Brandi Passante made a name for herself in 2010, starring on A&E‘s Storage Wars. She and her longtime boyfriend, Jarrod Schulz (the father of her two kids), emerged as two of the most popular cast members on the hit reality series about folks bidding on storage lockers. Passante told The Saline Courier, "They asked if we wanted to be on camera for a few minutes … we really didn’t think it would go anywhere, but it became a big deal." This couple appeared on all 12 seasons and starred in the 2014 spin-off, titled Brandi & Jarrod: Married to the Job.
Passante classified the rise to fame to The Orange County Register as "a blessing and a curse." Schulz further told the outlet, "Neither of us really aspired to be on TV." So having to deal with the good, the bad, and the unusual quirks of becoming a celebrity was unprecedented. Perhaps the worse byproduct of fame came in 2013, when Passante had to sue a porn distributor who had allegedly "fabricated" content using her likeliness, per The Hollywood Reporter. Fortunately, she won the suit, but outside of the unusual, going to work with her partner presented challenges too, she told Power 106 Los Angeles: "We had, uh, some rockstar fights in the beginning, you know, just being together 24/7 — it’s a little tough."
After the series ended in January 2019, it seemed like Passante had vanished. Read on to discover what Passante’s been up to ever since.
Brandi Passante split with her ‘life partner’ Jarrod Schulz
Rumors started to circulate in 2019 that longtime couple Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz split. The reality TV blog Starcasm pointed out that they were no longer appearing on each other’s social media accounts. The outlet also picked up on Passante frequently posting photos in a bikini and pointed out that in several photos she could be spotted "no longer wearing her engagement ring." In early 2020, TV Shows Ace reported that Schulz was dating a bartender named Rachel Beckman, who they "speculated" worked at The Rush Bar & Grill, which Schulz has owned since April 2019.
Passante, on the other hand, was continually posting photos hanging out with other men. However, it didn’t look like any serious relationships forged. In the summer of 2020, Passante finally confirmed in an interview on The Dad Diary that she and Schulz had been separated for two years. On the YouTube video one account commented, "Was bummed to hear her and Jarrod split up, especially with kids involved."
With speculation building for quite some time the news of the breakup wasn’t too shocking, however, after seeing the couple bicker back-and-forth for nearly an entire decade on television it seems unimaginable that the two would not be inseparable. According to Screen Rant, although they never married the parents of two used to refer to each other as "their life partner."
Brandi Passante transitioned to being a single mom
In 2016, both Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz bragged about their kids’ ambitions to INQUIRER.NET. Then, their son, Cameron, set his sights on becoming a "director or producer" and their daughter, Peyton, shifted her athletics focus from track-and-field to "competitive cheerleading." However, after the parents’ breakup, the family dynamic altered.
Passante told The Daily Diary that the transition to being a single mother would have been "easier if they were younger." She added, "Teenagers are tough, especially when you’re doing it by yourself." She elaborated that she feels her kids have entered a rebellious stage where they think they’re "adults," who "think they know it all," and with that she constantly reminds them she is their mom and "not their friend." She even hinted that the absence of a father’s presence at home has been a strain, saying, "I had to ask a couple of times, you know, for just one simple little chore. But if I had, like, the scary dad voice behind it, they would have done it the first time." She further divulged, "It’s hard to, you know, have lived your whole life with your mom and dad and then just live with your mom … I know they are going through a lot so I have to also tiptoe around that."
Sounds like the single mother of two teens may be juggling more drama than her stint on reality television.
Being a single mom hasn’t stopped Brandi Passante from partying
In January 2020, Brandi Passante was in attendance when (via The New York Times) UFC fighter Conor McGregor "beat" Donald Cerrone "in 40 seconds in the main event at U.F.C. 246" in Las Vegas. Passante posted images of along with her bestie Samantha Busch and her husband, NASCAR racer Kyle "Rowdy" Busch (shown above), captioning her Instagram post, "I’m mastering the art of being the third wheel.. also my RBF Game is strong."
Leading up to the global pandemic, Passante posted similar pictures of her hanging out amongst friends. She captioned one photo, of what appears to be her at a bar with two friends, "Spilled most of that drink.." When she posted a video of herself pinned at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center while drinking, she wrote, "Searching for a heart, a brain, & some courage, is exhausting…"
It seems like Passante has found other buddies to accompany her for late night shenanigans after her breakup with Jarrod Schulz. She goes out with friends and even as a third wheel when she unwinds from being a single mother of two.
She has kept her children out of the spotlight
If you’re only going by Brandi Passante’s Instagram feed, it may seem like she doesn’t spend much time with her kids. There’s nothing further than the truth. In February 2020, Passante posted a rare photo of her daughter on Instagram all dressed to go to her school’s formal and explained that her followers hadn’t seen a photo of her kids "because some creepy a** dudes were harassing" her children. She then quipped, "I am reluctantly posting this because, I am so proud of how beautiful my little is in her winter formal fit … Don’t be gross"
That summer, Passante told The Dad Diary, "[My kids] don’t want me to put them on social media at all, which I don’t. I respect that." She added, "Plus, you know, anytime I post anything, people say, like, gross things about my daughter or, you know, just inappropriate stuff. And I don’t want to expose them to that." This happens to be one of the downsides of fame, as she explained to Dad Diary host Danny Jordan, that as a mother she wants to post and celebrate her kids milestones on social media, but understands she’s fighting an uphill battle with online trolls. This is probably why the reality star wrote "I hope she doesn’t kill me for posting.." when, on another rare occasion, she broke her no child social media post rule when she showed off her daughter’s new hairdo that she styled on Instagram.
