to jump with abandon into the unknown.’ She only had $300 in her pocket when she left Alaska in 1991, to live in San Diego.

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For three years after her divorce, Lenedra struggled financially as she worked part-time and focused on restoring her health. Instead of working minimum-wage jobs, she taught music and art classes as well as led self-help groups. Later on, she established an art glass business, started a radio show, and wrote a column for a newspaper.

What happened to Lenedra?

Jewel’s story and her estrangement from her mother

Singing was in Jewel’s blood, as her grandmother Ruth taught her children how to sing and play music to pass the time, back in the day. Atz and his siblings even performed in Europe whenever Yule did presentations about life in Alaska as a homesteader; some even likened them to the Von Trapp children (“Sound of Music”). Jewel and her father would sing together in bars, and she went on to become a successful singer-songwriter.

Her life wasn’t easy, and her success was marred by her mother’s betrayal. Jewel was only eight when Lenedra left, and her longing for a mother was made worse by an abusive father. She left home when she turned 15, and attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan on a partial scholarship.

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She sought her mother out, and stayed with her for a while. Having limited resources, Jewel was later told by her mom that they should both live in their respective vans, where they could have a simple life, free from pressure and the burden of worrying too much about money. She could write songs, sing, sketch and dream. Mother and daughter met often and made plans.

Jewel performed at coffeehouses and small clubs in San Diego, where she slowly gained recognition, caught the eye of Atlantic Records executives, and signed a recording contract with them. As someone who sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and received multiple Grammy nominations, one would think that having Lenedra as her manager was a sound decision.

In her memoir, “Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half A Story,” published in 2015, Jewel revealed that she just turned 30 when she found out that she was broke, was millions of dollars in debt, and believed that her mother was the one responsible. It was a sobering reality that she had to face as she wrote, ‘I can’t tell you the tears I’ve cried to see who my mom really is,’ and added, ‘I can’t tell you about the pain and how my heart to this day screams to have a mom in my life. But I know that it’s not safe with her.’ Over the years, she was surrounded by ‘cult-like spiritual leaders’, along with her mom who held sway over decisions regarding her career and her finances. She later had to de-program and free herself from their influence.

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Writing the book was cathartic to her. She didn’t want to hang onto her pain or be bitter about life, as she said that life came with challenges and that people had to overcome them. She didn’t want to paint anybody as villains, even her parents, saying that they were not good or bad, just human.

She made peace with her father Atz, and appeared with her son Kase in a few episodes of “Alaska: The Last Frontier” in 2016. However, Jewel hadn’t seen or spoken to her mother since 2003; she still misses having a mom, but not Lenedra.

Understanding Lenedra

For someone who didn’t appear to be greedy, at least based on what she wrote in her 2001 book, “The Architecture of All Abundance: Seven Foundations to Prosperity,” it was a conundrum why she betrayed her daughter, and stole Jewel’s hard-earned money. Her book gave an insight into how she thinks and what drove her.

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Lenedra once quit after two weeks of working for a car rental company after high school, because she found it boring. From that time on, she would only work if the job was ‘wonderful’, even if she was paid nothing. She then set a minimum wage for herself at $25 per hour, later raised to $50 per hour, and wouldn’t accept anything less. Having this mindset allowed her flexibility, personal freedom, and opened up creative opportunities, all of which she valued above money.

She recalled going on Jewel’s first European tour and had to deal with various currencies. Over time, Lenedra simply stopped trying to understand them, and no longer asked about the cost of an item, but just asked herself if she needed it. The value of money, she said, had become relative.

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Her attitude towards handling Jewel’s finances was that even if there wasn’t much income, as it was early in her career, Lenedra still hired people to do the work she could have done but didn’t, as felt she wasn’t the right one for the job. In doing this, she believed things would work out in the end, and the money would come to cover the additional expenses, and ‘magically, it did so,’ she said. Lenedra said that for her, a good financial system should reflect her beliefs and fears about money.

Jewel’s debut studio album, “Pieces of You,” was released in 1995, but failed to chart. However, when she toured with the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan as his opening act, her album reached No.4 on Billboard 200, and this was two years after it was released. With increased album sales and her tours, money flowed right in.

