Kate Gosselin "saddened and confused," denies Jon's allegations
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/01/2009
Kate Gosselin has denied her estranged husband's allegations that Jon & Kate Plus 8 has been "detrimental" to the couple's eight children and they have been "complaining" about filming the TLC reality series.
Mike Heller, Jon's manager, subsequently alleged the children have complained about the show's filming after reports of the letter surfaced Thursday.
"Basically we've put a halt on the show," Heller toldPeople. "Jon has been talking to TLC for a long time to cut back on the production and still honor his contract -- because it's been getting in the way of his family, his children are complaining."
However Kate said she is "saddened and confused" by the claims.
"Jon has never expressed any concerns to me about our children being involved in the show and, in fact, is on the record as saying he believes the show benefits our children and was taping on Friday with the kids," Kate said in a statement obtained by People.
"I check in regularly with each of the kids to be sure they want to participate in and continue with the show and will continue to do so."
Kate's statement is consistent with Jon's previous public comments in which he had repeatedly refuted allegations that Jon & Kate Plus 8 was exploiting the children.
"Exploited? I don't even want to use that word, because I think it's ridiculous," he told People in a June interview after Kate's brother Kevin Kreider and his wife Jodi alleged the children were being exploited and Pennsylvania's Labor Department launched an investigation into whether the show was complying with child labor laws.
"Maybe people should look that word up in the dictionary and learn what it means before they use it in headlines. We're a family that happens to be on TV, not a TV family. We have healthy, happy, well-adjusted, educated kids. They're bouncing around and having a good time. Kate and I have worked our hardest to raise them that way."
Jon had also reiterated his support for the show in a September interview with ABC's Primetime program.
"I would stop it. I am not going to make them film. They're not being forced to film," he said.
While Jon's letter was sent to TLC the same day the network announced plans to re-launchJon & Kate Plus 8 as a Kate-focused series that will be retitled Kate Plus 8 and feature Jon on a "less regular basis," Jon's recently-hired new lawyer -- Mark Jay Heller, Mike Heller's father -- told The Insider that he and Jon have been in discussions to pull the plug on the progam and end the children's filming for weeks before the announcement.
However Kate doesn't seem to believe the timing was mere coincidence.
"I do the show for my family because I believe it provides us opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have. Jon used to share that belief until as recently as the day the network announced the name change of the show and indicated that Jon would have a lesser role in the show," she said in her statement.
"It appears that Jon's priority is Jon and his interests. My priority remains our children and their well-being."
Kate's statement came after TLC had released its own Thursday statement in which it harshly denied Jon's allegations but agreed to acquiesce to his demands pending further discussions.
"We are aware of Jon Gosselin's recent statements, and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behavior. He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic," TLC said.
"Despite Jon Gosselin's repeated self destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC. Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents."
The Gosselins -- who filed for divorce in June -- jointly own the $1.3 million Wernersville home TLC has filmed at since they moved there last fall, however Jon's lawyers contend TLC "never secured location permits" for the production company to film on the property.
In addition, the elder Heller has stated that Jon has not given his consent for his children to appear in Kate Plus 8, which they claim is "a new program" separate and therefore not covered by Jon & Kate Plus 8's current production agreement.
Jon's lawyers have had a busy week, as they also filed a document on Tuesday with a Pennsylvania court-approved arbitrator that -- if approved -- would suspend his pending divorce from Kate for 90 days.
The couple's divorce filing was originally slated to be finalized this fall, however Jon now says he wants to delay it for what he claims to be the sake of his kids.