One of Jon and Kate Gosselin’s eight children has opened up about his estrangement from his mother and how the family’s reality TV show, “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” affected their lives. Collin Gosselin, one of the couple’s sextuplets, said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that reality TV tore them apart.
Jon and Kate Gosselin, who divorced in 2009, became famous for having eight kids – twins and sextuplets – and chronicling their lives on a TLC reality show that ran from 2007 to 2017. The show was called “Kate Plus 8” after the pair divorced.
Kate has said in the past that Collin went to an institution for his “special needs,” according to ET. Collin said he stayed there for three years before going to live with his dad.
“After being there, I didn’t have a relationship with her. Even before that, I don’t think we had much of a relationship because of TV and what being in the public eye did to our family. I think it tore us apart,” Collin told ET’s Kevin Frazier. He said he later rebuilt his relationship with his dad, and fellow sextuplet, Hannah.
Collin and Hannah lived with their dad for several years, while the other sextuplets, Joel, Aaden, Alexis and Leah, now 18, and twins Cara and Maddie, now 22, continued to live with their mom.
“Hannah, I would do anything for my sister, and I love her to death,” Collin said. “She was a big part of my emotional support.”
He said he hopes he can build a relationship with his other siblings. “I haven’t reached out to them, I want to respect their space. I’d rather let them do it on their own terms,” he told ET.
Collin said he recently fell asleep at the wheel while driving and got in a car accident that “almost took [his] life” and decided it was “now or never” to give an interview. The high school senior explained that he was tired from work and school when the accident occurred.
In a previous interview with ET, Hannah opened up about why she decided to live with her dad. “I have always been closer with my dad and we’ve always had a strong, good relationship,” she said in May. “It’s a lot, growing up in a very busy household with lots of kids. And there’s not really a one-on-one relationship, for attention, that you have with your parent. I felt like my dad gave me that attention and a feeling like I had a good, solid relationship with a parent.”
At the time, Hannah said it was difficult to leave her other siblings, and that she kept in touch with her mom.
In 2020, Jon told Entertainment Tonight he and Kate had been embroiled in a 12-year custody battle. He said Hannah first came to live with him at age 12 and he later got primary custody of her and then Collin. He said he spent about $1.3 million during the long court battle.
Kate Gosselin has managed to keep a low profile in recent years, rarely speaking to the press or posting on social media.
She and her children have appeared in several reality shows in addition to their own. The family was on an episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap” in 2013 and Kate competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010.
When asked, Collin said he hopes her latest foray into reality TV, Fox’s “Special Forces,” “will teach her some things that she’ll learn about herself.” The show takes celebrities through military training.