Sad Details About RHONY Star Brynn Whitfield's Childhood

"The Real Housewives of New York City" newbie Brynn Whitfield has made quite an impression on fans since her debut in the popular reality series. She has adapted well to her glamorous "Housewives" role, emerging as the fun yet sometimes inappropriate castmate who often has something shocking to say. In addition to her newfound TV stardom, Whitfield has a successful career in PR that's given her an estimated worth of more than $3 million. However, while life is good now, Whitfield's childhood was filled with sadness, something she still carries with her today. 

Whitfield was raised in South Bend, Indiana, by her maternal grandmother, Darlene, whom she affectionately refers to as her mother.  Not only did Darlene take on the task of raising Whitfield when her birth parents weren't in a position to do so, but she also raised Whitfield's brother Daris and sister, Trina. The children ended up in her care after severe neglect at the hands of their parents, Alton Whitfield and Jill Marie Mitchell.  Unfortunately, when Darlene passed away in March 2021, Whitfield lost the only maternal figure she had growing up. It was a harsh blow given the abuse and neglect she experienced before coming to live with her grandmother.

Brynn Whitfield's parents have extensive criminal pasts

When Brynn Whitfield, Daris, and Trina were children, their parents, Jill Marie Mitchell and Alton Whitfield, were struggling. Though she only lived with her biological parents for the first six months of her life, Whitfield knows they lived in Section 8 housing and had gotten into serious trouble with the law.  Alton's criminal record is riddled with arrests for retail fraud, drug possession, fraud, burglary, and writing bad checks. Sadly, Mitchell went down a nearly identical path, racking up some of the same charges as Brynn's father. She served time behind bars beginning in 1987 and was on parole for two years after her release in 1990.

Before Mitchell headed off to prison, she gave her children up for adoption, which is how they ended up living with Darlene. Their grandmother worked hard to give the three kids a stable life. Meanwhile, Brynn's birth mother remained on the straight and narrow after her prison stint.  She had four more children with a new man, though her relationship with Brynn, Daris, and Trina has remained strained. 

Whitfield was severely neglected as an infant

In addition to legal troubles, Alton Whitfield and Jill Marie Mitchell allegedly abused Brynn Whitfield as an infant. While the full extent of the abuse has not been discussed, during episode four of Season 14, Whitfield shared, "I wasn't picked up for six days, my diaper wasn't changed." A family source offered some insight into why this may have occurred.

"Her mother was young and just couldn't handle [parenting] at the time and wasn't able to give Brynn the life that you should give a child, the relative told The U.S. Sun, adding, "The circumstances were not good."

Mitchell is still living, but she and Whitfield don't have a relationship. In fact, the yoga trainer is not close with any members of her family, including the brother and sister she was raised with. For this reason, Whitfield remains amicable with her former partners, such as her ex-fiance Gideon Lang-Laddie, who fans fell head over heels for when he appeared in an episode of "RHONY." While the two are not a couple, it seems he is a sound support system for Whitfield, who is still struggling to reconcile her tumultuous childhood.