Ruby Franke's Sister Says She's "Beyond Disgusted" Over YouTuber's Alleged Abuse

Bonnie Hoellein, one of Ruby Franke's sisters, is speaking out again against the parenting influencer as she faces charges of child abuse.

By Corinne Heller Sep 14, 2023 10:02 PMTags
Watch: Ruby Franke's Sister "Disgusted" by Child Abuse Charges

Bonnie Hoellein is further distancing herself from sister Ruby Franke.

The parenting influencer, who documented her family life in Utah with husband Kevin and their six children on the now-deleted YouTube channel 8 Passengers, was arrested in late August on child abuse charges along with business partner Jodi Hildebrandt. Prosecutors have charged each woman—who are cofounders of parent advice and counseling service ConneXions—with six counts of felony child abuse.

E! News has attempted to reach legal representation for both Ruby and Jodi for comment but contact information has not been made available. Past attempts to reach them directly have been unsuccessful.

In the wake of the child abuse scandal, Bonnie, is opening up about her estrangement from her sister, explaining says "Ruby and Kevin cut our family off" years ago.

"The first thing that I want to say is that we have kept quiet for three years on the topic of our sister Ruby and Jody and Kevin and ConneXions," the YouTuber said in a nearly 10-minute video posted Sept. 13. "We did not know what they were doing because, like we said, we were cut off, we did not have access to anyone."

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She further slammed Ruby and her husband's controversial extreme parenting techniques as well as her company.

"My thoughts towards Ruby and Jody and Kevin and ConneXions is that it was all bullcrap," Bonnie continued. "It was it was complete indoctrination of this thing that they created. I don't agree with how extreme they are on everything. I knew they were weird. I knew that they were off. Those are the things that we kept quiet about because what was I gonna say? What was I going to do? I was not going to come out and publicly say that I don't like my sister and I don't like what she's doing and I think she's weird. That is what we kept quiet about."

She also made it a clear point to separate herself from Ruby, adding, "I am not my sister. I am not my sister's mistakes."

Ruby, 41, and Jodi, 54, were arrested Aug. 30 after one of the Frankes' sons, 12, climbed out a window at the latter's home and went to a neighbor's house, asking for food and water. He was found to be emaciated and with open wounds and duct tape on his ankles and wrists, according to an affidavit obtained by NBC News. Police also found his 10-year-old sister was found at the home in a similar malnourished condition, the document said, with the children ultimately being transported to a hospital for treatment.

Ruby and Kevin's four minor children were taken into the care of Utah's Division of Child and Family Services.

As for Kevin, he has not been arrested or charged and his lawyer recently said on Good Morning America that his client has been living apart from Ruby for 13 months and is "distraught" over how the allegations are affecting his family.


Ruby and Jodi are currently being held in jail without bail ahead of a Sept. 21 hearing.

"The more I learn, my feelings are turning more to anger," Bonnie said in her video about the allegations. "I am mad. I am mad at what has happened. I am beyond disgusted and I feel like it makes me tremble. It makes me tremble because this is unheard of. It is truly unbelievable."

She previously spoke out against Ruby a day after her sister was arrested in a joint statement with sisters Ellie Mecham and Julie Deru.

"For the last 3 years we have kept quiet on the subject of Ruby Franke for the sake of her children," they wrote in their Aug. 31 note. "Behind the public scene, we have done everything to try and make sure the kids were safe. We wouldn't feel right about moving forward with regular content without addressing the most recent events. Once we do, we will not be commenting on it any further."

The sisters added, "Ruby was arrested which needed to happen. Jodi was arrested which needed to happen. The kids are now safe, which is the number one priority."

After Bonnie shared her YouTube video, Julie posted one of her own, saying that she did not think ConneXions was a good counseling resource for Ruby.

"We all felt weird about this Jodi lady," she noted. "We weren't comfortable with it. We didn't like it. We didn't like the teachings Ruby was bringing to the family functions."

Deru said that three years ago, Ruby "left the family," adding, "I literally had no contact with her. She wouldn't respond to any texts or emails."

"We are kind of in complete shock still as to what she had done," she said, "because we had no idea of what was happening."

(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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