Dark secrets the Gosselin family tried to hide

Jon & Kate Plus 8 was an endearing look at a young couple dealing with two sets of multiples—twins followed by sextuplets. Unfortunately, like many reality TV families, Jon and Kate Gosselin had a lot of skeletons in their closets…and more come out everyday. Here are the scandals the family tried (but failed) to hide.

They may have ripped off their entire premise

Perhaps the most egregious tale about the Gosselin machine is that the family copied another family's hyper-fertile trajectory. In the book Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World, The Rise and Fall of a Reality TV Queen, author Robert Hoffman claims (via Radar Online) that Kate was so inspired by Bobbi McCaughey's headlines for having septuplets in 1997 that she became determined to follow the same path, no matter what.

Hoffman said his book points out "eerie, and some downright creepy, similarities" between McCaughey and the Gosselins, whose sextuplets were born nearly 7 years after McCaughey's multiples. According to the author, both mothers were strongly opposed to reducing the number of babies in their wombs and both claimed to be devout Christians, using the phrase "God gave us these kids." Hoffman claims even Kate's baby names are disturbing. "When discussing the naming of her sextuplets in her book, Kate Goselin says that they just picked first names randomly," the author writes. "Bobbi McCaughey's first-born septuplet daughter was named Alexis, and her last-born septuplet son was named Joel. Kate Gosselin 'randomly' named her first-born sextuplet daughter Alexis and her last-born sextuplet son Joel."

Kate slammed the allegations, with a source telling The Hollywood Gossip, "She feels the book is already 'out there' and 'even though a lot of things are fabricated and untrue,' she doesn't feel the need to drudge up old news."

Kate may have lied about her infertility

Hoffman also claims in his book (via Radar Online) that Kate lied about having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Hoffman claims Kate was never actually diagnosed with the condition, but sought doctors who'd prescribe treatments for it to increase her chances of conceiving multiples. "What Kate actually did…was to immediately give herself at least one more shot of [fertility treatment human chorionic gonadotropin], which she had purchased online in a kit…To keep the purchase a secret, she went outside the United States and purchased the drug overseas and had it shipped to her newly created post office box…She used the name K. Kauffman when ordering." Another excerpt obtained by Starcasm asserts Kate never struggled with infertility at all, and that she became pregnant in high school, but her father forced her to get an abortion.

Kate denied the allegations.

Kate wanted her kids to be child stars

Before reality TV fame, Kate reportedly wanted her twin daughters to be the breadwinners in their house. Hoffman alleges that before she conceived her sextuplets, Kate often took Mady and Cara to castings in efforts to essentially turn them into the new Olsen Twins. "[Kate] tried to market the girls from the time they were born," Hoffman wrote (via Radar Online), noting that she had headshots taken of the little lasses, which she used in efforts to get commercial contracts. As with the rest of Hoffman's tales, Kate claimed the accusations were false.

Kate may be a gold digger

Hoffman's book claims Kate was determined to marry a rich doctor, leading her to get a nursing degree to make that pursuit easier. A source told Hoffman (via Radar Online), "Even during nursing school, Kate threw herself at every doctor she could find, even the ugly ones, but was rejected every time. That made her mad."

When she couldn't land an MD, Star (via Starcasm) says she set her sights slightly lower (in her eyes) to a factory worker named Adam Miller. "I spoiled Kate with gifts, like a diamond bracelet and a gold locket, and she loved that," Miller told the tab in 2009. "I think one of the main reasons she liked me is that I had so much money flowing." Unfortunately, Miller claims he caught Kate cheating on him with a wealthier man who owned a Corvette, noting, "She was always chasing the money."

In January 2015, after divorcing her children's father, Kate dated millionaire Jeff Prescott, who Entertainment Tonight reports dumped her for a 26-year-old by that September.

Kate did not publicly respond to the gold digger claims, and she also has not acknowledged Miller's existence.

Did she marry Jon for his family's money?

Hoffman says in his controversial book that Kate and Jon didn't share love at first sight in the traditional sense, but that something else attracted her to him: he was from a wealthy family on "the best street" in Wyomissing, Pa. "Kate did pretty well for herself in marrying Jon because his father was extremely generous," Hoffman wrote (via Starcasm). "He paid for their wedding, he bought their first house in Wyomissing, and quietly supported them financially, giving them a large check each month."

Jon hasn't commented on Hoffman's allegations, but Kate suspects he helped Hoffman write them.

Jon was accused of cheating on Kate's birthday

Though Jon & Kate Plus 8 chronicled the couple's often tense relationship, especially in its final season, it didn't include what may have been the final nail in the marriage's coffin: Jon was accused of cheating on Kate's birthday in 2009.

