90 Day Fiancé has become one of TLC’s most popular reality shows. Currently in its eighth season, the show follows American citizens who must marry foreign fiancés within 90 days before their visa expires and they’re deported from the country. In addition to being a smash hit, the show has spawned multiple spin-offs, including 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After, 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, and 90 Day Fiancé: What Now? While there have been many colorful characters on these show over the years, Big Ed has become one of the franchise’s best-known and most divisive participants. Here, we take a deep dive into the life of the polarizing reality star, also known as Ed Brown.
Who Is Big Ed?
Born Edward Allen Brown on April 28, 1965, Big Ed was on 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days. This spin-off of the original 90 Day Fiancé had an interesting twist—the couples were not yet engaged, only knew each other online, and were meeting for the first time in front of the cameras. During their time on the show, the long-distance lovebirds would get to know each other in person and ultimately decide whether they wanted to get engaged and go through with the visa process or call it quits.
Big Ed appeared on the fourth season of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days. His unkind behavior, bratty personality, and short stature made him one of the show’s most controversial—and intriguing—cast members. Audiences loved to hate the brash, San Diego native, who was frequently rude to his girlfriend, Rose, and later had sexual assault accusations levied against him (more on that later).
In his daily, non-90-Day-Fiancé life, the 4’11’’ reality TV star is a professional photographer—and a successful one, at that. He earned a master’s degree from the New School of Architecture and Design, and specializes in fashion, wedding, studio, and advertising photography. His gigs have taken him to some pretty amazing international locations, including Italy, Kauai, Quito Ecuador, and Puerto Vallarta.
Big Ed Suffers From A Rare Genetic Disorder
Big Ed was born with a rare disorder called Klippel Fiel Syndrome (KFS), which is a condition that affects the development of the bones in the spine. The disorder is responsible for the former 90 Day Fiancé star’s short neck, which made him the subject of ridicule all his life—even more so now that he’s well-known.
“I’ve felt a range of emotions from having anxiety to being elated and then being brought to tears by people’s mean comments,” he said in an interview with News24. “People have body-shamed and bullied me to the point where it made me cry….When the trailer came out in January, people started making fun of my neck, and body-shaming me and putting my head on animals. Really just pure hatred.”
But despite the painful bullying, the 55-year-old reality star says his fame has also given him a way to help other people suffering with KFS. “I got a letter from a girl in South Africa…she wrote to me saying that she is about to get married and also has Klippel Fiel Syndrome…I told her what I’ve always told myself, and that is for the condition not to define you. God made you this way for a reason and you’re special in every way.”
“I started sharing anti-bullying messages and I’ve been able to create this positive platform,” he added. “Which is something I never thought that I would be able to do.”
Big Ed Hasn’t Always Looked The Same
If you’re curious to see what Big Ed looked like when he was younger, all you have to do is check out the photographer’s Instagram feed. He’s posted a number of fun throwback pics, including ones from his senior year of high school and when he used to work as a waiter.
Big Ed Was Known For His Relationship On The Show With Rose Vega
What intrigued audiences most about Big Ed was his relationship with Philippines-native Rosemarie Vega, who is 31 years his junior. The pair met on social media and chatted online for about three months before Big Ed decided to take the plunge and travel to the Philippines to meet Rose in person.
Their age difference was definitely an issue, especially in light of the fact that Big Ed had a daughter from his first marriage, Tiffany, who was six years younger than Rose. Tiffany did not approve of her father’s relationship and the pair had a falling out right before Big Ed left for the Philippines. Luckily, the reality star revealed to Us Magazine that the two eventually reconciled when he returned to the U.S.
“I love my daughter. She is — and I say this with love and respect — a pain in the ass, just like her dad,” he said. “Her mom tells her every day, ‘You’re just like your father,’ and we are. We’re very passionate about who we are. We’re very honest people. She’s a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s doing really, really well. She never gives up. She’s a fighter.”
As for Big Ed and Rose, that’s another story.
Big Ed Doesn’t Come Without Controversy
Big Ed’s brash personality rubbed many viewers the wrong way, and audiences did not like his dishonesty and his poor treatment of Rose. For example, the vertically-challenged star lied to Rose about his height and insulted her frequently. In one episode he famously told her: “Don’t be mad at me but um…last night I noticed that your legs were kinda like mine. They were hairy. So I’ll make you a deal. If you shave your legs, I’ll shave my beard.”
Big Ed also gave Rose a hard time about her past relationships, and even went as far as asking her to take an STD test while refusing to take one himself. He was rude to Rose’s underprivileged family and constantly complained about their uncomfortable home and lack of modern amenities. He showed very little love for or interest in Prince, Rose’s young son, despite the fact that he might become his stepfather.
On top of all the things he did to Rose (and the list goes on and on), Big Ed was accused of sexual harassment by a woman he used to work with. Back in April, a woman using the anonymous username “Lordakeet” came forward with a series of videos on her TikTok feed detailing the inappropriate behavior, eventually revealing the perpetrator to be the one and only Big Ed. She also went on the show Daily Soap Dish to give more detail about her allegations.
“For about nine months, I was being harassed by him sexually and also assaulted by him,” she said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen my last TikTok or one of my TikToks about an example of the first day that I met him, and that was also assault. So [there is] a lot going on with these allegations…By the end of it, I ended up in the hospital from an incident that happened with him, and I ended up having a lot of health issues from it. This was about four years ago, so I’ve been still trying to heal myself since that incident.”
Are Big Ed And Rose Still Together?
It probably doesn’t shock you to learn that these two did not end up making it to the altar. Rose finally had enough of Big Ed’s deception when she found out he planned to get a vasectomy despite knowing full well that she wanted to have more kids. That was the last straw for Rose, who broke it off.
During a tell-all episode that aired after the season was over, Big Ed claimed that Rose contacted him after he left the Philippines because she wanted to get back together. He was ready and willing to do it—until he found out she was dating another woman. Rose had a different story, insisting that Big Ed was the one who contacted her, and she only responded because she didn’t want to be rude. She also added that while she did date a woman shortly after her breakup with Big Ed, they were no longer together.
Clearly, these two are just not meant to be together!