In April 2007, Jon and Kate Gosselin’s lives changed forever when they became reality stars. The Pennsylvania couple, who are the parents of twins and sextuplets, first made their television debut in a documentary for the Discovery Health Channel. Their documentary became one of the most-watched programs of the channel, and a few months later they were approached by the TLC Network about their own reality show!
Realizing it was a good opportunity, the parents of eight children signed on to the deal. Their show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, premiered in the spring of 2007 and became an instant hit. Millions of viewers tuned in each week to watch Jon and Kate struggle with being the parents of a pair of twins and sextuplets. As the success of the show grew, the family became very high in demand; Kate was booked for numerous speaking engagements and talk show appearances. Yet, fame came with a price, as the couple began to experience problems within their relationship.
In 2009, the couple announced they were splitting up. When news broke of their divorce, the show was canceled. However, the series would make a comeback, only this time with Kate as the star, thus the name Kate Plus 8.
In the past 10 years, a lot has been written about Jon and Kate Gosselin in the tabloids. Thanks to the gossip mags, people got to learn a lot more about the couple. However, there are a few things fans never know about the family, so let’s take a look at some behind the scenes secrets from Jon & Kate Plus 8.
20 The Family Received A Lot Of Donations And Gifts
Raising a family of eight children is tough work. With Kate as a stay-at-home mother and Jon as the only working parent, how could the couple afford to financially support their large family? Of course, the money they earned from their show helped ease their financial situation. But the family also received a large amount of donations.
After the birth of the sextuplets in May 2004, the couple made news in their Pennsylvania town. Immediately, people began stepping in with donations to help the family.
A car dealer gave Jon and Kate a van that was big enough to accommodate their eight kids.
Supermarkets also offered donations of food and diapers for the sextuplets, plus local churches donated clothes and cooked meals for the Gosselins.
Even after the Gosselin family became famous, people still sent in gifts. On one episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8, twins Cara and Mady celebrated their birthday, which consisted of arts and crafts gift sets sent in by fans. In another episode of the series, Kate revealed that fans had also sent gifts to the sextuplets for Christmas.
With the generous donations from their neighbors and fans, Jon and Kate were able to take care of their children’s needs without having to spend a penny.
19 Kate Degraded Jon On The Show
Fans who thought that Jon and Kate had a perfect marriage were in for a wakeup call. Long before their 2009 divorce, viewers got to see firsthand the dynamics of their relationship.
As the series progressed, we saw Kate become more controlling and she took every chance she could to put her husband down.
In an earlier episode of the series, the couple and their children embarked on a back to school shopping trip to Target. Jon took the boys while Kate took the girls. Once done with her shopping, Kate walked all over the store screaming out her husband’s name, which caused looks from other customers along with embarrassment for Jon.
In other instances, viewers watched as Kate lightly slapped her husband, which she stated was a love tap. However, Jon and viewers were left uncomfortable with the physical gesture. Whenever Kate belittled Jon, he never spoke up about, leaving fans to wonder why. Was it because he was afraid of his wife? Did producers ask him to portray himself this way?
Whatever the reason was, fans would soon see a new side to Jon following the couple’s split. Jon shared his side of the story about his marriage to Kate, some of which further painted her in a negative light.
18 Jon Dated The Daughter Of Kate's Cosmetic Surgeon
Long before they filed for divorce, rumors swirled that Jon and Kate’s marriage was in trouble. So when the couple officially announced their divorce in June 2009, fans were curious about the reason. One reason behind their split had to do with Jon’s relationship with Hailey Glassman.
Jon’s new relationship was shocking for a few reasons. One was their nearly ten-year age difference. Another reason was that Glassman was a friend of the Gosselin family. Hailey was the daughter of Dr. Lawrence Glassman, the plastic surgeon who gave Kate a tummy tuck.
Fans were shocked by Jon’s new relationship and they questioned Hailey’s motive for getting involved with Jon Gosselin. Immediately, Jon was accused of having an affair, however, the couple denied any infidelity and that they started dating after Jon separated from Kate.
Jon and Hailey’s relationship immediately made the tabloid covers, with everyone wanting to know everything about the new couple. However, the media circus became too much for Hailey and she broke up with Jon in December 2009. Since their split, Jon has gone on to date other women. As for Hailey, she’s maintained a quiet life since her public relationship with Jon Gosselin went sour.