Some music insiders criticized Lenedra for not capitalizing on Jewel’s fame, such as accepting endorsement deals and selling more merchandise. However, she said that it wasn’t the time to make more money, as they had to plan things carefully. She formed a financial team that would handle all the money coming in, that would ensure financial security and allow expansion, saying ‘We were planning for a long-term career to serve artistic development and humanitarian goals. We revisited our goals…and established the channels it would move along, and by what means’.

She founded the Higher Ground for Humanity (HGH), which Lenedra described as a providence-sharing organization. One of the major donors was Jewel, and all the donations that HGH received were said to be distributed with humanist goals in mind. HGH supported a holistic clinic in New Delhi, India, developed an environmental education program in Chile, and launched the Clearwater Project to provide safe drinking water to people in a small village called Sisoguichi in Chihuahua, Mexico, and communities in Lempira, Honduras.

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Her journey to spiritual development

Lenedra was someone who thought a lot about life, its intricacies, and its complexities. At 10 years old, she began to question what she was being taught, and how it would shape her as an adult. She pondered for a while about how to be a human being, or what it means to be a human being; she didn’t find the answer in school and in church, so she read autobiographies and biographies of people who led happy and interesting lives, claiming that ‘The answers are found in the individual and collective journey into our Being and in the stillness that leads us there.’

Whenever something bothered her or she was at a loss on how to deal with issues that came up in her personal life and business, she believed that all she had to do was be quiet and asked. The answer would come to her as she said, ‘It just bubbled up from somewhere, from someplace where all the answers are. We can know anything! It’s all right here. We just have to ask.’ There was a process to finding answers, and she developed her own system, calling it a ‘Dream Machine because it’s sort of like a time machine and sort of like dreaming.’ She had to sit down and stare and get herself into a dreamy state – she would imagine herself floating on a pond as big as the ocean, and would slowly sink down to the bottom where it was peaceful. Once she’s in a very calm place, the answer would come to her mind in the form of a voice, thought, or picture, and she would have a full understanding of it.

Ten years prior to writing her memoir, Lenedra took a spiritual development class, and while her friend balked at paying $65 for it, she said didn’t mind how much it cost, despite having limited funds, as she felt like this was an opportunity for spiritual growth. From then on, she would further delve into spirituality, and it guided her in which direction she should go for a more fulfilling life.

This was perhaps brought on by the unresolved issues she had with her parents since her childhood days. Her anger and fear kept her from developing a relationship with them, as an adult. Later on, when Lenedra realized upon reflection that her parents would not be around forever, she let go of the pain and fear, and then made peace with the past. She freed herself from the unresolved feelings, and was able to have a caring relationship with her parents.

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Unfortunately, after the issues with Jewel’s money came to light, Lenedra’s relationship with her daughter seemed beyond repair. It was not known if she made efforts to resolve their problems or if she didn’t consider what she did was wrong or a betrayal, considering she made decisions based on understanding the divine and listening to an inner voice while in silence and solitude.

Perhaps the problem between mother and daughter will resolve itself; hold your breath!

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience. At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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The Untold Truth About Expedition Unknown

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Although stories about previously unknown, ancient treasures and unveiled mysteries are usually seen as fictional fantasies, those same topics are exactly what makes “Expedition Unknown” so endearing. While the show takes us to the most fantastic and historically meaningful places around the world, what has really been keeping us engrossed with it for years it’s discovering the biggest secrets history has in store for us, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Expedition Unknown”s premise is very unique and so are the show’s settings, format and approach to topics. However, knowing how well produced and planned it is, it makes us wonder about things we aren’t able to see on-screen.

For this we have prepared a list of the less known facts about the show, including interesting bits about its host Josh Gates, his crew and what they’ve discovered so far. This is the unknown truth about “Expedition Unknown“.

Josh Has An Impressive Career

Just in case you have missed it, Josh Gates has an impressive career both in and outside the entertainment industry. A native of Massachusetts and born into a British-American family, Josh graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Archeology and Drama.