Brandi Passante tested positive for COVID-19
In 2020, when "stay at home" orders were enforced in California during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Brandi Passante shared with her followers that she was getting her pantry prepped for lockdown. The California resident posted an Instagram photo of herself holding a bottle of Maker’s Mark 46, with the caption: "The Rona got me loading up on essentials Such as Costco size Makers Such as …"
Even in her efforts to social distance, Passante revealed to The Dad Diary on June 28, 2020 that she tested positive for the coronavirus. She detailed that the virus brought upon recurring headaches, losing her sense of taste at the time of the diagnosis, and lingering congestion on day 12 with the virus, which was the day of her virtual interview on Facebook Live with Danny Jordan. She also said that it was the first day she felt like she had overcome most of her symptoms. "Today I woke up feeling pretty fantastic," she shared.
TV Shows Ace speculated that by mid July 2020, the former Storage Wars star had fully recovered from the virus, writing that "she wouldn’t likely still be infectious" when she posted what appeared to be another playful outing with a friend on Instagram on July 18, 2020.
For $80, Brandi Passante will say hi to you on video
In 2020, Brandi joined Cameo — a platform where customers pay for a celebrity to send a personalized video message. The former A&E star broke the news to her followers on Instagram, writing, "Hey friends, I finally joined Cameo.com" and added, "So, If you’re looking for a personalized video, for a special occasion, as a gift or just want a video from me. You can also request a DM." It’s worth noting that her profile on the platform also includes the option to live video chat with the reality star. Her profile includes examples of her sending personalized shoutouts to wish someone a happy birthday, a merry Christmas and, in one instance, the former thrift shop owner is giving a company a ringing endorsement as a "clever" way to advertise that person’s company.
Three days prior to New Year’s Day 2021, Passante tweeted to her followers a photo promoting her Cameo profile. The image showed a fortune cookie with the words "2021 has to be better right?" Underneath the meme-like image it read, "Wish your loved ones a happy new year with a personality video feat. Me, and we’ll forget 2020 together. Let’s make a Cameo."
Brandi Passante stays busy blasting ‘keyboard gangsters’
It almost seems like every time Brandi Passante is active on Instagram, she’s posting an Instagram story that reveals yet another inappropriate message from followers sliding into her DMs. Miss Profit told The Dad Diary that she receives hundreds of dirty Instagram DM’s on a daily basis. Host Danny Jordan said he "loves" seeing his former reality co-star "blast" those folks, a group Passante calls "keyboard gangsters," who use the access of social media to send her sexually explicit and offensive messages. The Texas native explained that she publicly shares screenshots of the messages so she doesn’t have to be the one telling the person what they are posting is rude. "[Instead of getting] in some weird argument with a stranger, I put them out there, and then, I let everybody else tear them apart," Passante said.
TV Shows Ace reported that when Passante posted a string of racy Instagram photos in a bikini it "caused her followers to get into a pretty deep discussion." The outlet explained that one side "questioned why she would post such a racy snapshot when she claims she doesn’t like having creeps in her inbox. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?" Passante’s supporters, however, said she should post "whatever she wanted" and "shouldn’t have to worry about getting attacked by gross private messages because she felt like sharing a sexy picture."
2020 brought a lot of loss for Brandi Passante
On Oct. 26, 2020, Brandi Passante posted a heartfelt message on Instagram that revealed her father died. The photo appears to be of the TV personality as a baby held in the arms of her father. The grieving reality star said through the caption, "I always smile when I think of you. I was most definitely a daddy’s girl. I can’t think of a time that you ever got mad at me or yelled at me. I absolutely, used that to my advantage. I will miss you terribly. Now if everyone I love, could stop dying in such close proximity that would be great." She also added the cryptic hashtag "#f**k2020."
A few weeks afterwards, Passante posted a series of family photos with her father from when she was a kid to an adult writing, "Laugh through the tears they say eventually the tears will fade." As suggested through her initial post discussing her father’s death, it appears Passante also lost another loved one around the same time. The week before her announcement about her late father, Passante shared a photo of what appears to be herself as an adolescent hugging a man next to another woman, with the caption: "I will miss your stories, your wisdom, your stellar taste in music, & the constant laughter. You were the life of every party & the voice of reason that will always ring in my ears."
Brandi Passante advocates for victims of domestic violence
Brandi Passante definitely has a heart for the community and has been a champion for Women’s Own Worth (WOW) — an organization with a mission to "[empower] victims of domestic violence and survivors of violent crime through supportive self-worth opportunities."
In 2019, Passante helped WOW raise over $100,000 when she emceed at its sixth annual WOWpalooza event, as reported by The Saline Courier. Passente told the newspaper, "I have experienced some things in my life, and it’s a really wonderful cause. It’s things that are needed." Ahead of the event, WOW founder Jajuan Archer told FOX 16, "We are so honored that [Passante] came and is doing this pro bono." Passante told the outlet that when she learned of Archer’s experience with domestic violence, she "really wanted to help." About You outlined in an article that Archer was in an abusive relationship with her late partner Calvin Keith Brown. The outlet reported the domestic violence "started as emotional abuse and mind games" and later escalated to Brown holding Archer at gunpoint and threatening to take both of their lives, a month before the day Archer fatally shot Brown in an act of self defense.
In December 2020, Passante continued to support WOW when she tweeted how the organization was looking to giveaway holiday gift cards to victims "impacted by violent crime" as part of the organizations "A WOWnderful Christmas" initiative.