Us Weekly reports that on March 28, 2009, Jon took a ski trip to Park City, Utah with a 23-year-old schoolteacher named Deanna Hummel. Witnesses claimed Jon and Hummel were snuggling and drinking all night. One waitress at an establishment they attended said plainly, "Jon was a dirtball." Hummel and Jon both denied the allegations to People, but Us Weekly published photos and video of the pair appearing very cozy for platonic pals.

When the evening's events were portrayed on the show, only Jon skiing with developmentally challenged children was aired alongside footage of Kate spending her birthday alone.

They tried counseling, but didn't pay for it

The New York Daily News reports that Jon and Kate tried couple's therapy, but it didn't salvage their marriage, and they never even bothered to pay for it. In May 2011, a judge ordered Kate to pay $10,000 to a former counselor who sued for unpaid fees. Kate has since appealed the decision, denying that she ever had a contract with the therapist.

Neither Jon nor Kate can keep a job

Both Jon and Kate have had trouble holding jobs since the show ended. TMZ reports Jon was sued by a former employer, Securus, for allegedly helping a competitor when he worked in sales, and since Jon never responded to the suit, a judge awarded Securus a default judgment of close to $1 million. Jon has also worked as a DJ and in restaurants, including at a TGI Friday's.

For her part, Kate has stayed somewhat in the public eye. People reports she was fired from her gig blogging for CouponCabin.com after 11 months, though it's unclear what led to her termination. She also appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, from which "The Donald" fired her in January 2016.

Jon may have cheated on his post-Kate rebound

After he and Kate filed for divorce, Jon dated a then-22-year-old named Hailey Glassman, but he reportedly cheated on her with the family nanny. Stephanie Santoro, who worked as a babysitter for Jon and Kate's tykes, told InTouch Weekly (via the New York Daily News) that she hooked up with Jon nine times during his relationship with Glassman. Santoro's mom dished to Radar Online, "He told Stephanie that he cared for Hailey, but he didn't see her as the person he wanted to spend his life with. He didn't see her as a stepmother figure for the children, but he said that he couldn't end it now because there was too much stuff, like the clothing line, that Hailey was involved in."

Following the scandal, Jon reportedly tried and failed to work things out with Glassman.

Did Jon keep close tabs on Kate for a book?

Rumor has it Jon may have supplied much of Hoffman's dirt on Kate in his book, and Jon's methods of obtaining the details were allegedly sketchy. Former nanny Santoro told Radar Online that during the couple's split (and her brief affair with Jon), the Gosselin patriarch told her he frequently "hacked" into Kate's various accounts. "Jon told me that he pretty much hacked into everything of Kate's that he had access to," she said. "Her online banking, that he had a trace on every single one of her emails so anytime she would get an email he would get a copy of it. He told me that he had enough there that when the ball dropped he would have enough to completely screw her over."

That doesn't mean Jon's comfortable with everyone knowing his business. Santoro dished, "Jon threatens everyone that he will sue them if they tell what they know."

When Kate caught wind of Hoffman's book, she sued for alleged wiretapping, computer hacking, identity theft, and invasion of privacy in an effort to block its release. Kate later dropped the lawsuit, and Jon never responded to any allegations.

Kate's help says she was a nightmare

Radar Online reports that several of Kate's prior nannies said she was a horrible boss. She reportedly created a rulebook for her staff. In addition to childcare, nannies were allegedly expected to do household cleaning, pick up after pets, maintain the chicken coop (including picking up the flock's droppings), and were instructed to never put purses on counters or the floor. They were told to walk with light feet, cook, do laundry, handle landscaping, and to never leave the house looking lived in…despite eight kids living there.

"She was condescending and always put me down. She never let anything slide," a former employee told Radar. "It was a total pain…[I quit because] it was just too much."

Another former employee told Us Weekly (via the Daily Mail) that Kate was "demeaning" and often "flipped [out]"—and that Kate went through 40 nannies and aides by 2005, even demanding government assistance to take care of the children despite shopping them around for a reality show. Kate never commented on the stories, but where there's smoke, there's probably a type A mom of multiples.

Jon may have courted the paparazzi

Jon's rebound romance with Glassman (who happened to be the daughter of Kate's plastic surgeon), told Access Hollywood that Jon tipped photographers off to their whereabouts while they were dating. "There's a million reporters up at Indiana, and they're doing everything they can to paint me as Jon's trashy party girl mistress, because no one knows that Jon and his wife have been separated for almost a year," she said of her time with Jon. "I had no idea how the media worked. I find out while I'm hiding under the bed that he was setting me up the whole time with pictures. And I'm thinking to myself, 'How did they know I'm here?'"

Jon's other ex-girlfriend, Kate Major, told Radar Online, "Jon was always trying to ruin Kate and accuse her of being a bad mother. He spread rumors she was sleeping with [her bodyguard] Steve and he was trying to rally his friends against her as a mom."

