The Shady Side Of Kate Gosselin

Today, reality television is all the rage, spanning countless casts and topics across just about every channel out there. Once upon a time, though, reality TV was a mere seed of an idea — and one that Kate Gosselin was willing to use, putting her massive family on the screen so that the universe could get an inside peek at what life with twins and sextuplets looked like.

Kate and Jon Gosselin, along with their adorable eight children's TLC mega-hit  "Jon and Kate Plus 8," instantly became a fan favorite show, growing wildly popular in no time. Seemingly overnight, everyone in the country had heard of the adorable, supersized middle-class family and couldn't wait to see what adventures and antics the gang would take on week after week. The Gosselins started out oh-so relatable, raising kids and navigating marriage. Even their squabbles, stumbles, and missteps that played out for cameras made viewers smile, nod, and say, "Yeah! We are right there with you!"

The magic didn't last forever, though, and the series was canceled after only five seasons. (Kate went on to film without Jon, starring in "Kate Plus 8," but it was never the same.) As Kate Gosselin fell out of love, she also fell out of public favor. After her marriage crumbled and her show went kaput, the media started sinking its fangs into Gosselin for every move she made. They had plenty to go on, considering the once-likable mom of eight seems to have an awfully shady side to her.

Eight became seven

Fans' eyebrows raised during Season 6 of "Kate Plus 8" when the Gosselin Eight seemed to suddenly become seven. Collin Gosselin, one of the family's sextuplets, graced American television screens one day, and the following week he was gone! Questions surrounding Collin's whereabouts swirled, and Kate Gosselin swooped in, providing answers regarding her son's absence. Kate told People, "Collin has special needs. [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."

While Kate could justify why Collin was no longer living at home, she had a more difficult time explaining why he was left out of the family's ski trip that was filmed during Season 6. Not all fans of the show agreed with one of the eight children missing out on family fun. Whether Kate Gosselin was making the right parenting move by leaving her son in treatment or a serious misstep by omitting him from crucial bonding time, some fans found the move shady and sad.

Kate Gosselin relocated the kids

Upheaval and change have been two cornerstones in the Gosselin kids' childhood, so where's the harm in shaking things up just a little bit more? In 2021, Kate Gosselin relocated four of her eight children to North Carolina (the elder Gosselins are away at college, and Hannah and Collin Gosselin live with their father, who has primary custody of them.)

After spending much of their childhood in their million-dollar Wernersville, Pennsylvania home that Kate and Jon Gosselin purchased prior to their split, Kate and the kids now call themselves residents of the Tar Heel state. Gosselin and half the brood traded their 23 acres of gated country living for southern lake life in North Carolina. Aaden, Joel, Alexis, and Leah now have to complete the tail-end of their high school career in a new state, with all new friends and surroundings. As for the twins, Cara and Mady Gosselin, they can no longer quickly shoot home in between college semesters to their mom's house. North Carolina is a much further trek for them, and while their father still lives in Pennsylvania, the twins and Jon Gosselin continue to be estranged

Life looks different for some of the Gosselin kids, but they won't be hanging around the four-bedroom Lake Norman property for very long. The darling little sextuplets everyone fell in love with when they first appeared on TLC are just about grown and ready to fly the coop. The six sibs turned 18 in May 2022

Kate Gosselin pulled the single mom card

Being a single parent is no easy feat, and all parents who bust their butts to provide for the kids should be applauded, Kate Gosselin included. (She might not be the most likable single mom in all the land, but she is a hustler, and you can't take that from her.) That said, not all single parents have the same situation, nor are they grinding it out on an equal playing field.

Kate Gosselin caught heat when she sat down with Meredith Viera from "The Today Show" and spun her tale of single mom struggles. "I've got to work harder now than ever because I am a single mom," Kate explained. She expressed how difficult it was to split her time and attention between home and to work on "Dancing With the Stars." "I would rather be at home with them ... I have to work. I have to provide for them. It's a struggle every working mom, especially single moms, go through."

People took issues with the notion that Kate Gosselin was no impoverished parent scraping by on minimum wage yet in the interview, she aligned herself with struggling single parents everywhere. Kate and company once made a nice sum for their 116 show episodes, reportedly earning $50,000 per taping. On top of this, there were books (two of which landed on the "New York Times" bestseller List,) spin-off television series and appearances, speaking engagements, and a short-lived job with Coupon Cabin.

