A woman who was previously in a relationship with Seeking Sister Wife couple Ashley and Dimitri Snowden is speaking out in the wake of abuse allegations made against the couple by their recent sister wife, Christeline Petersen.
Actress Ariadne Joseph did a 90-minute live interview with John Yates on YouTube and shared her terrifying story of alleged abuse at the hands of the Snowdens. She also reveals that she spoke with the TLC legal team about the Snowdens during the first season of the show, but after they said they would look into it, she never heard back.
Before I begin this overview/recap of Ari’s interview, I want to strongly encourage to watch the full video (embedded below). There is SO much more information than I could ever include in a single post like this. Plus, it is absolutely worth it to get the story straight from Ari. She handles a lot of incredibly difficult topics with absolute class, humility and sincerity. It’s a very enlightening reflection that helps shed light on how anyone can find themself in an abusive relationship.
I will start with the full interview:
Ari begins by explaining that she met Ashley and Dimitri Snowden in a polygyny Facebook group roughly eight years ago. (Ari used the term polygyny, so I will use it as well.) Ari was in a relationship and pregnant with her third daughter at the time, so her communication with the Snowdens was limited.
Roughly two years later, she reconnected with the Snowdens online and became friends with Ashley. The relationship was going so well that Ashley traveled to visit with Ari, who lived in New Orleans, for three days. Ashley’s visit started off well, but it went a little sour by the second day. Ashley flew back to Pennsylvania, where she and Dimitri lived at the time.
Fast forward a year and a half and Ashley reached back out to Ari online. She apologized for how poorly their first meeting went and said she was inspired to reconnect by a recent dream she had of Ari. Ari decided to give the relationship another go, and this time she made the trip with her four-year-old daughter to the Snowdens’ new home in Georgia. Ari says she has three daughters, but her two older daughters stayed with their dad.
When Ari arrived in Snowdenopolis, things escalated VERY quickly. She said Ashley greeted her at the door completely naked, and she was told that it was preferred that the wives not wear clothes in the house. Even wearing a pair of panties was an issue. Dimitri was also often naked, and Ari had to ask him to at least wear boxers around her daughter.
In addition to the laundry-saving nudity, Ari says that the Snowdens lived in a small, two-bedroom apartment and all the adults had to sleep in the same bed. Oh, and Ashley was not usually allowed to leave the house without either Dimitri or Ashley being with her.
And speaking of things escalating quickly, on the same day that Ari arrived, Dimitri proposed. Despite the list of concerning things about the Snowdens’ lifestyle, Ari accepted Dimitri’s proposal.
John asks Ari why the numerous red flags weren’t enough to turn her away. Ari says it was mainly because the Snowdens are extremely adept at selling themselves.
“Dimitri is very charming,” Ari admits. “He comes off as this man who would give you anything and everything. Ashley has this very sweet, loving, supportive, not jealous, ‘this is what we want’ type attitude. And that was not the case. I learned that as time wore on.”
Ari made the trip back to New Orleans where she followed Dimitri’s recommendation and sold most of her belongings. Dimitri rented a U-Haul and the two of them (plus Ari’s youngest daughter) drove the U-Haul and her vehicle back to Georgia.
At the time that Ari moved in, she says Dimitri worked from home and Ashley was unemployed. Ari says the Snowdens had very little money, and they used her vehicle. She gave Dimitri and Ashley money on numerous occasions, and Ari says she spent most of her time cooking, cleaning and home schooling.
Later in the interview, John asks Ari what she thinks Ashley is looking for from a sister wife. “I think she wanted a maid,” Ari replies. “She wanted somebody to clean, because her ass didn’t clean — excuse my French. She didn’t like to clean. She didn’t like to be around her kids. She wanted a babysitter. She wanted an ATM because the women that came in, all of them said the same thing: that they were taking money from them. If she could have had a lover, you know, somebody to perform things on her, I’m sure that would have been something that she’d welcome as well.”
Ari says she was never interested in Ashley sexually, despite Ashley’s numerous attempts to light that fire. It’s unclear if that rejection was the reason, but Ashley would eventually turn on Ari and grow to despise her. The two would later clash and Ashley packed her bags and kids and moved to Cincinnati for about a month.
Two days after Ashley left, there was a Super Bowl party. Later that night, Ari discovered Dimitri and a woman asleep together on a couch in the basement on the Snowdens’ house. (The Snowdens had upgraded from their apartment to a rental house. The woman sleeping with Dimitri on the couch is the same woman whose ex reported his children missing and claimed that they were last seen with Dimitri. She also handled Dimitri’s taxes and believed she was pregnant with Dimitri’s baby. You can watch John Yates’ video about all of that here.)