17 The Couple Had A Messy Divorce
In the world of celebrity marriages, divorces can get ugly. The same can be said for Jon and Kate. After revealing their plans to divorce, the couple began gearing up for a battle.
A lot of things were at stake, including ownership of their Pennsylvania mansion and custody of their eight children.
In their divorce, Kate maintained ownership of their home, while Jon moved out. As for their custody arrangement, Kate would have primary custody while Jon had visitations. Jon's visitations would take place at the couple’s home, and Kate would leave so he could have time with the children.
While the divorce seemed amicable, the couple continued to argue. During one incident, police were called to the couple’s home to diffuse a verbal spat they had. Even though it’s been nine years since their divorce was finalized, the couple takes every opportunity they can get to lash out publicly at each other.
Jon has appeared in countless television interviews criticizing Kate’s parenting and talking about his plans to sue for full custody of his children. With the couple still at odds, it seems like this is one battle that will never end and the Gosselin children will be stuck in the middle of their parents’ squabble.
16 Kate Almost Became A Talk Show Host
Thanks to the success of Jon & Kate Plus 8, Kate Gosselin became a celebrity. She was in high-demand for public appearances and she received numerous offers for product endorsements along with business ventures. In 2009 with the status of her reality show up in the air, Kate began looking for other ways to stay in the spotlight along with earning money to support her clan.
She quickly found a new venture when she signed on to host a talk show with another controversial figure, celebrity chef Paula Deen. The two ladies filmed a pilot for their talk show in the fall of 2009, however, it struggled to find a home since many of the larger networks passed on the show.
With her talk show host dreams up in smoke, Kate didn’t stay out of the spotlight long. She returned to reality TV with her renamed show Kate Plus 8. Even though she’s not as famous as she was years ago, Kate still remains in the spotlight thanks to her show along with the controversies that surround her and her brood. When she’s not filming her reality show, she can be found on the talk show circuit sharing the latest details going on in her life.
15 Kate Had A Secret Relationship With Her Bodyguard
Following their divorce, Jon quickly moved on with his new girlfriend Hailey Glassman. Jon’s relationship with Hailey had fans siding with Kate in the divorce battle. They felt sorry for Kate since she was home alone raising the kids by herself.
Yet, Kate wasn’t alone for long, she soon had some male companionship in the form of her bodyguard, Steve Neild. Kate hired Steve as she became more famous and had to travel for public appearances. Photos of the couple leaving a hotel were plastered in numerous magazines.
By all appearances, it seems like Steve was just Kate’s protector. But soon romance rumors began with In Touch Weekly reporting the two were having an affair. Their romance caused controversy since Steve was married with a family.
Despite Kate’s claims that she and Steve weren’t a couple, that didn’t stop the rumors.
By 2014, Steve Neild was no longer part of Kate Gosselin’s life since he quit his bodyguard job to start a new position at a different company. Even though Steve no longer works for Kate, that never stopped the tabloid reports from speculating about the status of their relationship. According to WetPaint, the couple may have rekindled their romance since they were spotted at a public event together.
14 Kate's Been Accused Of Being A Controversial Mother
Kate Gosselin has become a controversial figure over the years and one thing that has always come into question is her parenting skills. Everyone from Jon to her family to the media have accused Kate of being a bad mother. On the show, Kate often lost her temper with the children. During one moment she threatened to throw away Collin’s beloved teddy bear because he got bubble gum in it. In another moment, she refused to give Aaden a cupcake because he didn’t eat all the dinner on his plate.
These scenes on the show gave viewers a glimpse of what Kate’s parenting skills are like. However, according to The Daily Mail, things are just as bad behind the scenes as they were in front of the camera. Kate’s been known to use spanking as a form of punishment for the children. In one instance, Kate’s tirade was caught on camera when a photo of her spanking her daughter Leah was plastered all over the tabloids. Aside from spanking her children, Kate was also accused of throwing away or destroying their belongings whenever they disobeyed her.
These are just a few of the allegations that have been said about Kate throughout the years, which has made fans take a second look at how they view this mother of eight.
13 Kate Miscarried A Baby
Kate’s fertility struggles has been one of the most talked about subjects on the show and in the media. After giving birth to her twin daughters Cara and Mady in October 2000, she and Jon decided they wanted more children. Three years later, they decided to expand their family because Kate wanted to give Jon a son.