Despite the harsh criticism from his exes, it's somewhat unlikely that Jon would call the paparazzi, considering he once fired a warning shot at a photographer and publicly apologized to Kate in 2012 for their messy public feud.

TLC tried to force them to stay together

In January 2016, Jon opened up about TLC meddling in his split from Kate. He told talk show host Steve Harvey, "We knew we were going to get divorced and then the network tried to keep us together for the benefit of the show. So I quit. I said, 'I'm not having my divorce filmed. I'm not having it aired out for the public's consumption. And I'm not having reruns so my children can keep on watching the demise of their parents.'" He added, "I just took a moral stance versus a business stance. I lost everything. I lost all my money. I lost everything. The network sided with my ex-wife."

Jon's Couples Therapy stint may be fake

Remember when Jon was on Couples Therapy with then-girlfriend Liz Jannetta? She apparently wasn't his first choice. A source told Radar Online that Jon was so desperate to find a partner for the show that he actually appealed to ex Glassman first. "Jon reached out to Hailey a few months ago with a 'lucrative opportunity' if she'd just, as he put it, pretend to date him again," the source said. "He was desperate and it showed." Jon reportedly told Glassman he could net her $200,000, but she declined, the source said. "Jon thought it would make for better publicity if he went on the show with Hailey than with his actual girlfriend, Liz, who nobody knows."

Jon never responded to the accusations, but he and Jannetta have since split up. As of July 2015, according to Us Weekly, Jon was dating a registered nurse named Colleen Conrad who had two teenage kids of her own.

Was Kate difficult on Dancing With the Stars?

Kate's tenure on Dancing With the Stars was relatively brief, but according to her partner, Tony Dovolani, it was a very traumatic time. In a March 2012 interview with Anderson Cooper (via E! News), Dovolani chuckled, "You call that 'dance?' We didn't dance…there was a lot of therapy involved."

Kate was uncharacteristically diplomatic in her response on her blog, writing, "I think it is a shame that Tony has been left only with a negative impression of our time together, especially after we spent SO many hours, days, nights and weeks working hard together doing our best in the competition…I wish nothing but the best in future seasons for Tony and his prospective dance partners."

Their kids may have developmental and social problems

Jon told Oprah's Where Are They Now in November 2013 that he suspected his children had issues. "Yes, they got to travel the world, and yes, they got these fabulous things, and yes, they have trust funds, and they're taken care of educationally. Great," he said. "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 and what's right and what's wrong. I think more so than someone who grows up off TV."

Kate initially denied Jon's claims, but more recent reports suggest he was onto something. Kate confessed in August 2016 that the couple's son, Collin, was away getting help. "Collin has special needs," she told People. "[There's] 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."

Kate's admission came five years after she vaguely denied rumors that Collin and Alexis got expelled from their school, instead saying the two tots suffered from "post-divorce anger" and that their school "wasn't meeting their needs."

Jon accused Kate of child abuse

Jon accused Kate of potentially abusive behaviors in court filings over custody of the children, particularly daughter Hannah, in March 2015. Per documents obtained by the National Enquirer, Jon claims, "The children told teachers that they were scared and that Alexis had broken a mirror when she could not get out of her room to use the bathroom. Father spoke to the children and they told him that Mother had switched the doorknobs on their bedrooms [so the doors only lock from the outside], and had been locking them in their rooms for some time…Father is greatly concerned for the children's safety if they are being locked in their rooms at night—not to mention that it is a fire hazard!"

Jon also alleged that if a kid doesn't eat an item in their lunchbox, "Mother packs that exact same item the next day, and the next day until they eat it. Hannah reported having moldy strawberries and Alexis said her sandwich is stale…[The same leftovers were packed in 
Leah's box] for many weeks."

There hasn't been an update recently on the case, but Kate still has custody of the kids.

Jon's relationship with his kids is strained

Jon admitted to Entertainment Tonight that he doesn't pay child support for his kids, despite Kate having primary custody. "[Kate and I] both support [the children] financially because she takes care of school and all that stuff, but I take care of the exact same things she takes care of," he said. "I buy their own groceries, they have their own groceries at my house, their own bedrooms, their own stuff, it's doubled." Fair enough, but they're only at his house about once a week…and even then, it's not even all of the kids.

Not only does Jon allegedly not pay child support for his eight kids, he also hardly sees them. In January 2016, he told the Steve Harvey Show he hasn't seen one of his sons in a year and a half and explained that he and Kate don't co-parent or communicate at all. "Most of the time I get four [kids visiting weekly]. I haven't seen all of my kids together in about three years…I only get what I get…I pull to the gate, and whoever comes down the driveway, that's who I get. I'm not privy to any information, I don't know who I'm going to get."

Daughter Mady Gosselin told People in August 2016, "He makes it seem like we're being kept from him, which is insane. 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." She added, "He doesn't even know us. How can he dare to talk about us?"