Although the fields are an uncommon combination, his professional background has allowed him to incorporate both. His debut on TV happened back in 2002, when he made short appearances in the ESPN’s game show “Beg, Borrow & Deal” and other TV productions. His big time finally came in 2007 with “Ghost Hunters” and “Destination Truth”, which became Syfy’s most watched show for a while.

While his career as an actor is less well-known, it’s not non-existent either, having played roles in low-budget movies such as “Party Foul” in 2003, and “Hard Cell” in 2007.

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Josh has also been involved with the production of many of the series he’s hosted, including “Stranded” and “Legendary Locations”.

Though Josh’s background as an archaeologist has allowed him to develop the proper experience to be his show’s investigator, his involvement with paranormal-related and myth-hunter shows make him a very multi-faceted TV personality as well.

Filming Takes A Long Time

As expected, when it comes to a show so well planned and shot on location like “Expedition Unknown” is, filming could take unexpectedly long periods of hard work.

As it happens, in “Expedition Unknown” we’re used to seeing Josh and his experts travel around the world. Though that would be genuinely enjoyable for almost everyone, transporting the camera crew and production staff to those places usually takes weeks or even months of preparation, besides the normal time filming takes.

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All in all, it’s said that to produce every season of “Expedition Unknown”, the crew take 200 days a year, out of which hundreds of hours are spent in airplanes and other transport, as Josh affirms.

The Most Dangerous Place

For those who are used to seeing Josh Gates shenanigans in the show, it’s hard to think of naming only one place as the most life-endangering.

However, Josh’s closest call was definitely in Myanmar. It happened back in 2015, when he and his crew were filming the episode “Curse Of The Golden Bell” in the search for an ancient and lost artifact which took him to the depths of the Yangon River. While Josh is a professional scuba diver, he didn’t consider the difficulties that entailed swimming in such muddy waters.

The lack of visibility caused by the heavy pollution and strong currents made his mission to find King Dhammazedi’s Great Bell impossible.

As he affirms, diving there was like ‘working with a blindfold on, feeling around underwater’ and despite his initial enthusiasm, the conditions were not only just too dangerous, but actually the worst he’d ever experienced.

All in all, desisting from it was a good idea, especially considering how many people have actually died in the Yangon River while looking for the Great Bell.

Unexpected News While Filming

It’s nothing out of the normal for TV casts to be in contact with their families while filming, especially for shows like “Expedition Unknown”, in which the crews have to spend long periods traveling and away from their loved ones.

As it comes, Josh Gates was given one of the best news items of his life while filming the show. It was back in season two, when Josh and his crew were in Portugal filming the episode “Secrets of Christopher Columbus”, as he was phoned by his wife to tell him they were having a baby.

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The exact moment in which an overly excited and emotional Josh informs people around him that he was going to become a dad for the first time, was filmed and included in the episode.

Later in season four, again while on the road with the “Expedition Unknown”s crew, Josh was informed that he was going to become a father for a second time; he wasn’t filmed, we can clearly imagine his reaction.

Humor Doesn’t Always Go As It Should

Despite being an investigation-centered show, “Expedition Unknown” always has a little touch of humor to make everything lighter.

However, despite how entertaining and light-hearted Josh Gates’ jokes are to us, he affirms that being funny isn’t his strongest skill. According to him, his attempt at humor ‘falls flat all the time’, but it’s admittedly his way of not only keeping the audience’s attention, but to make the work environment easier to endure during situations hard to deal with.

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Despite the extensive planning the show’s staff does, things in “Expedition Unknown” don’t always go as they should while filming, so joking and trying to lift everyone’s spirits on set is considered important in Josh’s perspective. That positive approach is probably appreciated by his fellow co-workers, and the audience surely enjoys seeing  and hearing it.

Food Is Not Always Safe To Consume

For a show such as “Expedition Unknown”, unexpected problems related to environmental factors occur quite often. As is obvious, the crew usually deals with problems just fine, but there are times in which things get so out of hand that it could endanger the cast’s wellbeing.