However, their dream of having more children hit a snag when Kate was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
The condition made it hard for Kate to conceive, so she sought help from a fertility doctor. After undergoing numerous treatments, Kate and Jon got the shock of their lives when they discovered they were pregnant with multiple babies. Yet, what fans didn’t know was that Kate was pregnant with seven babies, not six. However, tragedy struck when Kate miscarried the seventh baby, which was a girl. Kate opened up about the tragic loss of the baby, saying it was a difficult time for the family.
In May 2004, Kate delivered her six babies, born 10 weeks premature. The six Gosselin babies had to spend some time in the NICU, but once they were healthy, they were able to go home with mom, dad, and their two older sisters.
12 Kate Returned To The Show To Make Ends Meet
Prior to becoming a mother of eight and a reality star, Kate worked as a nurse. Yet, after the birth of the sextuplets in May 2004, Kate decided to quit her job to concentrate on being a stay at home mom. When she and Jon signed on to do the reality show in 2007, the family soon had more money coming into their account. As one of TLC’s top shows, the Gosselins were earning thousands of dollars per episode. Plus, they also got more cash from their other business ventures.
Yet, in the summer of 2011, the fate of the show was in question, following Jon and Kate’s divorce. With the status of the show on hold and Kate unable to find any other entertainment work, she decided to return to nursing. Part of Kate’s new schedule included only working on weekends, that way she’d have to rest of the week to spend time with the kids.
But Kate’s nursing career was once again put on hold when TLC approached her about returning to the show. Unable to resist the opportunity, Kate agreed and by 2014, she and her clan were back on television creating new adventures that longtime fans got to see.
11 Jon Doesn't Have Contact With Most Of His Kids
The divorce between Jon and Kate was an ugly battle, yet the couple tried to make it as amicable as possible for the sake of their children. Jon and Kate were able to work out a custody arrangement in which she retained full custody and he had visitations.
Jon showed that he loved his kids as he worked double jobs in order to provide for them; however, these days Jon rarely sees all of his kids.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jon discussed the strained relationship he has with his kids. Jon admitted that he doesn’t get to see most of his children. Eldest daughters Cara and Mady have cut off all contact with him. The same also goes for the oldest of the sextuplets, Alexis. The only children Jon gets to see are Hannah, Leah, Aaden, Joel, and Collin. Jon says he still has a strong bond with those five. In fact, Jon even sued Kate for full custody of Hannah in 2015, a case that’s still being settled.
These days, Jon doesn’t have much contact with his other children, but his bond with Hannah and Collin is strong as the duo celebrated their birthday with their dad.
10 Kate Became An Author
As the success of Jon & Kate Plus 8 grew, the couple began to receive many opportunities. Of course, they were booked for speaking gigs at churches. They also appeared on talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show.
But soon other ventures came their way, including the chance to become published authors. In November 2008, Kate and Jon’s first book Multiple Blessings was released. The book chronicled their family life and shared never-before-seen photos. It became an instant hit by selling half a million copies and landing on the New York Times bestseller list. A year later Kate released another book called Eight Little Faces, which was similar to Multiple Blessings.
Kate’s career as an author would continue long after her divorce from Jon. In the 2010 book, I Just Want You To Know, Kate wrote about her children and wrote heartfelt letters expressing her love to them. However, unlike her first two books, this one didn’t fair too well on the market.
Kate’s next book would be a little different. Her next book would show off her culinary skills as she and her kids shared some of their favorite recipes in a cookbook called Love is in the Mix.
9 Kate Was Portrayed As A Controlling Person On The Show
Throughout the course of the show, fans got to see a drastic change in Kate. When the show first premiered Kate seemed like a nice person, who struggled with raising a large family. Yet, as the show progressed, Kate’s attitude changed.
Viewers couldn’t help but notice she became more controlling and lost her temper quickly.
In one episode of the series, Kate freaked out at Jon when he didn’t use a coupon at the hardware store to get a new faucet for the bathroom. Other times throughout the show, we got to see more of Kate’s controlling nature when she wanted to clean the rental house while they were on vacation. Or when she only wanted to serve the kids organic food and ordered them to finish all their food before they got dessert.
But Jon and the kids weren’t the only ones who dealt with Kate’s control-freak attitude.
In a behind the scenes recap of the show, the producers and cameramen were ordered to take off their shoes before entering the house because Kate didn’t want dirt in the house. Seeing Kate’s controlling behavior, fans wondered if the success of the show had gotten into her head or if she’s always been like this. No matter when or how it started, Kate’s controlling nature turned off many viewers.
8 The Couple Renewed Their Vows Months Before Divorcing
Jon and Kate’s love story is one that fans fell in love with on the show. The couple met when they were just out of college. It was a story of opposites attract with Kate being a good girl and Jon a bit of a free spirit. The couple married in June 1999 and a year later, they welcomed their twin daughters Cara and Mady. Three and a half years later, she gave birth to the couple’s sextuplets.
While their marriage wasn’t perfect and they had their tiffs like other couples, Jon and Kate showed they were dedicated to each other and their family. In August 2008, the couple decided to renew their wedding vows in a ceremony in Hawaii. The wedding was captured on camera as viewers got to see the children partake in the ceremony. We also got to see some of Jon’s family attend the wedding since they couldn’t make it to the first one.
With the renewal of their vows, it appeared that Jon and Kate’s marriage was strong and they were committed to making their relationship work. However, less than a year after the vow renewal, the couple shocked fans when they announced they were divorcing.
7 The Family Had Numerous Babysitters For Their Kids
Jon and Kate had their hands full taking care of eight children, it wasn’t always easy, but luckily they had a string of babysitters to help out. Whenever the couple decided to go on a date or they had to run errands and couldn’t bring the kids, that’s when one of the babysitters would step in to help.
Of course Kate’s sister-in-law Jodi would help watch the children. The Gosselin kids would often go over to Jodi's house so they could play with their cousins. Aside from Jodi, they also had Nana Janet, a longtime family friend. Nana Janet was a robust, elderly lady who had just as much energy as the kids. While babysitting, she often joined along when the children were playing with their toys, then she would also calmly talk to the kids whenever an argument broke out.
Aside from Nana Janet and other family members, the Gosselins also enlisted the aid of young teen babysitters and nannies to help with the children’s care.
The babysitters not only helped look after the children, but they also assisted with household chores like folding the laundry or washing dishes. While the Gosselin children were a handful at times, the nannies seemed to love the children and didn’t mind looking after them.
6 There Have Been Many Rumors That Kate Only Dates For Money
After Jon and Kate announced their divorce in 2009, tabloids immediately began jumping on the story. As part of their investigation, the magazines began digging up dirt about Kate’s past. One explosive story that the tabloids reported is that Kate was a gold digger.
According to Radar Online, since her high-school days, Kate’s dream was to marry a rich man who would support her financially. At first, fans didn’t believe it because Jon wasn’t rich, so why would she be with him if money was all she was after? But after her split with Jon, Kate’s new suitors were far different from her ex-husband and the gold-digging rumors started up again. In 2014, she began dating millionaire Jeff Prescott, who is one of the founders of the photo website Dreamstime.
Despite the tabloids reporting on their relationship, Kate and Jeff managed to keep a low profile. However, the couple split in the summer of 2015 after less than a year of dating. The reason for their split had to do with producers wanting Jeff to be a part of the new season of Kate Plus 8, which he refused. Realizing the media attention would be too much, Jeff broke up with Kate, giving her the opportunity to find another suitor who meets her needs.
5 Collin Has Special Needs
Throughout the ten seasons that the show’s been on the air, viewers got to watch as the kids grew from toddlers to teenagers. Even when the show’s not airing, fans can still keep up with the lives of the Gosselin children thanks to Kate's social media accounts. However, recently there’s been one child missing from the Gosselin family photos that has people curious about his whereabouts.
Collin Gosselin is the fourth child born out of the sextuplets. As a toddler, viewers watched as Collin played with his other siblings and went on vacations with the family. But these days Collin isn't included in any of these family activities.
The reason for Collin’s absence is because he has special needs, and Kate sent him to a medical facility to get treatment. It was never revealed what Collin’s special needs are, although according to The Hollywood Gossip, the boy suffers from extreme anger issues. Collin has been known to act out and yell at his mother, which caused Kate to seek help for her son.
