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Seeing Jon and Kate Gosselin’s 13-year-old daughters, twins Mady and Cara, return to television may have come to a surprise to many—although no one was more surprised than their father.
The Gosselin patriarch told In Touch he didn’t know they were going to be on TV, because Kate kept their appearance a secret. He added that seeing their interview was an emotional experience.
WATCH: Kate Gosselin and Her Twins on ‘Today’ Is the Most Awkward Interview Ever
“I felt so bad for Mady and Cara after watching them on the Today show,” he said “There was no empathy, no sympathy or comfort coming from their mother. It was a moral dilemma for the girls—they were looking at their mother before they spoke, making sure of what they should say.”
Mady and Cara’s uncomfortable interview—in which both girls barely spoke—came just days after Jon opened up to In Touch about Kate’s strict rules in the house.
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“You can’t breath the wrong way without upsetting her,” he said earlier this week. “The kids have to ask before they get a drink, before they get a snack, before they open the fridge, before they go to the bathroom. It’s ridiculous.”
According to Jon, it was this need for approval that kept the usually chatty girls quiet when Savannah Guthrie questioned them this morning.
Jon Gosselin On Kate: “She’s Exploiting Our Children!”
“They want to please her and are scared to upset her,” Jon explained. “Meanwhile, Kate is telling them to ‘speak’ and they clearly don’t want to.”
During the awkward interview, there was at least one time the girls expressed enthusiasm: When asked it they want to be back on TV—even if there attitude in front of the camera suggested otherwise.
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Still, Jon thinks there is one person very eager to return to the public life.
“I am sure Kate is loving it,” he said. “Being back on TV again.”
For more from Jon, pick up the latest issue of In Touch Weekly, on newsstands now!