The latter situation happened during the fourth season, when the crew was in Ecuador filming “Hunt for the Metal Library”, and had to spend a long time enclosed in a cave. While the crew was prepared beforehand to successfully face the conditions of said environment, having to eat in a place where there were many animals had its consequences.

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This resulted in three members of the show’s crew falling sick for consuming bat’s excrement that somehow had fallen on their food. While their health’s condition didn’t worsen and their sickness was actually not as serious as it sounds, it’s enough to give us an idea of how far the show goes to keep the cameras rolling.

Josh Married A Co-Star

As should be obvious, Josh Gates’ work schedule has been very hectic since he made his TV debut. Knowing he spends a significant part of his life on set, it’s understandable that he ended up meeting his significant other half there as well.

As it happened, Josh and his then wife-to-be Hallie Gnatovich met on the set of his formerly-hosted show “Destination Truth”, for which she worked as an off-camera researcher. Though details about their relationship are unknown, in 2014 they tied the knot, and have since welcomed two children together.

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Despite Josh’s celebrity status, he and Hallie have carefully kept their children’s privacy, by not revealing their names or faces to the public. Regardless of their choice maintaining their private, their relationship always looked blissful from the outside, that is until Hallie announced in August 2021 that she and Josh had been separated for ‘a year and half’. In her words, their divorce had been officialized just a couple of months before, and both of them were still trying to figure out their shared parenthood and separate lives.

Josh Gates Famous Necklace

One never gets surprised enough when it comes to celebrities and things their fans do for them. Although Josh Gates’ personality is pretty much on the humble and chill side, some of the weirdest aspects of being famous is the fact that his necklace, which he usually wears in the show, has become quite popular as well.

If you don’t believe us, you only have to look up “Josh Gates Necklace” on Facebook, and see it for yourself. As it turns out, the page is very active and usually updates “Expedition Unknown” fans on Josh’s shenanigans.

While the aforementioned accessory has been described as ‘not magical’ by Josh, seeing that its page has over 3,000 fans and keeps growing, it makes us question if his words are actually untrue.

How Topics Are Selected

Seeing that “Expedition Unknown”s main premise is that of pursuing and unveiling ancient mysteries, it’s only expected that a lot of research takes place prior to letting its crew adventure into often unknown territory.

There are certain aspects which play a big role while choosing what and where the show’s crew is going to explore. While every myth could be interesting enough to be considered, what catches the show’s research team’s attention is if the stories indeed have substance, or as Josh describes it, if they have ‘meat on the bone’.

With the help of international archaeologists and experts in other fields, Josh and his crew follow the leads that actually lead to something instead of simply being completely unproven.

Besides the obvious pre-research that they go through, logistics and resources are factors not to be left aside. However, according to Josh, he and the show’s crew go on their adventures without knowing a great deal about what is going to happen in the end, which obviously makes the whole deal more interesting for both them and the audience.

What Josh Has To Say About William Shatner

Throughout the years, “Expedition Unknown” has surely given us many memorable moments. Out of those, one of the most interesting was shown in the series’ spin-off, “Shark Trek”, featuring William Shatner.

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Of course, this sort of tribute to “Star Trek” was unexpected considering the show’s usual concept. Despite that, the challenges encountered by Josh Gates’ crew along the way turned out as an extraordinary experience for everyone.

However, if there’s something that stuck in our heads it was how easily William adapted to the show. It wasn’t only us who noticed it though, as Josh admitted himself that besides being an amazing co-star, William’s genuine interest made everything more enjoyable.

According to Josh, what made William’s a memorable partner was definitely his willingness to ‘tackle and understand’ his fear, in order to ultimately conquer it. Those are qualities which surely an expedition expert such as Josh appreciates a lot, and will make us remember the special show with a smile for a long time.

The Reason They Went On Exploring Sharks

As entertaining as “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek’ was, at first many people were surprised to find that the series would continue exploring sharks, which was an admittedly unusual topic for a series mostly focused on uncovering other types of mysteries.