However, Kate’s actions towards Collin has come under criticism because many fans feel she’s excluding Collin from the family by trying to remove all traces of him.
4 Kate Snagged Got A Free Procedure After Giving Birth To The Six Babies
After giving birth to eight kids, viewers wondered how Kate was able to keep such a svelte figure. Well, the secret to Kate's new body was revealed during the documentary Surviving Sextuplets. On the show, Kate shared with viewers how her body had drastically changed after being pregnant with sextuplets. In a daring moment on the show, Kate showed how flabby her stomach had become after her latest pregnancy.
One viewer who was watching the show was Dr. Lawrence Glassman, a plastic surgeon from New York. After watching the show, Dr. Glassman’s wife asked him if he’d be willing to help Kate. So Dr. Glassman and his wife reached out to Kate to offer their services.
Kate traveled to New York for a consultation with Dr. Glassman, who performed a tummy tuck to help Kate get her body back to normal. But that wasn’t the end of Kate’s makeover. Dr. Glassman’s wife treated Kate to a day at the spa, complete with a new hairdo.
After a few weeks of recovery, Kate returned home where she surprised her husband and her kids with her new appearance.
These days Kate isn’t shy about showing off her slim figure, she’s often photographed on the beach or taking a jog around the block, where her flat stomach is on display.
3 Jon Quit His Job To Focus On The Show
Fans of the show will remember that when the series first premiered Jon worked as an IT analyst for a local Pennsylvania company. In early episodes of the series, Kate and the kids would often awake early to have breakfast with Jon before he had to leave for work. In other episodes, Jon would have to work overtime which put a damper on the family’s weekend plans.
Yet, as the series progressed, viewers noticed that Jon was staying home more often. By season 10, it was revealed that Jon had quit his job to focus on his family and their show. With the family earning thousands of dollars per episode as TLC’s highest-rated show, Jon could afford to quit his day job.
However, following his divorce, Jon struggled to remain in the spotlight unlike his ex. He couldn’t land any media gigs, yet soon found work in a construction company. But Jon’s tenure with the construction crew wouldn’t last long as he was soon working double shifts as a waiter at restaurants. Yet, the waiting jobs wasn’t enough to support him and his large family, but Jon did find a new career, one that could get him back in the spotlight, a night club DJ.
2 Kate Had Her Brother And Sister-In-Law Removed From The Show
In early seasons of Jon & Kate Plus 8, viewers were introduced to Kate’s brother, Kevin Kreider, and his wife, Jodi. Kevin and Jodi lived just a few blocks away from Jon and Kate. During the show, Jodi would often babysit a few of the Gosselin children while Jon and Kate went on dates. Kevin would also make visits to the house to help Jon with handiwork.
Kevin and Jodi quickly became fan favorites as viewers became interested in the lives of Kate’s sibling.
However, just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared from the show, leading viewers wondering about why they were kicked off.
Well, the reason was that Kate had a falling out with Kevin and Jodi. It is not known why they had a falling out, but since then, Kevin and Jodi have publicly spoken out about how harmful the show is to their nieces and nephews. They appear on talk-shows about their concern for the children’s psychological well-being, saying the television cameras following the kids around was doing them more harm than good. The couple even testified in a court hearing about Pennsylvania’s child labor laws, claiming the Gosselin children were being overworked for the sake of the reality show.
1 Kate Is Estranged From Her Parents
While Jon, Kate, and their eight children were the stars of the show, we did get to see some extended family members make appearances during the series run. In one episode, viewers were introduced to Jon’s grandmother and in another episode, we got to see his parents. Then (as previously mentioned) we also got to meet Kate’s brother and sister-in-law, who made numerous guest appearances. However, viewers became curious when there was no sight or mention of Kate’s parents on the show.
So what’s the reason that fans knew very little of Kate’s parents? The reason is that Kate is estranged from her mom and dad.
During a Q&A episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8, a viewer asked about the absence of Kate’s parents. Kate revealed that she and her parents don’t get along; she never gave a reason for their estrangement but appeared distraught over the situation.
She revealed that her parents have chosen not to have any contact with her or her children.
However, Kate’s relationship with her parents wouldn’t be the last bit of drama the Gosselin family faced. Kate would also go on to become estranged with other members of her family, including her own siblings.