The next day, Ari confronted Dimitri about the woman, as well as some text messages she found on his phone. She says that he went into a rage, put his hands around her neck, and pushed her over a table that had multiple guns on it. She points out that Dimitri having guns was an issue because she later found out he was not legally allowed to have them.
“Dimitri is a felon,” she reveals. “Dimitri was convicted of car theft when he was, like, 19 or 20.”
One of the guns on the table caused a laceration on Ari’s back that started bleeding. Dimitri eventually let her go, then he punched through a makeshift plywood desk while still enraged and screaming.
While Dimitri was screaming, Ari ran out of the office. When she opened the door to leave, her 14-year-old daughter was standing in the doorway with tears streaming down her face and a knife in her hand “because she thought she had to protect her mother.” (The 14-year-old daughter did not make the initial trip with Ari, but arrived not long before the attack.)
Ari took the knife and she and her daughters went upstairs where they all locked themselves in a room. Dimitri was pounding on the door, and after Ari had her daughters lock themselves in a connecting bathroom, she opened the door. Dimitri pleaded with her to talk. One of Ari’s daughters came out and confronted Dimitri, and even pushed him.
Ari got between Dimitri and her daughter and was eventually able to convince Dimitri to leave.
“I just sat on the bed,” Ari recalls. “I was numb. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t really know what was happening. I just — I was still very shocked that all of that happened because I did not expect it. Even though I saw how badly he talked to Ashley, and how he treated her…I did not expect that at all.”
Dimitri apologized numerous times, and the next day he continued to be remorseful. Ari adds that Dimitri asked her not to call the police.
Immediately I started to try to figure out how I could get out of the house, but at this point I didn’t have any money to leave…I didn’t know anybody in Georgia. I had left everything in Louisiana to move [in] with them. So I had no safety net. That’s what they do. They isolated me from my friends, from my family. I had no connections. And they’ve done that to everybody, you know? I firmly believe that they felt like they could get away with abusing Chrissy [Christeline] because she had nobody here. She’s from South Africa. She knows nobody in America. And so they felt comfortable mistreating her.
Ari talks about another incident when Dimitri allegedly came into the bedroom when she was asleep and sexually assaulted her:
I didn’t want what happened to me — and I really don’t want to say what happened — but I had never done that in my life. And there was no way that I could get free because he had the back of my neck. You know, when you’re in a situation where you’re married, or with someone, and you both have had consensual sex, it’s hard to reconcile in your mind that this person has violated you, has taken something from you without permission — without asking. So I knew that it was wrong, but I didn’t even know how I would go and report that as being, you know, the ‘r’ word. But when I saw Chrissy’s story, I was triggered, and it brought it all back. And I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god. Oh my god.’
Going back home was extremely difficult for Ari because she previously had to fight her parents about her decision to move in with the Snowdens. “My mother hated it. She hated the idea, and I sold them to her — the way they sold themselves to me. I believed that they were these amazing people and I’m reassuring my parents, ‘They’re good people. This will be a good situation.’ Yeah. I had to go back and tell them that they were right. And not only were they right, but these people abused me and traumatized me and my children. That was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do.”
The problem wasn’t just Dimitri. Despite Ari saying that she has messages from Ashley admitting that she was also abused by Dimitri physically and emotionally, Ari says Ashley is now complicit in the abuse:
One of the things that attracted me to them was their relationship. They seemed so loving and so kind to each other. But, of course, you never know a person — or people — until you live with them. So I realized it was a facade, and that he was an a**hole and that she was being abused. But she was also an a**hole. They both became a**holes, and what I noticed is that they were at their happiest when they were terrorizing me — when I was the enemy.
… It’s crazy because it seems like she’s taken on his personality, or taken on who he is, and now she is an abuser too. She’s a manipulator. And as I’ve said, they’re never as happy as they are when they’re terrorizing someone. They gang up on you.
There was one instance in which Ari attempted to talk with Ashley about Dimitri sleeping with other women, and Ashley turned it around and told Ari that it is women like her that prevent women from “escaping the sickness of patriarchy.”
Ari couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “I told her, ‘The fact that you are upset, or mad, that I’m telling other women and warning other people about Dimitri and about what this man does — you’re sleeping next to a demon, to a sexual deviant. And you know this.’…He would use her to bring the women in. I mean, she lured me in!”
John asks Ari if she knows how many other “sister wives” the Snowdens had prior to appearing on Seeking Sister Wife. Ari estimates there were roughly a couple dozen women before her that the Snowdens courted to be a sister wife. She adds that she has been in contact with at least twelve of the women.