While the reaction is understandable, there were actually good reasons for this objective. As Josh explained, more than just going on a trip looking for sharks, his main focus was to explore human’s fearful attitude towards the unknown. In his words, the common fear towards these animals is partially caused by the media’s influence, films such as “Jaws”, and prejudices based on their appearance. However, by examining these sea creatures, Josh wanted to not only understand them, but to debunk the many misconceptions surrounding the species.

Needless to say, Josh’s intentions with the show are well appreciated by the audience, and surely by environmentalists as well.

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The Reason It Has Many Spin-Offs

“Expedition Unknown” has spawned several spin-off mini-series over the years, including titles such as “Hunt For The Yeti” and “Egypt Live”, which makes us feel happy to see it becoming a successful franchise.

However, while these aforementioned series were meant to show specific expeditions made by the crew in a deeper way, for the last couple of years, long-running spin-offs “Josh Gates Tonight” and “Expedition X” have also been released.

The reasoning behind creating these series in this new format, is a matter of adapting to the several regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to produce “Expedition Unknown” in the same way we were used to.

Traveling and filming is also a big concern for the show’s production team for the same reason, but they’ve at least continued to produce content for the franchise until the situation improves. That’s a relief for fans, who still wait for “Expedition Unknown”s return to TV screens as it was previously.

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What happened to Christie Brimberry from Gas Monkey Garage?

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For a time, fans of the reality-television series called “Fast N’Loud” were worried that one of its stars, Christie Brimberry, wouldn’t appear again in their favorite automotive restoration TV show. Due to health issues, she couldn’t perform her duties as the office manager of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage, which was the focal point of the reality-TV series. She took a break from managing the business in 2016 to focus on getting healthy, with the blessing of everyone in the shop. Loyal fans were relieved when she was seen again in the 15th season of one of the most-watched car shows on Discovery Channel.

Christie’s Early Life and Family

Not much information about her family and early life was revealed to the public. All that was known about her was that she was born on 25 March 1972, in Dallas, Texas, because Christie was very careful about what she shared in her social media accounts and during interviews.

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On her social media pages, she was proud to post that she had a good relationship with her parents, most especially her mother who passed away in 2015. She also shared some rare photos with her sister, and said that she was her ‘ride or die until the tires fall off’.

Christie has been married for many years to Darren Brimberry, a professional hairstylist with a hair salon in Dallas. She has six children, and some featured in her Instagram account, although some fans wondered why she has children of Afro-American descent. A fan complimented her for adopting them, but another said that she didn’t adopt any of them, but without offering any other information; much speculation formed but she never addressed the isue. Some of her children have graduated from college, and some are already married. When she posted a tribute to her mother during Mother’s Day in 2020, she mentioned that her old lady was about to be a great-grandmother soon.

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From Gas Monkey Garage to “Fast N’Loud” reality-TV

The Gas Monkey Garage is a Dallas-based custom auto shop founded by Richard Rawlings. After seeing automotive shows on TV, he realized that there was a chunk of the untapped market that those TV shows hadn’t taken advantage of – he noticed that his wife and kids wouldn’t stay and watch an auto show with him. The businessman in him knew that he needed to have a garage first to get to that point of creating a TV show. It was like hitting two birds with one stone, since his passion was automotive restoration and customization, so he sold his printing and advertising business to open up a garage in Dallas. Christie was hired through her husband, Darren, who was Richard’s hairstylist.

For many years, he had been pitching the TV show concept to Discovery Channel, until the cable executives eventually accepted the idea and “Fast N’Loud,” was born.

Unlike other automotive shows on TV with overwhelming machismo, Richard toned it down and made it appealing to women and kids without turning off the male viewers. The premise of the TV series was that he would look for worn-down classic or vintage cars all over the country, and purchase them for his team to restore them at the garage. After the fabrication and restoration process, Richard would sell the vehicle at a higher price, creating a significant profit for the business.

All through this, Christie was responsible for assisting Richard in dealing with all the chaos and drama involving the various people in the team – even shouting at her boss – to make sure everyone stayed on course so that they could meet the deadline. The first episode aired in June 2012 and the final episode in June 2020, all in all 155 episodes over the course of 16 seasons, produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery Channel.

