Collin Gosselin does first interview, talks about being sent to an institution at 12

The Gosselin sextuplets are now 18 years old, which is mind blowing to me. I remember when their parents were separating and it was the biggest news for weeks in the tabloids, which were of course so much more influential than they are now. One of the more disturbing stories about the Gosselins in the last few years was their mother Kate’s own admission that she had sent son Collin, then 13, away to an institution for “behavioral problems.” (Collin told ET he was there from age 12 to 14.) Collin ended up pleading with his father, Jon, who helped him get out of the facility after two years and was awarded sole custody of both Collin and his sister, Hannah, in 2018. Kate never showed up to the court hearing determining custody. (Kate and Jon also have twins Mady and Cara, 22, who have been estranged from their father for years.)

Collin has done his first interview, with ET Online. He is an impressive young man who has obviously been through a lot of trauma. In his talk with ET’s Kevin Frazier, Collin was careful to parse his words about his mother. He made it clear that he would welcome a relationship with her, but he sounded detached like he is still processing what she did to him. Collin broke down when he admitted that he doesn’t talk to his six other siblings and said that he only has a relationship with Hannah. I’m glad to see him doing so well but I feel so bad for those kids. Collin has a full time job and is finishing up high school. He had a scary accident this year when he fell asleep at the wheel and totaled his car but said he’s fine now and that people should wear their seatbelts. Here’s some of what he told ET and you can see his interview on their site.

Kate revealed several years ago that Collin had been put in an institution to help him deal with his alleged behavioral issues. Upon leaving the institution, Collin went to live with his father and he says any connection to his mom has been severed after the experience.

“After being there, I didn’t have a relationship with her,” Collin tells ET. “Even before [being] there, I don’t think we had much of a relationship and I think that just kept tearing it even more down.”

Looking back at the drama and eventual estrangement with his mom, Collin says he feels it stems from the pressures of having your family star on a reality TV show.

“I want to believe it was because of TV and what being in the public eye does to a family. I think it tore us apart,” Collin shares. “It gave us less time to actually be together as a family, [and] more time to be in the public eye.”

Thinking back to the friction and what he viewed as negative experiences with his mom as a kid, Collin claims it “was worse than what you would say the average teenage kid goes through with their parent.”

Because of this, Collin says he learned some lessons that have helped him understand and contextualize his turbulent childhood.

“I came to the conclusion that everybody has their own agenda, you know?” Collin explains. “My mom had her own agenda, and I don’t know exactly what that was. But I was put in a tough spot and my agenda was to make it out on top of that tough spot.”

Despite their conflicts and very public falling out, Collin tells ET he would be open to the possibility of reconciliation with his mother, and wishes he had a better relationship with Kate throughout his formative years.

“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have a relationship,” Collin says. “I think every son wants to have a relationship with their mom. But I’m doing very well.”

When asked if he would still welcome a relationship with Kate, Collin says, “Yes, it would be ideal.”

Despite the struggles and challenges he’s faced in his 18 years, Collin’s outlook remains overwhelmingly positive and the message he hopes to share is one of hope and kindness.

“I want to say that in life we all go through hard things. We all get knocked down, we all experience really, really difficult things,” he shares, “But don’t sit around and mourn and cry about it, address the situation you’re in and fix it and come out on top of it. Because resilience is a really important thing.”

As for the message he hopes to express, Collin simply wants people to “spread kindness and love.”

[From ET Online]

Kate is a vindictive, fame-hungry person who never should have been given a platform. She very much deserves to be the patron saint of Karens and she clearly alienated her children against their father and against each other. It was abusive to send Collin to a facility and perhaps she did it as a warning to keep her other children in line. Jon is a tool in his own benign way but he tried to get his children off television and he did fight for them. I’m glad Collin is doing OK and that he is telling his truth in this interview. I hope his brothers and sisters see it and are able to contact him. If we learned anything from the Jon and Kate plus Eight debacle and all of the horror stories of child actors it’s that children need much more protection than they’re being given in the entertainment industry.

Also Hannah is glam and has her own beauty company!

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52 Responses to “Collin Gosselin does first interview, talks about being sent to an institution at 12”

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  1. Rachel says:

    Here’s the funny thing. Kate was always all over Hannah and Collin during the run of the show. It always came across like both C and H were her favourites. And wowza 18 now!

    • Borris says:

      I suppose with a narcissistic parent like this, the higher the pedestal they put you on, the farther you fall when you inevitably “let them down.” It is very sad. Especially how the relationship between the siblings has disintegrated as a result, too.

  2. Andy Dufresne says:

    I used to watch this show and looking back, Kate Gosselin is a narcissistic mother. This is unfortunately a dysfunctional family and I feel sorry for the kids.

    • Gubbinal says:

      My narcissistic mother put 5 of her 6 children in institutions: mental hospitals, reform schools, and some shady re-hab places. I am amazed that the courts listened to her and believed her. Some of these stints went on for a few years. It became an inevitability: when you turn 13 or 14 you are kicked out of the house. She is long dead, now, but I never had the guts to confront her in real life. One thing I’ve learned is to run when a friend or acquaintance is a narcissist. These people thrive on damaging others.

    • Kelly says:

      And an abusive wife. I know Jon is a bit of a tool and he abandoned the kids for a while, but he was trying to untangle himself from an abusive situation. He unfortunately wasn’t in a place where he could take care of the kids and he had to figure his own life and mental health out. He was so beaten down by Kate that he didn’t know up from down for a long time. Now that he’s in a better place, he’s doing what he can for the kids, and it must be hard striking a balance in being a part of their lives and also respecting what they want. I feel bad that only Collin and Hannah have a relationship with him but Kate has spent years poisoning those kids against their father.

      • arhus says:

        I never watched the show but oof the video clips of her just haranguing him in season 1. So tense, not a good vibe.

      • StellainNH says:

        I watched. E episode of the show and I felt that Jon was browbeaten constantly by Kate. When he left, it sounded like he escaped. It seemed to look bad that he didn’t fight for his kids, but yes, I bet he was dealing with his own mental health.

    • Zoochy says:

      I got BAD BAD narc vibes from Kate from the start. Those poor kids. Collin seems like a sweetheart.

  3. Emily_C says:

    After having read Jennette McCurdy’s book, I don’t think child actors actually get any protections. The whole industry is despicable. And now there are parents monetizing their children on YouTube and Instagram — not even the pretense of protection and oversight. It’s scary.

    • mtos says:

      This is what I don’t understand about the youtubers, etc. I would not be comfortable with the world being able to click you an app and stare at my kid any time they wanted to. It’s so creepy. Especially the little ones. I have young kids so I have seen all the channels.. Ryan’s Toy Review is a big one. They started when he was super young and now that family is a brand. Which is good for them financially but just so gross to think that anyone could be watching these kids play online. I’m a mom, some of the kids on these things are so adorable and I can appreciate that. But I would not be ok with having my kid be that accessible to anyone.

      • Coco says:

        Yes even after it came to light that One of the people the production people that worked on the show was a pedophile he was into child porn, Kate still wanted to pimp the kids out on TV. Despite finding how close that person was to her children wasn’t a wake-up call for her money was more important to her than that.

        It just dawned on me that Collin may have been a victim of child molestation which would explain why he acted out and was much calmer when he was at Joh’s house. I hope that is not the case, but you never know.

    • Christine says:

      There are accounts on tiktok that point out how creepy these children focused accounts are. On that platform, you can download and save videos to your device. Videos in which these little girls have little clothing (like bathing suits on) or doing something like licking a popsicle have thousands of downloads compared to their other videos. Who do they think are downloading these videos?! Ask yourself who exactly needs to have a saved copy of a little girl posing in a bathing suit or lying spread out on a bed? These parents ABSOLUTELY know what they’re doing and are profiting on the sexual exploitation of their children. I predict there will eventually be laws put into place for this, but it’s very much rampart and these social media companies should be held morally responsible about regulating this type of content

      • mtos says:

        Omg, you are rigth about tiktok. you can save anyone’s posts to your own device… That just upped the creepy factor. And gave me another talking point for when my daughter asks when she can have tiktok. She is 11 an as of now social media is a no. She has a phone. She can text and facetime… I dont feel like having fb/insta/tt is healthy for young kids. It’s honestly probably not really all that healthy for anyone.

    • Josephine says:

      The audience is part of the problem and we need to acknowledge that. I didn’t watch this show but certainly let my kids watch plenty of shows that featured child actors. Reality shows are a scourge, particularly for kids, and we all just have to stop watching these shows that take advantage of kids, and especially the ones that sexualize kids (looking at you dance moms, tiaras & whatever that show is called, etc, etc).

      • SomeChick says:

        it is called Tiaras and TODDLERS. I feel icky just typing it!

        when I was little, I was on Romper Room (once). it was cute and wholesome, and they didn’t really focus much on individual kids so much as Miss Peggy, and the playgroup as a whole. stuff like that or Sesame Street is non exploitative. but kiddie beauty pageants?! I find them so creepy.

      • Mnnnmmhmmm says:

        This is why I scroll by almost all child focused content on Instagram and tic tok. It’s hard to do as a first time mom to a one year old, the kids are adorable, and I love reading about others experiences, but man… the ick some of the accounts give me. You can talk about parenting and your experiences without overexposing your children.

    • tealily says:

      At the time the show came out, it seemed like maybe participation in it was the best option for a “normal” (not rich) family to be able to support such a large family. It quickly seemed clear, though, that Kate was lapping up the attention and that none of this was healthy for the kids. I feel bad for the whole family. Maybe they could have been okay without the show, but I have a feeling they still would have had issues.

  4. ThisWitchIsntDead says:

    How horrifying. Collin seems like a very kind, forgiving, mature kid and perhaps those qualities are what Kate viewed as “behavioral problems.” People like Kate seek to destroy the good in certain children, because Kate will never be capable of having those qualities herself. We need a specific name and a specific prison sentence for this type of child abuse. It is unfathomable to me that Collin had any struggles close to justifying a years long institutional stay which stole his youth, prevented him from making friends, destroyed his relationships with his siblings, and undoubtedly will take a lifetime to recover from such an unearned stigma. I would love to see some monetary compensation for Collin out of Kate’s pocket, enough to make it hurt. And for sure, Kate did this as a warning to keep her other kids in line. This is far more common in the US than anyone wants to realize or admit, because it forces us to confront the ultimate taboo: some mothers ain’t sh*t.

  5. HeyKay says:

    I don’t watch reality tv.
    I know who these people are because of People, tabs, etc.
    What an awful childhood for these kids.

  6. Lucy says:

    What is the head Karen up to these days? Last I remember she was dating her married security guy. Glad I don’t have to hear about her anymore.

    I feel bad for all of the kids, and I hope all of them get the space and money they need to do therapy and find out who they are outside of their family.

  7. Jess says:

    I was just wondering the other day how old these kids were and how they’re doing. I’m ashamed of how into the first few seasons of the show I was – now it’s so clearly creepy and abusive of parents to do this to their kids. So gross.

  8. Coco says:

    I remember how shocked I was when Hannah choose to live with Jon because she was So close to Kate when she was younger to the point that she would get physically sick due to her separation anxiety.

    I can’t imagine the hurt Collin must have felt when Kate didn’t even show up to court for him and what that did to him mentally. I agree with the person above that Kate is a narcissist and I can only imagine the brainwashing she did to the other six kids against Hannah and Collin, but also Jon. I am glad that Hannah chose to be there to support her brother and that they have each other.

    • mtos says:

      Totally agree with you. My heart breaks for those kids. I didn’t watch this show but I have seen parts of episodes in passing and she was always so mean. Just plain mean to those sweet little babies. I couldn’t treat my kids that way. I don’t like the feeling of knowing my kids have hurt feelings. She seemed to enjoy it.

      • Jessica says:

        She strikes me as the type of a-hole who thinks that because she was spanked and yelled at and “turned out fine” that means it’s ok to continue that cycle of abuse.

    • AmB says:

      As someone mentioned above, Jennette McCurdy’s account (“I’m Glad My Mom Died”) is really eye-opening about the kid’s POV on this sort of overly-dependent parent/child relationship (<- just my clumsy way of describing it). It's just one woman's story but I found it interesting and it gave me a perspective I hadn't had before.

      • mtos says:

        I’m reading it now. And it’s honestly heartbreaking. Children are innocent and should be protected. These stage parents are awful.

  9. CommuniKate says:

    He blames TV and being in the public eye for the disintegration of his family, an obvious conclusion by anyone who witnessed this train wreck in real time. Then he turns 18 and…heads right back to TV, while promising to remain in the public eye by looking “forward to sharing more in the near future.”

    Oh, hon. Get thee back into therapy. You’re not fully cooked yet.

    • molly says:

      I don’t think anyone in that family ever stood a chance, really.

      Who knows if it would have ended with this much disfunction and estrangement withOUT all the tv cameras and fame (narcissists gonna narcissist), but we sure are here today.

      Such a shame.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      Meh, I get it. He had no voice when his mother put out the narrative that he was special needs and that he was so out of control that his mother chose to abandon him at a behavioral facility for 3.5 years at the age of 12. He had to sneak out a letter with his roommate to his dad for his dad to fight to get custody of him. His mother/her lawyer didn’t even show up to the hearing for custody of Collin. So clearly, she doesn’t care about her son. Now that Collin is no longer a minor, he gets to tell his side of the story.

      • CommuniKate says:

        Yes, but this falls under the category “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Presuming people care about your side, after all these years and the original overexposure of this family, is naive at best (narcissistic at worst).

      • Coco says:

        You seem to have a problem with him speaking his truth after not having a voice I for so long. Also nothing about him or his speaking publicly about it makes him a narcissist. You don’t seem to know what the word actually means.

    • Jaded says:

      Maybe he’s found his voice and can finally tell his side of the story. After being abused and side-lined into an institution at 12, don’t you think he’s turned out rather well? He speaks intelligently and compassionately about what could have been a permanently traumatic experience and says he’d welcome a rapprochement with his mother. He’s not doing this to “get back on TV”, he’s doing it to explain clearly what went wrong in that incredibly fcuked up family.

    • Jezzebeelzebub says:

      Wow, yours strikes me as a weird reaction. Maybe the kid wanted to make sure the whole world can see that he’s not a total mess like his mom made him out to e. And therapy or no, just who the fuck is “fully cooked” at 18?

  10. Ariel says:

    Yeah- but Jon didn’t “fight” to get his kids off tv until he was cut out of the tv money.

    I wonder if their family would have survived if they had twins and one more baby like they planned – instead of becoming a fertility nightmare and reality tv product.

    • Millennial says:

      To some extent I guess having the large set of multiples was planned, which is wild. Too many eggs released in their IUI cycle, and in those cases doctors won’t do the IUI because it’s too dangerous. They warn the parents to have sex but the Gosselins did anyways and viola they had 6 kids. This is also why none of the kids are identical.

      • Sandra says:

        I used to watch this from time to time years ago if it was on. They had agreed not to reduce? if there was more than one viable. So pretty much, yeah.

    • Jessica says:

      I already commented this down below but that’s not accurate. I remember before they split they did an interview and Jon said he wanted to stop filming for the kids sake and Kate said no and that it was too late and they couldn’t go back, which is a crock. She didn’t want to go back to her old life and have to work as a nurse again, and she spun it in the media after they split that he only wanted to stop filming to spite her, all lies.

  11. AmelieOriginal says:

    I remember when Kate said she had sent Collin to a facility due to dangerous behavior in the home, she made it sound like Collin was out of control and she had to protect herself and her other kids. Now, we have no idea what actually happened to trigger that and maybe Collin was truly dangerous. But everything I’ve read said he was only diagnosed with ADHD. It’s been proven time and time again these “facilities” traumatize kids and are absolutely detrimental to a child’s development. There had to be specialists who could have helped Collin at home, licensed psychiatrists and what not. It’s not like he was running around the house talking about shooting up a school (if that were the case I think Kate would have said something). Collin had to essentially sneak out a letter of the facility with a friend in order for his father to rescue him.

    Kate is a terrible person and I hate to say it but her twins Mady and Cara take after her, they are no longer minors so I feel comfortable saying that. I wonder if the other sextuplets will ever truly critically analyze what their mother did to their brother as they get older. Jon isn’t perfect either, he’s given interviews over the years that couldn’t have endeared him to his other kids either. But he is the less awful parent.

    • Tate says:

      I feel like Kate just couldn’t be bothered so she shipped him off. I can’t imagine how traumatizing that was for him. I hope he is in therapy and finds some happiness in life away from his mother. She will never change and will only use him and hurt him more.

  12. Kim says:

    So how much is the public responsible for creating a market for this? Each and every one of this who have watched so called reality shows?

  13. molly says:

    On a superficial note, wow the Asian genes are strong in that family!

    Jon is only 1/2 Korean, making those kids about 1/4. As a fellow 1/4 Asian, most people would never guess that’s a major piece of my ethnicity. (Except for my straight, dark hair and surprisingly small hands and feet.)

    • Jessica says:

      Yep, and I remember Kate complaining about how none of her kids looked like her, such a narcissistic thing to say looking back on it.

      • Anners says:

        The kids did seem to favour Jon when they were younger, but in that glam photo Hannah has her mother’s face – it’s uncanny, really. I wish them the best – can’t have been easy for any of those kids and it wasn’t their choice.

      • tealily says:

        I remember that too! It always rubbed me really wrong.

  14. Ciotog says:

    If you’re a parent and your kids don’t know that they are first on your agenda, that’s a problem.

  15. Christine says:

    I feel bad for these kids. Jon is far from perfect either. You have two dysfunctional parents enabled by the success of a TV show. The kids (even the older ones) are still really young and probably haven’t fully processed everything they went through and how they feel about their parents and lives. I suspect we’ll hear more as they age.

  16. Vanessa says:

    I watched the show from the very Beginnings Kate has alway been a narcissistic mean belittling person who coldly cut off anyone who didn’t agree with her . In the beginning the Sextuplets had caregivers people who volunteer to help Kate once the got the show Kate cut them off even though they have grown attached to twins . Kate had cut off her parents had Jon go years without speaking to his parents because they got in to a disagreement with Kate . There was a episode where the kids were sick Kate left Collin on the laundry room floor with a thin blanket and put the rest of kids in their bedroom . Jon came home from work and found him in the laundry room floor cover in vomit Kate excuse was she was tired of dealing with the sick kids all day. I’m not surprised that Maddy and cara are just like Kate she treated them better and the basically parrots what every Kate tells them their two selfish self centered adults . It’s so sad to see how the sextuplets don’t have a relationship with each other I think that Kate turn those kids against each other Colin’s and Hannah are the own two who are independent and thinking for themselves Kate couldn’t control them the way she does with the others . So she got rid of them .

  17. Jessica says:

    I know Jon wasn’t perfect, but I do vividly remember an interview before they split where he said he wanted to get the kids off the show and stop filming and Kate coldly said, “it’s too late and we can’t go back”, he did try, but she spun it in the media like he only wanted them off the show to be vindictive against her for divorcing him, I never fell for her bs. She also went on a morning talk show claiming she had a stack of bills she couldn’t pay and she couldn’t feed the kids because he took their money, but she was photographed shopping and getting her hair and nails done, she’s always been a liar and a fame hungry bitch who sacrificed her children to get it. Truly a horrible person, Jon followed her like an abused puppy and did whatever she commanded and I think he finally just lost it.

    Colin seems so grown up and has a great perspective on things, it’s sad he had to go through all that trauma. I hope he can mend the relationships with his siblings.

  18. Potatofries says:

    I’m a manager of a behavior facility and it’s really the last resort. It is traumatic just to be there, but it’s the least restrictive compared to locked down psych wards. There are kids in desperate need of help and desperate parents and not enough of us exist to take on the load. The parents can’t do it on their own, and no person could, with 99% of our cases. It’s a huge wrap around service of therapists, social workers, behaviorists, schools, evidence based care, psychiatric services, and it’s rough. The kids usually are aggressive daily, self injurious, constant monitoring. Maybe Colin was acting up, but I can’t see it by the fact that he did this interview and was so insightful. Our kids couldn’t attend school past 30 minutes at even behavior based schools due to their aggression. We are talking breakdowns of parents with multiple concussions.

    I just can’t see him as a good candidate and even with good candidates, meaning really struggling on an hour to hour basis, it’s inherently traumatic. Ultimately, it generally helps getting the services these kids need in an intensive environment, but there is no denying it isn’t home with Mom or Dad and siblings. To use it for general acting out or getting lippy or on and off aggression is awful. For many kids, there are ways to help that don’t include leaving the family home.

    The few who can’t be helped with outside resources are the only ones that should come to my facility. I love what I do, and the absolute change I see, and coping skills used, is amazing. We are needed, more than the general population knows, but it should be for 1 out of a thousand if that . To use it maliciously is horrifying and it’s sad that he had to sneak mail. Family relationships must be maintained and by law, there is no ability to restrict it as it’s a right to send and receive mail.

    I just wanted to add my two cents that while what I do is desperately needed, it isn’t daisies and unicorns, and I can’t see a single indication that he would have been a good candidate for intensive residential treatment.

  19. SomeChick says:

    so what is the appeal of this show? it sounds painful to watch.

  20. H says:

    She clearly has a personality disorder. Not even showing up to the custody hearing of your own child? Good grief.