Raising eight kids as a single mom can’t be easy — just ask Kate Gosselin! Despite some on-again, off-again relationships, the reality star has pretty much been on her own since divorcing her estranged husband Jon back in 2009. With so much on her plate, you may expect that the 42-year-old leans heavily on her parents — but that couldn’t be further from the case! Rather, Kate has been estranged from her parents, Charlene and Kenton Kreider, for years.
In a 2009 interview, Jon explained that his former in-laws are just “not involved” because they wanted to be “drop-in grandparents” — and it didn’t work for Kate and her then-husband. He explained that they have 19 grandchildren total, and the Kreiders “aren’t involved with any of them,” despite living near Kate and her brood — 16-year-old twins Mady and Cara, and 13-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Leah, and Joel — in Pennsylvania.
Kate — who has three sisters and one brother — also appears to be estranged from her siblings, even though her brother, Kevin, and his wife, Jodi, used to be regulars on Jon & Kate Plus 8 in the show’s early days. In 2010, Kate’s brother Kevin testified against his sister and former brother-in-law regarding a child labor dispute and claimed that his nieces and nephews were being exploited for the show and were left with “psychological damage” as a result. While testifying, he cited a Christmas episode as a an example of the children being taken advantage of.
“The children were told it was Christmas morning. It was so that the camera crew could get the genuine reaction of the children,” he explained in court. “It wasn’t until after, later, that they were told it was not Christmas morning, they just did it for the show. Can you imagine how confused eight little kids were that morning?”
In 2014, Kate’s sister Kendra gave interview and explained that she isn’t part of her nieces’ and nephews’ lives — but it wasn’t for lack of trying. She told the Daily Mail, “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. Years later, the divorce came about and we had every right to be [concerned]. But there was no conversation and no argument. I guess we have our own life and she wants a big life and we don’t fit in. We are just normal, everyday people and she doesn’t want us to be part of her life.”
One the other part of the spectrum is Jon and his mother, Pamela Castello. Back in 2009, he revealed that he has a very close relationship with his mother (his father passed away years earlier) even though she doesn’t want to be part of their reality TV world. He explained, “She sees how our life is. We’ve benefitted from the show, but I have no private life. She doesn’t want any part of that. She just wants to start over with her new husband. I call her four to five times a day — my mom texts now, too.”