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Meet Christie’s Co-Workers at Gas Monkey Garage

It might be Richard Rawlings who owned the garage, but it was his team of experienced professionals who were responsible for the actual restoration and customization of each car. He had the final say on the overall plan, such as choosing the car to be restored, the schedule, and approval of the budget for the proposed project, while Richard’s sister, Daphne Kaminski, worked as the Head of Operations.

The main mechanic and chief fabricator, Aaron Kaufman, was there almost from the start until he left the garage to open up his own fabrication shop in 2018, and subsequently starred in his own TV show also aired on Discovery Channel. He was with Richard for 14 years, but they maintained a friendship afterwards, as Richard respected him not only as a fabricator but also as a person. Christie even promoted and congratulated Aaron when he finally launched his own online shop.

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The rest of the team was comprised of Tony Cano, Mike Coy, and Kennan Hons (Paint and Body Tech Team), Chad Isbell (Automotive Parts Expert), Russell Holmes (Mechanic), J. Cheatham and J. Freeman (Fabricators), Jon Rodriguez (Wiring Expert), and Jason Aker (Firebird expert),

The Real Reason Why Christie Left Gas Monkey Garage in 2016

Ignoring potential health problems was one of the reasons why Christie had to leave Gas Monkey Garage abruptly and indefinitely. It was revealed that back in October 2016, she went through life-threatening surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node from her thyroid. Initially, she didn’t want to share her experience with the public, as she was a very private person. However, she eventually thought it best to educate people about the importance of getting a medical examination when one’s body didn’t feel right.

Apparently, before August 2016 ended, she felt something like a small knot in her throat, but ignored it, thinking that it just had something to do with her Hashimoto condition, a disease that attacks the thyroid and creates nodules in the throat. When it became annoying and felt like having a finger shoved down her throat, Christie had it examined; she had an ultrasound, and when the doctor saw the size of the nodule, a biopsy followed. Somehow she knew deep inside that it could be something worse and dangerous, and 12 days later, her suspicions were confirmed. She had thyroid cancer and the only good thing about it was the doctor saying that it had only affected one lymph node, but it had to be treated right away because it was aggressive.

Christie was assured by her doctor that it would be an easy surgery, that the removal of the thyroid and the cancerous lymph node was done in one day, however, when they operated on her, it was discovered that cancer had spread and a cluster of lymph nodes was removed.

The doctor also had to remove a part of her trachea because it was affected as well. Unfortunately, during the process of removing all of it, the nerve in her voice box was cut, which resulted in her having no voice at all, and she was informed that the condition could last for about six months or so. Christie also had chemotherapy to help fully remove the cancerous cells from her body.

In November 2016, the tube that was inserted in her throat and the stitches were removed, however, the doctor identified that the left side of her voice box was still paralyzed, which made talking and swallowing difficult. Instead of the initial prognosis of six months, the doctor said it would take around eight months to a year before she regained her voice.

Christie went back for a follow-up after a month, and there was an improvement. She got her voice tone back, but she lost a lot of volume.

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She was advised to stop taking her thyroid medication so that she could receive Radioactive Iodine treatment; this created an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, that left her emotionally drained, such that she would cry often, and had little control over her emotions. Being on a low iodine diet, which meant no bread, no dairy and no commercially processed food, made it even more unbearable.

However, after a year of non-stop treatment and a disciplined lifestyle, Christie was declared cancer-free by her doctor in December 2017. She posted on her official Facebook page, ‘I went through the last of my treatment last week, and had my one-year bone scan on Friday! The results came back today and I am CANCER FREE!!!’

Back on Gas Monkey Garage and “Fast N’Loud”

While Christie was never fired from Gas Monkey Garage, as Richard was very supportive of her, she wasn’t physically able to join the rest of the cast of “Fast N’Loud.”

She totally regretted that she wasn’t part of the filming of the Mannequin Challenge that Richard and the rest of the team did in December 2016, however, she made sure to be active on her social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to help promote the TV show. There was even a time when she went live while an episode was being aired, just to stay connected with the fans.

When the doctors cleared her to return to work, she was welcomed back in the garage. On 13 June 2018, Richard posted on his official Facebook page, a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his office at Gas Monkey Garage with Christie looking on while pointing out something on a ledger. It was business as usual, and he captioned it with ‘Working hard and havin’ fun’, while Christie posted the same photo with the caption, ‘I love my job.’ Fans were able to see her once again in the last two seasons of their reality-TV series.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Loyal fans were shocked that Richard announced during a guest appearance in the podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in December 2020, that the 16th season that was aired earlier that year was the last from his team. He didn’t renew his contract with Discovery Channel, saying that it had run its course. However, he assured the fans that he had many plans for Gas Monkey Garage on other media platforms.

True enough, Gas Monkey Garage has been continuously uploading videos on their official YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers. They also created a podcast called “Monkey Trap with Richard Rawlings”, with their Facebook page having close to five million followers. Recently, the Gas Monkey Garage online merchandise shop launched Richard Rawling’s Car Sweepstakes, in which anyone who purchased $1 worth of merchandise automatically received a raffle ticket for the vehicle giveaway. For instance, a $35-trucker hat would mean 35 raffle entries into the giveaway contest.

A federal-regulated sweepstakes agency was tasked to draw the winner each time the giveaway countdown ends.

Christie Brimberry net worth and financial difficulties

According to authoritative sources, Christie has an estimated net worth of $2 million, some earned from her participation in the reality-TV series and her involvement with the Gas Monkey Garage business. This assess thatment must be true before her battle with cancer, because in some of her social media posts, she shared that she had a hard time paying for the medical bills she incurred for her cancer treatment, saying the insurance coverage that she had wasn’t large enough to cover all the expenses. To alleviate some of the expenses, she marketed events and brands through paid sponsorship on her social media accounts, and was even accused of being a sellout through the comments she received. One time, she was fed up with them that she told everyone that it was her way of surviving, and if they didn’t approve, they could unfollow.

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When “Fast N’Loud” ended its run, fans were worried that Christie lost another source of income. After a while, she announced that she’d opened up an account in OnlyFans.com. While some of her fans were apprehensive about this, the move no longer surprised them and they suspected it was to be used for a secondary source of revenue. Most of the celebrities and regular folks joined this web content subscription service, so that they could earn money from subscribers. It was one of those social media platforms that allowed content creators to receive funding from their fans for exclusive pay-per-view photos or videos. It actually created an uproar over the Internet, as most of the content offered consisted of sexually explicit videos and photos.

When Christie posted a teaser showing a photo of her wearing an unbuttoned shirt revealing her cleavage down to her tummy, the fans expected racy content from her.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B56O9l5A2zC/

However, she clarified many rumors that went around after her OnlyFans announcement, debunking what most of the fans thought was her reason for joining, saying that it wasn’t for financial reasons because she wasn’t broke. She also said that she wasn’t getting a divorce, that the OnlyFans idea came from her husband. Christie said she was just happy and that the timing was perfect as she was in a place where she’s most comfortable with her skin. Not everyone believed her because of her previous posts about her problems with finances due to her surgery and all that came with it. For $24, a subscriber could access the 165 digital media she posted about herself for three months on her OnlyFans account, however, the controversial crowd-sourcing site announced that it would prohibit account users from uploading explicit images and videos, as of October 2021.

https://www.facebook.com/GasMonkeyGarage/photos/t.100044231209485/675220785834592/?type=3

Her profile on her official OnlyFans account showed ‘I used to be that girl from that show but now I’m the girl from that website! No porn, I’m not a porn star.’ However, her sexy photos in which her nipples were in full view were leaked to the public, even if there was a warning on her page that said, ‘Any images/videos re-uploaded elsewhere online will be sent a DMCA from my lawyer, and legal ramifications will be enforced.’ Some of her subscribers said it was like Christie posted for racy magazines such as Playboy or Penthouse.

“Fast N’Loud” fans were wondering if she’s still connected with Gas Monkey Garage, because based on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, she hasn’t posted anything about them in 2021. The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has surely created problems for all types of businesses all over the world, and it would not be impossible at all if the auto shop undertook some reorganization of its staff and crew.

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