On July 10th, Dads Round Table sat down with Jon Gosselin to conduct an exclusive interview with the former reality show star. In the first part of the interview, Jon opened up about the show, his kids, and his very much public divorce. In the 2nd and final part of the interview, Jon talks candidly about Kate, being seen as a scapegoat, his feelings on keeping his kids safe, and the legacy he wants to leave for his children.
Do they actively plot against you?
They don’t plot against me and I know whose lying. I don’t go to the girls because they’ll lie right to my face. I’ll go to Aaden. He’ll look right at the ground every single time. ‘Is that true?’ (Jon puts his head down playing out how his oldest boy does) Apparently not (Laughs).
So, moving to where you did, obviously it was for privacy sake, which is understandable, but was it also for security?
Oh yeah, for security. I’m a licensed gun owner. I used to have bodyguards. Even when my former wife was still filming without me, she and the kids had bodyguards. But I didn’t own custody so for 4 days a week, I don’t have a bodyguard but when they go home they do have a bodyguard so how do you…sorry, I’ve been carrying a gun for a long time.
Is that fear any time you walk out the door? Are you afraid of what some nut might do?
I’m always looking around. I’m blind when I’m by myself. If you want to take my picture, take the picture, I don’t care. When I’m with the kids, I absolutely care. I absolutely care because I don’t know those people. There are a lot of pedophiles, miscreants, there’s crazy stuff happening in the world, people abduct kids all the time, you see it all the time, so I’m always chambered when I’m with the kids. I’m ready to go. You know what I mean? I’ll protect them to the end of the earth. If I didn’t carry, how am I going to protect them? If someone comes up with a gun and says give me your child and I don’t have any way to protect myself, what am I going to do?
It would certainly seem to be more present for you than anyone else?
Always walk in front of me. When we go to Walmart they want to go look at the toys, they can be two aisles away from me and always have to check in. They don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom, just tell me you’re going to the bathroom. I have to know where they are. You can lose them so quickly. They’ll just get distracted or talk to someone. They’re very congenial, so they’ll talk to people in the grocery store. It’s a different sense. It’s almost like being a bodyguard. You’re not looking at yourself; you’re looking at them and what’s around. We went through training, what to look for. We had media training, what to say what to not say in public. You never give away locations.
Is that why, in your recent VH1 interview, you said you were living, “In the woods”?
And that was a play on words, ‘I’m living in the woods’. It is true I’m physically living in the woods but I’m also living in the woods because I don’t know what my path is yet. So I’m in the woods, I take a path; if it doesn’t work out I come back to the woods. It’s my safe haven. It’s literal and figurative.
Was it done on purpose, coming to this area, with the mindset of needing a safe haven?
I can’t live in an apartment. I liked my neighbors but I can’t live there. In retrospect, I don’t mind living there as a single person but with kids, it’s crazy. You know when I lived in my apartment, it was 30% occupancy. Now the complex is around 85-90%. The kids used to run up and down the hallways. No one was there except the paparazzi.
Do you think there will ever be a time when they stop?
Oh yeah, they’re not now because we’re not relevant now. That’s what I was trying to explain to my former wife. Every time she mentions my name or wants to keep the brand going and stuff like that, I become relevant. I do get offers to do a lot of stuff; I just pick and choose what I want to do and what’s best for me. Some people pay, some people don’t pay, it doesn’t matter. It’s just either added income or not added income. It’s about what I want to do.
Then you get to pick and choose by thinking about what will or what won’t affect the kids? Take a deeper look instead of being told what to do?
Right. And I have a tight group of friends who protect me and my children. They won’t say anything. Most people don’t know who my friends are. You’ll know when we’re out because they’ll surround me and protect me because I can’t do certain things or else it will be in the paper instantaneously.
Do the kids ever mention that they miss the show?
They miss traveling.
They miss the benefits of the show more than the show itself?
Yeah, of course, who wouldn’t? Everything was paid for but they filmed it. That was our sacrifice. Most people don’t get to spend the night at the Essex House in New York City. It’s $5,000 a night (Jon laughs in almost disbelief). They got to go to Australia. They got to go here, they got to go there. They’re not even 10 years old yet.
Any of the kids show any interest in show business?
I don’t know…maybe Mady, I don’t know? But that’s their choice when they turn 18. If they came to me now, there would be a discussion.
I’ve read that you and your former wife have made peace with each other?
That’s not true.