The interview with John wasn’t the first time Ari has opened up about her abusive relationship with the Snowdens. She says that she found out that Ashley and Dimitri were on Seeking Sister Wife after the first season premiered, and she contacted the legal team at Discovery (TLC’s parent company). She says she spoke with a representative and gave them all of the information she had on the Snowdens. they told her they would look into it further, but she never heard anything back. Ari says that multiple other women have also contacted TLC/Discovery about the Snowdens.
John sums it up this way: “TLC was warned about him, and they decided to look the other way and potentially victimize a lot of other women that the Snowdens can get their grasp on.”
“Pretty much,” Ari concurs. She then reveals that it was her outspokenness that inspired the Snowdens to start having their potential sister wives sign non-disclosure agreements (aka NDAs). She says that the Snowden NDAs are in addition to whatever TLC or show producers have the cast members sign, and that’s why Vanessa, Christeline, and Tayler haven’t been able to talk at all about their experiences with Ashley and Dimitri. “They couldn’t say anything about the relationship,” Ari says. “No text messages, nothing.”
Ari has spoken with the three women that appeared on the show, and she did reveal a little bit about their experiences secondhand. (Although she is very careful to not say enough to get them into trouble.) She says Vanessa wasn’t just having second thoughts when she left and relocated to Australia, “she was running for her life.”
And what about Christeline? Ari says she and her children are currently in hiding “because she’s afraid. She’s frightened.” Ari says that Christeline’s story is way worse than her own.
More from Ari on TLC ignoring the warnings and electing to continue filming the Snowdens as they court additional women:
TLC. Those a**holes…Chrissy and her children didn’t have to go through that, they didn’t have to experience that. Tayler, Vanessa — they did not have to experience this. Had TLC took those people off the air and allowed them to be exposed the way they should have been, because when I came out and I released all that information — and I had text messages and pictures — they scrubbed the internet of it. Some of the groups, the TLC groups, took all of the information out. So, they did nothing. They allowed this piece of s**t to be on this damn show, and they continue to abuse, and misuse, and traumatize women.
Does Ari watch Seeking Sister Wife?
I HAVE NOT watched the show, and I refuse to. But I’ve seen clips, and it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting. It’s disgusting to see Ashley pretend to be something she’s not. I’ve gone to her Instagram page and I’ve seen some of the sh*t that she’s writing. She’s so — she’s so fake. She’s a great wordsmith, I’ll give her that. She’s a great writer, but she’s full of sh*t. That woman does not live the things that she talks about. She doesn’t. She’s not spiritual. No person who’s connected to spirit in a healthy — in a benevolent way would do something like this to children and women. You just wouldn’t! Like, who — what woman does this?! What woman allows other women to be victimized? I just, I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it. And yes, I think she’s a monster. I think she’s a monster just like him. There’s no way if you love and you’re about sisterhood that you would allow women to be destroyed right in front of you. And that’s what she’s doing. She’s contributing to their destruction.
Ari in conclusion:
There’s a lot more to these situations, and I believe that it’s going to become public. The world’s going to find out the truth. All of the truth — ALL OF IT. It’s time. It’s time. Somebody has to stop this. I was begging TLC, just hoping that they would stop, they would take them off the air at least so that they won’t have public attention, because then other women will see this and fall in love with this image they’re creating online or on TV and want to be a part of this family…not even knowing that they’re putting themselves in a situation where they’re going to be abused. They’re going to be victimized. Their children are going to be traumatized. Poor Chrissy’s little girls were traumatized in that house. Her babies didn’t deserve that.
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, I strongly recommend that you watch the full video. In addition to having the information presented by Ari herself, you will also find out about things like the STD Dimitri gave Ashley, Dimitri’s first marriage, and why none of the potential new Snowden sister wives have gotten pregnant.
I want to thank Ari for speaking out. And not just speaking out now with John, but also speaking out to Discovery / TLC a long while ago. If multiple women approached them with believable evidence of the Snowden’s history of abuse towards their potential sister wives, I believe a lawyer might be interested in talking with Christeline and Vanessa about potentially filing a lawsuit against TLC.
If you want to show Ari some love and support, you can reach her on Instagram. If you just want to say negative stuff, then I recommend you head over to a Seeking Sister Wife Facebook group or other forum.
UPDATE – Click here for the second installment of John’s interview with Ariadne in which she brings LOTS of receipts in the form of texts and emails from Ashley, Dimitri, and the TLC legal department!
UPDATE – From Tayler via John on Instagram: