Segment of Jon Gosselin’s Larry King interview. The full interview is below
Jon Gosselin and his giant vacant eyes were on CNN’s Larry King Live last night. (You can watch the whole interview as a podcast, view the whole video below, or read the transcript.) He explained that he read online that he would no longer be a part of the show and that no one told him ahead of time. He also said that Kate didn’t tell him about it and that he hasn’t spoken to her in three weeks. I still can’t stand the guy, but I have to admit that he did convince me that he believes the reality show is no longer healthy for his children. He got really passionate about it, and what’s more is that he actually admitted that he was a passive person and called himself an “avoider.” By no stretch of the imagination do I like this guy, but I did come away thinking that he’s doing the right thing for his kids. I don’t believe that his only motivation for sending TLC a cease and desist was protecting his children, though. I still think he’s trying to assert his authority after being marginalized by TLC.
As we mentioned yesterday, after Jon was cut from his family’s reality show he sent TLC a legal letter stating that they were no longer allowed to film the show on his property. TLC suspended production on the newly renamed “Kate Plus 8” and issued a statement
that Jon’s behavior was “erratic” and “opportunistic.”
In this Larry King Live appearance, Jon and his lawyer discussed their reasoning for demanding that production be halted, and they also gave some background to their feud with TLC. Jon’s lawyer claims that TLC knew ahead of time that Jon was about to stop the show with an announcement on Larry King Live, and that’s why they tried to preempt him by cutting him from the show. TLC and Kate say that Jon only tried to stop the show because he was kicked off, and that he was filming as of last Friday and never said a thing about it. I think that it was a reactionary response, because Jon’s lawyer kind of backtracked a little later in the interview when talking about when they made that decision.
Jon’s lawyer also claims that TLC “exploited” the Gosselin family with a sophisticated contract and low pay. Jon and Kate made a total of $1 million last year combined while TLC made an estimated $186 million in just one quarter off of their show. TLC also never obtained work permits for the kids nor did they set up a trust for them, and they maintain that was Jon and Kate’s responsibility. As far as Jon is concerned this show is over. His lawyer is confident that once Jon asserts his parental rights the show will not be able to continue at all:
On why his kids should not be on the show
Jon Gosselin: I’m asking not to be on the show and I’m asking my children not to be on the show. I mean, I don’t want them to film anymore. I don’t think it’s healthy for them. And I — the reason I don’t think it’s healthy for them is that we’re going through a divorce right now. And I don’t think it should be televised. And I think my kids should be taken off the show.
Jon’s lawyer claims that TLC knew they were about to halt production
Jon’s Lawyer, Mark Jay Heller: As a matter of law, when an individual has joint custody, there is no decision that can be made without his consent. And the truth of the matter is, Larry, we had asked weeks ago for this production to stop. And the minute TLC learned we were coming on Larry King’s show and we were going to announce on the show that we were putting the brakes on the divorce and putting the brakes on the show and disclose the reasons why, which would have been very embarrassing to them, as you’ll learn later on in this program, they decided to save their face and preempt this individual by coming out and firing him before it became public that he fired the show.
What really happened is previous to that announcement, [that Jon was off the show] I notified [TLC] that Jon was going to go on the show [Larry King Live] and he was going to ask that the show be terminated (INAUDIBLE)…
And not only was he going to say that on the show, but he was going to tell the reasons why. And on September 25th, their lawyer sent me a letter in which they said — when they learned we were going to go on the show, Jon should not proceed with his appearance. And when we told them we were going to still appear and we were going to, in essence, terminate the show, they then said yesterday we’d better do something first.
TLC tried to tell Jon not to party
Jon Gosselin: I don’t get along to the people at TLC… Since January, I started getting calls from the executives, which is so rare. You really don’t really hear from them. [They said] that I’m in breach of contract and, you know, I can’t go out. They put me on house arrest. They gave me a bodyguard for three weeks…. It’s house arrest. They give you — I had 24-7 bodyguards.
On the children’s lack of a contract or work permits
KING: Are you saying, Mark, that this contract is null and — are you saying this isn’t a contract?
HELLER: This is a null contract for the following reason. As mentioned earlier, at the time that these two struggling people were desperate for money, TLC came with a cadre of lawyers, the most sophisticated contract you’ve ever seen and said sign. They had no manager. He had no lawyer. He had no idea of what he was signing.
What’s more upsetting is the contract provided that there was no compensation specifically for the kids. These kids have been working for the past four years without any specified contract being attributed them.
KING: But wouldn’t it be in violation of a child labor law…
HELLER: Well, that…
KING: …to have a contract with a kid?
HELLER: …that’s precisely so. And the investigation has been undertaken by the Labor Department, which may expose the respective parties to almost $2 million of fines because they require a permit. TLC, contrary to what was represented to Jon, never got a permit for the kids to act; never got pay permit for the location and these provisions render it as against public policy.
Jon’s lawyer on how the show is over now
Jon’s Lawyer, Mark Jay Heller: I can assure your viewers and you that this show will definitely not go forward with the eight children under any circumstance, because I have confidence in the courts. Every child is a ward of the court. And they will never subject the children to this show if the father believes it’s detrimental.
Jon’s lawyer kind of backtracks about why they decided to issue TLC a cease and desist
Jon’s Lawyer, Mark Jay Heller: From the very first week that I became Jon’s attorney, I had an explosive discussion with them as soon as I learned about how they had exploited Jon and his wife when they executed this contract. And I told them that this had to be addressed immediately and they stopped communicating with me. I’ve been talking about pulling the plug on this show ever since I became counsel. And Jon made a decision and I followed it.
They also had Kate Gosselin’s divorce lawyer on via satellite, and he said that he thought the children don’t need work permits and that “one parent can’t unilaterally make the decision not to have the children go forward.”
Larry King also asked Jon about all his affairs, and his answers were somewhat evasive but less dodgy than I expected. On his first “alleged” affair with Deanna Hummel, he said that she just drove him home when he was too drunk to drive and that “We were just friends.” On Kate Major, he half admitted sleeping with her and said “The things I’ve done in the past are mistakes.” On nanny Stephanie Santoro, he denied the affair and said “Not true. Again, I made mistakes. I trusted people. I’m a genuine person. I give everyone a chance. Some people just take advantage.” He also repeated his claim that he loves Hailey and hinted that he’s cheated on her. “I apologize to Haley. I have made mistakes.”
Jon said that he’s sincere in his effort to forge a better relationship with Kate for the sake of their children. He hasn’t seen or spoken with her in three and a half weeks, but he said that he does text her and that he tried to delay their divorce in an effort to work with her. “Listen, we know we’re not going to be husband and wife anymore. But we’re always going to be mom and dad. We have to work together against this. We have to pull our kids off of television and work this out as a family. ”
This whole thing is kind of mind blowing and there are a lot of details to keep track of. I don’t side with either party because they’re both wrong in distinct, well-documented ways. The show needs to end, though, and if Jon Gosselin is putting the breaks on that’s only going to benefit his children. As he said they don’t need to be filmed dealing with their parents’ divorce. Maybe their parents should stop talking to the press so much too. At least a few of those eight kids are going to read all this crap as soon as they’re able.
Jon Gosselin’s full Larry King Interview: