As former YouTube “momfluencer” Ruby Franke sits behind bars on charges of child abuse, her estranged husband has filed for divorce.
Kevin Franke filed a petition for divorce and a domestic relations injunction on Wednesday in Utah’s Fourth Judicial District. While the divorce petition is private, the injunction is a public document. It lays out rules for the petitioner, Kevin Franke, and the respondent, Ruby Franke.
Part of the injunction emphasizes the two parties cannot harass each other in any way, including electronically. They cannot cancel services belonging to the other, such as phone service. They cannot cancel or change any shared insurance policies, such as health insurance or auto insurance, without written permission from the other party.
The Frankes are also prohibited from making derogatory comments about each other in front of the children.
Ruby Franke, 41, started the YouTube channel “8 Passengers” in 2015 with her husband. In her videos, she featured the everyday lives of her six children while advising about parenting, homeschooling, and marriage. At its height, the channel amassed more than 2.2 million subscribers.
Uploads to the channel stopped in 2022, and YouTube terminated the account earlier this year. While YouTube did not provide a specific reason for the removal, multiple fellow YouTubers have made videos calling out Ruby Franke for her strict parenting style and punishment tactics.
After she stopped uploading to “8 Passengers,” Ruby Franke began appearing in videos for ConneXions Classroom, a therapy company created by her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt.
According to the Santa Clara-Irvine Public Safety Department, police got a call just before 11 a.m. on Aug. 30 about a 12-year-old boy who showed up at a man’s home asking for food and water. The man told dispatchers that the child “appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities,” police wrote in a news release.
Investigators discovered the boy had left neighbor Hildebrandt’s home through a window. When police searched the home, they found the boy’s younger sister with similar wounds. Both were treated at a hospital. Ruby Franke’s other young children were taken into the care of child protective services.
Franke and Hildebrandt are jailed and awaiting a bond hearing. Each faces six charges of felony child abuse.
Kevin Franke blames Jodi Hildebrandt for his children’s suspected abuse. His attorney told Law&Crime that Kevin Franke believes Hildebrandt’s influence led to severe parenting tactics.
The attorney also told Law&Crime that Kevin Franke had not seen his wife or children in more than a year, at Hildebrandt’s suggestion.
Read the entire domestic relations injunction document below:
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