Once upon a time, the TLC reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 featured a married couple managing a family of sextuplets and two older twins. Midway through season 5, however, Jon and Kate Gosselin announced their decision to separate and following their split, the former pair have had different accounts of what caused their rift and they mostly surround rumors that he was unfaithful.
At the time of the breakup, rumors of infidelity ran rampant, but Jon has long maintained he had remained true to his wife of 10 years. “The biggest misconception is the reason for the divorce is that I cheated on my wife, but I didn’t,” he said on a 2014 episode of the reality show Couples Therapy. He also said his marriage was “very non-affectionate” and “just kind of like 10 years of a business transaction.”
Jon explained, “I always felt like I did Kate’s task list. ‘Here’s the Post-it note. This is what you have to do. This is how you’re a good husband. This is how you’re going to behave.’ [I thought], ‘OK … I’m going to complete these tasks, and she’ll love me because I do these things.’ January 16 was when I did all my stuff. I went out to a bar and stayed out till 4:00 in the morning. When I came home that morning, she said nothing. So, I did it the next night.”
And by the time of that next night, Jon had realized his relationship with Kate was ending. “I knew [the marriage] was over [on] January 17, 2009,” he said. “That was the definitive day. I just knew.”
Jon also denied the affair rumors during a 2016 interview on Dr. Oz, saying, “She thought I was having an affair after … during separation in 2009, which I wasn’t. No.”
For her part, Kate told People in 2016 that she “really would have thought [Jon would] have been here for the long haul,” before adding. “The weirdest thing is that overnight he became a different person.”
Jon had begun buying motorcycles and cars and staying out late instead of taking care of the kids, Kate said. “People closest to me thought I was crazy and making it up,” she added. “When they saw it for themselves, they were like, ‘Whoa.’ They saw the proof.”
In a 2016 appearance on The Steve Harvey Show, Jon said he lost “everything” in the divorce and alleged TLC had sided with Kate and had even paid for her divorce attorneys. “We knew we were going to get divorced, and then the network tried to keep us together for the benefit of the show, so I quit,” he explained. “I said, ‘I’m not having my divorce filmed. I’m not having it aired out for the public’s consumption. And I’m not having reruns so my children can keep on watching the demise of their parent.’ … I just took a moral stance versus a business stance. I lost everything. I lost all my money.”
Following their split, Jon alleged that Kate verbally abused him and that Kate was an “absentee” mom, while Kate has said that none of her children have been “damaged” from filming the reality TV series. While Collin and Hannah remained in his custody and live with him in Pennsylvania, Aaden, Joel, Alexis and Leah are in Kate’s and moved with her to North Carolina in March 2021.
The sextuplets turned 18 on May 10, 2022, which means Jon no longer has to worry about custody arrangements. “I am free in the aspect of I have adult children now … I have my own businesses and now it’s time for me to move on. Dating, moving on with my own life. It’s like starting over pretty much,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “There’s no more custody court. It’s over. We are done today. It’s over … This weight has been lifted off my shoulder … It is just a big relief.”
Jon went on to claim that Kate has made it difficult for him to keep in touch with the kids he doesn’t live with. ”[Communicating with] the children that live with Kate is very difficult, because I don’t have an open relationship with them,” the former reality star said. “[Hannah] communicates with them. She has a really good relationship with the other kids. I have been alienated from those children.”
Jon then alleged that Kate is responsible for the strife with his children. “I feel it’s a really poor decision on Kate’s part, because she alienated me from those kids,” he said. “I think it was a poor parenting decision. It would’ve been much better if she would have been more open with them and explained things better.”
Now that all of their kids are legal adults, Jon said they will eventually learn the truth about his divorce from Kate. “They’re going to figure … out who [their] parents are, and what transpired in the past, and how relationships build, and how relationships fail,” he told the outlet. “Sometimes you hide those things from your children … Sometimes it’s difficult to say those things to your child, because you’re afraid they aren’t mature enough to understand those things.”
Additionally, Jon claimed Kate was responsible for the divorce and hinted she had an affair. “Why did the divorce happen? Because a certain person left me for a certain somebody,” he said. After insisting he “knew” about her alleged affair, Jon said, “I was like, ‘End it.'”
While both Jon and Kate have denied they had affairs during their marriage, the father of 8 said their divorce was “inevitable” because of their differing “personalities.”
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