Melissa Gilbert Once Said Ex-Husband Bo Brinkman Gave Her ‘the Silent Treatment’ for 3 Days Because He Wasn’t the First to Know She Was Pregnant

Shortly after Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert married playwright Bo Brinkman, she became pregnant with her first child. “From the moment we got married, we knew we wanted to start a family,” Gilbert wrote in her memoir, Prairie Tale. “If others thought we were rushing things, too bad.” The actor had wanted to be a mother since she was three years old. However, throughout her pregnancy, red flags started to arise in her relationship with Brinkman.

Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman
Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

How Melissa Gilbert learned she was pregnant

Gilbert and Brinkman had been trying to get pregnant for several months. The actor had taken so many tests that she stopped getting her hopes up. But, one day, she had a feeling something changed. She went to the doctor and after a blood test, a nurse confirmed she was pregnant.

“Unfortunately, I hadn’t dragged Bo with me,” she wrote. “After so many negatives, I hadn’t seen the point.”

According to Gilbert, Brinkman was spending the day with his 14-year-old niece who was visiting from Texas.

“But I was exploding with excitement,” wrote Gilbert. “I had to tell someone. I called my mom, who started to cry from happiness (I think). I told her not to say anything to anyone because I hadn’t told Bo yet.”

Eventually, Gilbert was able to get a hold of Brinkman by paging him in FAO Schwarz.

“He was ecstatic and we celebrated that night at Windows on the World,” wrote Gilbert. “We had a wonderful evening.”

Bo Brinkman gave Melissa Gilbert the silent treatment after learning she told her mother she was pregnant before him

As Gilbert and Brinkman returned back to their apartment after a night of celebrating, the phone was ringing.

“Bo answered,” wrote Gilbert. “It was my mother, who congratulated him on the baby news. He asked how she knew. She said that I’d called her right away.”

After he hung up, Brinkman went on to give Gilbert “the silent treatment for the next three days.” She didn’t know why until he finally said “I can’t believe you told your mother you were pregnant before you told me.” Gilbert was “shocked.”

Bo Brinkman and Melissa Gilbert
Bo Brinkman and Melissa Gilbert | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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“Dude, you were in FAO Schwarz,” she told him. “Do you know what it took for me to find you there? I had to tell someone. I told my mother. It’s not like I called up Liz Smith. And I told her to keep it quiet until I told you.”

“So you told her that I didn’t know?” he replied, according to Gilbert.

“It was a no-win situation, like most arguments with Bo,” she wrote. Eventually, he calmed down and the couple moved on.

Bo Brinkman gave Melissa Gilbert the silent treatment again after his birthday party

A few months later, Gilbert threw her husband a birthday party. She rented out a restaurant and created a special menu with all of his favorite foods, hired a DJ, and invited all of his friends.

“It was a good time until Bo and one of his buddies, after drinking too much, knocked over tables and got completely out of control while doing Monty Python’s fish-slapping dance,” she wrote.

“Mortified and angered by their wanton destructiveness,” Gilbert left the restuarant, went home, packed some things, and stayed the night at her friend’s apartment. When she came home the next morning, Brinkman gave her the silent treatment “for a couple days.”

“I let it slide,” she wrote. “I wanted to keep the drama to a minimum. I gave him a long leash—he could do whatever he wanted. As far as I was concerned, my existence was about nurturing the baby.”