No peaceful co-parenting in sight

Celebrity splits are nothing new. They seem to happen just about every single day. While some are amicable and others contentious, Kate and Jon Gosselin's divorce has been on a whole new level of disaster. Their breakup was widely public and downright disturbing, and the saddest aspect was that eight innocent children were involved. Their split has included rumors of affairs on both parts of Jon and Kate, finger-pointing at bad behavior, and accusations of being fame-hungry. 

Over a decade post-breakup, Jon and Kate can't stop hurling accusations at one another. Following an incident between Jon Gosselin and son Collin Gosselin, Kate told People, "I am done hiding and will say this unequivocally: Jon is a violent and abusive person." Representatives for Jon Gosselin vehemently refuted all claims and accusations. 

Jon spoke to ET Online about his former spouse: "I've put him (Collin) in school. I've walked him through everything. He's got a job, stuff like that, and Kate hasn't talked to him in five years. I mean, Kate didn't show up for his custody battle when they awarded me sole legal and physical custody. So now I find it interesting that she's so concerned about a child she doesn't even talk to."

She accused her ex of destroying the kids

When parents break up, they can dislike each other, but they shouldn't be badmouthing the other parent. Kate Gosselin didn't seem to learn this lesson after splitting from Jon Gosselin, and years after their divorce, she is still accusing him of some pretty major things. 

Twins Cara and Mady Gosselin turned 18 in 2019, and Kate took to Instagram to express her pride and joy in the girls' successes and futures. That would have been fine and dandy, except she also threw in digs that might've been pointed at the twins' father, Jon Gosselin, writing, "I love these kids fiercely ... and I don't apologize for my tears. Times have been so tough and so needlessly unfair for them. Despite it all, they've turned out to be such wonderful, amazing human beings. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for each of them once they get away from those who have tried to destroy them versus protect them."

Even if Jon didn't "destroy" the twins, he isn't exactly getting a Father of the Year award from them. In 2016, the twins shared thoughts on their father with People saying, "He [Jon] makes it seem like we're being kept from him, which is insane," Mady states. "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."

Kate Gosselin put her twins on the spot

Over the years, there have been countless awkward moments involving the Gosselin family, and Kate, Mady, and Cara Gosselin's interview on "Today" ranks right up there with the worst of them. The trio went on television intending to update fans on their lives and to clear up misconceptions regarding the public perception of the controversial reality TV family. The setup backfired when the twins gave a tight-lipped live performance that got under their mom Kate's skin and resulted in Kate reprimanding her 13-year-olds in front of cameras for their silence. 


As show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie tried to help the teens express themselves to the world, Kate became agitated, saying, "Mady, your words! It's your chance. Spit it out." She went on to address Guthrie explaining this was the "most wordless I've heard them all morning. I don't want to speak for them, but Mady, go ahead ... that years later they're good, they're fine." Mady sullenly quipped back that there was no more to be said as her mother had just said it all. 

Every television viewer watching felt bad for the twins. Even Guthrie herself came forward in a "Watch What Happens Live" interview to say she also felt for the girls and understood their shyness. When Andy Cohen asked Guthrie if the show appearance made Kate Gosselin appear even more unlikeable than initially thought, Guthrie asked, "Is this the 'I plead the fifth segment?'"

Kate Gosselin's parenting style too strict?

Kate Gosselin is mom to eight children, and for much of their lives, she has taken on the role of primary parent. Knowing this, it is no great surprise that Gosselin had to be strict sometimes. And in truth, strict parenting isn't necessarily bad parenting. If you ask Kate's former husband, Jon Gosselin, about his ex's parenting, he will say strict is putting it lightly. He describes her method of raising the children as downright militant! Jon spoke to Daily Mail about Kate's parenting style, saying, Kate created a home where rigorous tasks and chores were expected of the kids. While he agreed that children need structure and expectations, Jon said Kate took things to a whole other level. "I understand trying to teach discipline, but they can't even be kids!" Jon exclaimed.

Not only Jon picked up on Kate's supposed pattern of strict behavior. Her rules and expectations extended to the household help as well. In a 2014 interview with E! News, a former nanny said, "We always had to refer to the manual because it listed her pet peeves. You couldn't put anything on the ground. You had to put shoes in a certain spot. You couldn't close doors loudly. You could only vacuum during certain times of the day if she was home." Living in a situation with such supposedly tight reins couldn't be easy on growing kids, but Kate defended herself on "Good Morning America" in a 2016 interview, saying, "I've been investigated many times, it' s always unfounded."

