The Gosselins famously had eight children (now 12-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Leah and Joel, and a set of 15-year-old twins, Mady and Cara), and their TLC reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, was a ratings juggernaut… at least at first. Over time their popularity waned, and due to the stress of having eight children and the constant scrutiny of TV cameras, Jon and Kate divorced in 2009.
The series was later renamed Kate Plus 8 in 2010, focusing on Kate as a divorced mother raising all eight children, with Jon mostly absent from the show. Filming was later suspended after Jon’s lawyers delivered letters to TLC, demanding they halt production. He even stopped production crews from walking onto their property. The last episode aired in 2011.
Kate has now reappeared in the spotlight, along with her kids, in Kate Plus 8, which is back on TLC for its fourth season. The reality-show star recently opened up to People magazine about what her life is like now, and how some of the kids feel like they don’t even know their own father.
“If I could go back, I wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about the messes and the obsessive compulsiveness and needing to be so in control,” Kate, 41, told People. “I would spend more time nibbling little feet and cuddling up. I worried about so many things I just didn’t need to be worrying about when they were still so young, and I came on way too strong. I should have just rolled around on the floor some. I wouldn’t have melted down as much.”
WATCH: Global’s 1:1 with Kate Gosselin
She reveals that one of the sextuplets, Collin, is special needs and has been sent to a “program away from home” to help him function to his best ability. Kate did not reveal what specific condition Collin has.
“Collin has special needs,” Kate said. “ a fairly fluid diagnosis of what those needs are, but he needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things. This has been a struggle we’ve had for a very long time, and it’s one I’ve dealt with on my own. I’ve felt very alone in this. By the same token, it’s not something that has only impacted me or him – our entire family has been impacted.”
The twins, who are older and arguably more cognizant of their father, claim that “ doesn’t even know us.”
“He makes it seem like we’re being kept from him, which is insane,” Mady said. “He should maybe spend some time thinking about why we don’t want to see him, and maybe realize that if he ever does want a relationship with us, talking about us on TV is not the way to make that happen. He doesn’t even know us. How can he dare to talk about us?”
Jon replied to the comment (even though he’s been quoted as saying he’s “not on speaking terms” with the twins), saying “I love my children very much. I’ve always been there for them and I always will be. It’s shocking .”
Regardless of all the in-fighting, Kate insists she’s happier, and the children seem well-adjusted and content.
“When you’re younger, you may have more energy, but when you’re older, you’re wiser,” Kate says. “We’ve been through so much, from the divorce to issues with Collin, and now I see that the other things I thought were important are just not.”
Jon currently lives in Pennsylvania, and was a solar-panel installer in 2013. The latest reports say he is working as a maitre’d at a restaurant in the state.Follow @CJancelewicz
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