Many reality stars’ lives change when they step either into or away from the spotlight, but none, perhaps, as drastically, as those of Jon and Kate Gosselin, the former stars of TLC’s Jon and Kate Plus 8, who have gone from living in luxury to scrimping to get by.
In a new interview with Oprah, Jon, who is now holding down two jobs as a waiter to provide for his eight children, reveals that, despite the many luxuries it afforded them, his life on TV caused more harm to him and his children than it provided benefit — including the collapse of his decade-long marriage to wife Kate.
"I don't really have a relationship with Kate. It's more texting, custodial stuff," says Jon of his current situation with his ex. "I wish her the best in all that she does … I don't really know what goes on in Kate's house, and she really doesn't know what goes on in my house."
“At this point, there is no cooperation, there is nothing," he adds. “Which is a shame, because it affects me, but it really affects my children."
“It just became stressful on the kids and became stressful on me,” he says of filming the show. “I saw my kids not growing up normally, like I grew up, and having community. Yes, they got to travel the world, and yes, they got these fabulous things, and yes, they’ve got trust funds, and they’re taken care of educationally, but developmentally, they have problems with their peers, and they have problems with talking to other people, and they have problems with wants and needs and manners and morals.”
Now that his family life has slowed down, things seem to be easier for both him and his children, although now he seems to bear the brunt of the public’s ire for what people believe to be his abandonment of his family.
Despite the backlash, it seems he’s developed a thick skin.
“The most common misperception [is] that I cheated on my wife, that I left my family, that I'm a party boy,” he says wistfully of his tarnished reputation. “But my family knows the truth."