Estranged from so much family

Juggling eight young children as your marriage crumbles in the public eye is a tall order for even the strongest person. Considering all Kate Gosselin has faced over the years, you would think she might lean on her village heavily, taking all of the family support available to her. In her case, however, she seemingly isn't tight with family. Her father passed away in 2021, and in the years before his death, Kate was reportedly estranged from him and her mother, Charlene. Kate has also reportedly pushed her sister Kendra Wilber away. Wilber told Daily Mail that she hasn't seen Kate or the kids in several years. "Kate does not speak to her family at all. It is very painful ... I guess we weren't totally on board with what was going on with the kids, I guess we weren't excited enough for her and were concerned about her family."

Kate has also put distance between herself and two of her eight children. Hannah and Collin Gosselin have chosen to live with their father, Jon Gosselin, and Hannah spoke out to Entertainment Tonight about why she decided to reside with her father, mentioning her closer connection to him. Hannah continued, "I just feel like there was unfair treatment in my mom's house." However, she also noted, "My relationship with my mom is pretty stable. We text each other and call each other on an average basis." Despite that stability, it appeared that Kate is tighter with some of her kids compared to others. 

Kate Gosselin struggled to retain staff

Kate Gosselin probably won't ever win the Everyone's Favorite Boss award in this lifetime. Back when her kids were itty-bitty, she wasn't making friends with any of the hired staff she and Jon Gosselin employed to help them with their growing family. It was reported that during that chapter in their lives, Kate fired some 40 nurses and aides within the span of only a few months. Baby nurse Angela Krall worked for the Gosselins for about a year and claimed that no one was good enough for Mama Gosselin. Krall revealed to Us Weekly that her former employer reportedly had unrealistic expectations for staff, a critical disposition, and insisted on unattainable levels of perfection at all times. She recalled one unfortunate instance where Gosselin snapped on an aide for washing her hands in an undesignated sink. (It appears that in the Gosselin home not all sinks are for handwashing.)

Keeping staff has been one struggle for Kate Gosselin, and it seems paying them might be yet another. In 2019, former employee Andrea Novak filed a complaint against the reality star claiming she was owed $55,278.09. The case was eventually dropped weeks before its scheduled court date, but having staff legally accuse you of ripping them off is certainly not a good look. 

She filmed sans permission

Kate Gosselin has had her children on television for years now, and she knows better than most that when putting minors to work, the correct legal paperwork must be squared away. In 2019, TLC filmed four of the Gosselin children for a special without work permits; further, their father Jon Gosselin didn't want the kids on the show. The result was that Kate was held in contempt of court. The reality star mama also had to fork over $1,500 to her ex-husband, who should have received a film schedule for their children per legal agreements but never did. Jon told DailyMailTV, "The guardian ad litem said filming wasn't in the best interests of my children, the judge said it wasn't in their best interests, but Kate went ahead and did it anyway."

The legal and financial ramifications for defying court orders were hefty, but what occurred afterward was an even greater blow to Gosselin. After 10 years with TLC, the network and reality star were no more. Kate revealed in another court appearance that because of her court violation, she had been let go from the network that had been her bread and butter for so many years. The loss of her TLC contract didn't help Kate's financial woes, which have reportedly compounded over the years as her work opportunities further dwindled. A decade of court battles likely didn't help the diminishing goldmine that the Gosselins once sat atop of either!

Kate Gosselin's selfish behavior doesn't go unnoticed

Uprooting the kids from their home: Check. Awkward interviews with teens: Check. Filming for her benefit only: Possible check.

If you ask Kate Gosselin's ex-husband, Jon Gosselin, about his former partner's goals and intentions, he will jump at the opportunity to tell you that Kate is nothing if not self-centered. Jon revealed his perspective and thoughts on the matter to DailyMailTV: "Kate is not doing the shows for her family, Kate is doing it for herself. She's narcissistic and selfish. That's it. Period. All of this is for her — Kate Plus Eight, Kate Plus Date, it's her name first." He took his claims a step further when he went on "The Dr. Oz Show," telling the talk show host, "All she wanted was legal custody to film my kids to sustain her lifestyle ... See, it gets all warped. That's fame." Jon told Dr. Oz that he believes his ex-wife only accused him of hurting their son Collin because "She always wants to put herself back in the press." 

Kate Gosselin made some seemingly questionable moves to be sure, and many of them might lead some to question, who is she really working to benefit?