Fans of Little People, Big World were left heartbroken in 2015 when its central couple, Matt and Amy Roloff, announced their divorce. But thankfully both reality TV stars have since found new loves. So here’s a look at Matt’s current belle, who’s not exactly an unfamiliar face…
Born in San Francisco in 1961 with the degenerative dwarfism known as diastrophic dysplasia, Matt Roloff was forced to undergo 15 different operations as a youngster. His younger brother also has the same condition, while middle brother, Joshua, who died aged 34, had a major heart malformation from birth. However, both his parents and his older sister, Ruth, are of average height.
After moving into adulthood, Matt spent the early part of his career working for various Silicon Valley firms in computers. He also moonlighted as an actor, appearing in Under the Rainbow as an extra and playing one of the titular creatures in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. He later moved from California to Oregon to escape the rat race.
By this point, Matt was married with two children on the way. In fact, he first met wife Amy, who suffers from achondroplasia, at the 1987 Little People of America Convention. And the pair sure proved to be fast movers: they walked down the aisle together later that same year.
Then the couple welcomed twins Zachary and Jeremy into the world in 1990. Three years later, Amy gave birth to their one and only daughter, Molly. Their family unit was subsequently completed in 1997 with the birth of Jacob. Interestingly, Zachary is the only one of their four children to suffer from a dwarfism condition – achondroplasia – as his three siblings are all of average height.
Still, the family didn’t just move into an ordinary home in Oregon. Rather, they purchased a rundown farmhouse covering 34 acres of land. They then converted it into a family farm, complete with a three-story treehouse, a soccer field and even a Middle Ages castle built to scale. The farm later became a tourist spot, attracting about 30,000 visitors each year.
That’s because the Roloffs became reality TV stars in 2005 when they were approached by TLC to become the subject of a new show. The resultant Little People, Big World was an instant success, lasting more than nine seasons and spawning several spin-offs. Indeed, approximately 2.3 million viewers watched son Jeremy get hitched to long-term partner Audrey in the eighth-season finale.
Sadly, that same year also saw Matt and Amy shock audiences by sharing the news that they were separating. Yes, in 2015 they confirmed that they had filed for divorce, which was then finalized 12 months later. And this is not the only time that Matt has made headlines that his audience were perhaps not expecting.
In 2003, for instance, Matt was charged with a DUI after crashing his car into a ditch – although he no longer faced charges after he completed a rehab program. Four years later, though, he was charged with the same offence and was later acquitted at trial. The drama surrounding that particular case became the focal point of Little People, Big World’s season eight premiere.
But thankfully Matt has seemingly stayed out of trouble for a while and has now started dating someone new. The lady in question is Caryn Chandler, who had previously been employed as the Roloff family farm’s manager. And unsurprisingly, much of their early relationship was captured on camera.
Indeed, in one particular Little People, Big World episode, viewers saw Amy struggling to handle Matt showing up at a family celebration with his new girlfriend. “Seeing Caryn here threw me for a loop more than I would have liked,” she said. “I think coming here to this particular event is an intimate family thing… It just throws a whole different dynamic to my life here on the farm.”
And Amy wasn’t the only member of the Roloff family who wasn’t exactly jumping for joy over the new couple. “As far as their relationship goes, I don’t have anything to say about it,” commented son Zach on the show. “My parents are divorced, so yeah.”
And Matt probably didn’t ease any tensions when he began comparing Caryn to Amy, as reported in In Touch Weekly. He gushed, “We enjoy the same sort of social settings and company and friendship. Amy and I didn’t have that. It’s different. This is a really neat person that’s full of life, and I think she’s cute.”
Though Caryn is no stranger to difficult break-ups herself. In fact, she and her ex-husband, Joseph Chandler, went through a bitter divorce in which they often argued about her position at the Roloff farm. Joseph once even banned Caryn from taking their teenage son to her workplace, as he is reportedly determined to keep both of their kids out of the media spotlight.
In a similar situation, Matt faced something of a minor backlash when he posted a picture of him and Caryn supporting Jacob’s girlfriend, Isobel, at her art show. However, the star refused to bite back when he took to Facebook to respond. He said, “As long as you don’t use four-letter words and/or vulgar hateful speak, I try and let various opinions go.”
But Matt continued to draw flak from certain fans when he uploaded another cozy photo online. The image showed him and Caryn enjoying spending time together with Zach and Jeremy and their respective partners during the holiday season. What was the problem? Well, disgruntled followers argued that Amy should have been included, too, and described Caryn as a “fake grandma.”
Matt and Caryn’s Christmas plans were also documented on Little People, Big World. You see, the former initially planned to ask his ex-wife to their festive get-together before the latter expressed her concerns. She said, “I mean, you can. But it might be nice to start our own traditions.”
However, Amy herself has been busy in the romantic department. Indeed, she began dating real estate agent Chris Marek in late 2016 and rumors have continually surfaced about an impending engagement ever since. Amy even once admitted on Little People, Big World, “I just never thought someone who is average size would be interested in me. I just have a good time. I have fun with him.”
Back in Matt’s world, the drama surrounding his relationship with Caryn looked set to continue in May 2018 when rumors surfaced that they had in fact split up. However, the former soon took to Instagram to set the record straight. He said, “No, it’s fake news. We did not break up. :).”
In fact, since then, Matt and Caryn have appeared to spend more time together than ever. Matt even bought a property that belonged to Caryn’s parents in Arizona. Yet Matt later claimed that, contrary to reports, he wasn’t giving up the Roloff family farm but simply wanted another regular base.