"I have to in order to keep my kids where they live and put food on their table," the Jon & Kate Plus 8 star responded as she held back tears.
"I need that money to provide for them. You have to understand my position here. We were in a position after our sextuplets were born that we could not pay our bills. We did the show to provide a better life for them. Never in my life did I think I would be back in the same position, worried about providing for them."
According to Kate, an arbitrator ruled neither could remove funds from the account without the other's consent after Jon apparently decided to do just that.
"He had done it a few days before I filed for divorce. He didn't empty it completely, but it was enough that I was afraid," said Kate. "In fact, at some point up until that point I had taken $100,000 and put it aside safely so that I could buy my kids food if this occurred. I was afraid. Literally, he was buying erratic purchases -- randomly purchasing things."
Kate added she removed the money at the "suggestion" of her lawyer, however she was subsequently told by an arbitrator she "needed to put it back," which she claims she did.
"The last thing I wanted was to do [Jon & Kate Plus 8] and not be able to pay my bills. So I put money aside -- willingly brought it forward and split it with him when we had our meeting," explained Kate. "So he took $50,000 and did whatever with it and I paid bills with my $50,000. Once the court arbitrator stepped in, I felt like the money, I had to put it back. I didn't feel like it would be safe to be honest."
Jon's legal team issued a statement to The Insider -- which was read by Viera during Kate's Today appearance -- in which it disputed Sunday's reports.
"[Jon] has not withdrawn any money for his own remuneration with the exception of the past several months wherein he believes he only withdrew approximately $175,000," reads the statement. "It is not unlikely when the arbitrator or court receive a full accounting of all the proceeds that Jon will be awarded substantial additional funds."
Kate said she had a "few comments" about the statement.
"I have the accounting over the last few months and it's exactly $230,000 beginning on August 10 and his last withdrawal was September 29," said Kate.
"Second of all, it's wonderful to say that he'll be awarded 'significant funds,' however there are no significant funds for him to be awarded. I don't care that he feels he needs to be awarded this. When you've left your children and their mother unable to pay for the roof over their head, it's not acceptable."
That's not the only behavior Jon has recently displayed that's "unacceptable" to Kate.
Last Tuesday, Jon had his lawyers demand TLC "cease and desist" any television production on his family's Wernersville, PA property or face potential criminal charges -- the same day the network announced plans to re-launchJon & Kate Plus 8 as a Kate-focused series that would be retitled Kate Plus 8 and feature Jon on a "less regular basis."
While Kate said she was "aware" of TLC's decision to re-launch the show, she wasn't "in the decision process."
"I was in [agreement] with it because I feel like at this point, unfortunately we do have different goals. It appears to me -- my opinion -- that there's one parent at this point that is pulling for the best of our children," she told Viera.
"It's upsetting to me and I think that it was upsetting to the world to watch the unraveling. I feel like Jon is not on the same path as me, obviously. I felt like it was the best thing to come out of this. I'm a contract honorer -- when I put my name on a piece of paper, the situation may change but I want to do what I say I'm doing."
During the interview, Kate also discussed the fallout from week's development in which Jon suddenly announced he wants to pull the plug on Jon & Kate Plus 8 because he alleges it's "detrimental" to the health of his eight children -- something Kate contends that is untrue, to the best of her knowledge.
"Over the weekend, I told [the kids] we're not filming at this point. Actually, times eight, there was wailing and sobbing," said Kate. "They love our crew. They love the interaction. They love the events. There is nothing harmful about it. They are angry."
While Kate added she's not with her kids 24/7 due to joint custody, she said the children have never expressed a desire to stop filming.
"It has never happened -- not the response I saw this weekend," said Kate.
In addition, Kate refuted Jon's claims during a Thursday appearance on CNN's Larry King Live that she refuses to take his calls -- and instead insists it's actually the opposite.
"I do not talk about these issues with him because it seems that whenever I have a conversation and we solve something... he hangs up the phone and does something completely different. This is historical. It's almost not even really worth it anymore," she told Viera.
"I do talk to him about custody when I can get a hold of him. It's not for a lack of trying on my part as far as communication. I have called 20 times a day before, and have found myself making decisions alone without his consent because I simply cannot reach him."
Despite claiming it is "deeply disappointed" by Jon's "erratic behavior," TLC subsequently decided to suspend filming on Jon & Kate Plus 8 due to his request -- and Kate understands why.
"TLC has always said that if either one of us comments that it is not healthy, it's not good -- whatever -- they will honor that. Even just the allegation, they have to abide by that. They have to hear his voice in that," she told Viera.
"Unfortunately, it's our source of income. So in one fell swoop -- in one week -- basically at his hands, all of this has been removed: our money, our income. It's a terribly hard situation to be in."
"I will keep peace where I need to keep peace. Obviously I'm very upset. I can't sleep at night. I can't pay my bills," she said.
"I think that he's receiving bad counsel. He has always been one to listen to the person who's next to him, and I think that he's receiving bad advice. I think that he's making bad decisions and I honestly -- call me crazy, I've said it before -- but I'm still hoping that at some point I'll receive a phone call and the old Jon is back."
Kate said she decided to do the Today interview to "get the facts out there."
"Not my opinion -- the truth of what actually occurred and is occurring, because when my kids look back on it I don't want them to see untruths. I want them to see the balance," said Kate before expressing a desire to keep the matter private.
"I wish I could, but he keeps playing to the media. The things you see him say on TV I have never heard from him. It doesn't even sound like his words. He's never picked up the phone and said any of those things to me."
(Photo credit TLC)
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