The Jon Gosselin Interview

On July 10th, 2013, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jon Gosselin from ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’.  If your memory of Jon is fuzzy or you have no idea who Jon Gosselin is, one Google search will produce a cavalcade of webpages chock full of reality show information, Wikipedia pages, rumors, scandals, quotes, reports, and sightings of he and his family.

‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’ was a weekly show on TLC chronicling the life and times of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their 8 children, twin daughters Mady and Cara and sextuplets, Aaden, Hannah, Joel, Leah, Alexis, and Collin.  At its height, it was TLC’s top rated show and one of televisions’ most watched (their 5th season premiere had almost 10 million viewers).  After filing for divorce in 2009 and two more seasons (then renamed ‘Kate Plus 8’), the show ended.

After a brief moment in the spotlight and on tabloid pages, Jon slipped away.  The public persona that had been built up from years of being on reality TV and front and center on tabloid magazines waned.  The public began to not only see less of Jon but hear less from him too.  Jon, very purposefully, retreated from big cities and back to where he grew up, Berks County, Pennsylvania, in an attempt to live a normal life.

I reached out to Jon because I thought it would be interesting to find out what it is like to not only be a father to 8 kids but to be a “celebrity” father to 8 kids.  As a bonus, Jon and I both grew up in Berks County so it would be easy to set up a time to meet.  To my surprise and my delight, after a few cordial emails back and forth to one another, Jon agreed to sit down with me at his home.

Driving to his house, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had spent some time reading up on stories old and new about Jon and his former wife and of course about their show but Jon’s silence over the past 4 years left me having to rely on my imagination and what I had read to prepare me.  Yet I wanted to keep an open mind about all of it knowing full well what is written, reported on, or said, is not always 100% true.

What I found out is Jon is no different from any other dad trying to navigate through a divorce and take care of his children.  As Jon would put it, he just happened to be on television.  Now he lives in a modest house with homemade crayon pictures hanging on the walls, a refrigerator full of as much food as it is with pictures of his family on the front, and the noise only kids can produce.  He lives much like all of us except at his front door; he has 8 pairs of sneakers.  During the course of the interview, Jon opened up about a variety of topics.  Jon was passionate and had a sense of confidence about what he was saying that was missing during his television show’s run.  I found Jon to be honest, open, articulate, and while not arrogant, certainly self-aware of the weight, whirlwind and occasional controversy his name can bring.

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The Beginning
About jetts31

Husband, father to two girls, dog walker, living with male pattern baldness. In addition to writing on his own site, Jimmy contributes to DadsRT, COAL.com, and the Southern Berks News. He is the world record holder in his house for 'Best Hiding Spot' during Hide and Go Seek.

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Comments

  1. Great to finally hear from Jon! He is very well liked here in the Berks County community and regardless of what anyone says, his kids very much enjoy being with him! They always have happy, relaxed expressions on their face when they’re with him.

    He’s spot on about the Berks County typical ‘Where did you go to school/where do you work?’ comment! That is exactly what we do here!

    • Awesome to hear from Jon too. Hate what Kate did is to let the media belittle Jon by crying two tears in the bucket making it seem he is a bad father and he’s not doing nothing for the kids, turning the kids against him. I wish nothing but the best for Jon, nothing but the best, because he’s just like the rest of us. Normal (mediocre). Good for Jon!

  2. I wasn’t sure what to expect here, to be honest. I did not watch the show, found the fuss about it to be quite silly, but I feel that I learned more about Jon – and what it’s like being a Dad of 8 – in this first part of the interview than I did watching bits and pieces of the show or the commentary surrounding the show.

    Well done!

    • Teresa Sigler says:

      Well written article. So happy for Jon and that the kids have an oasis to go to, to get away from all the stress from the other home with the former wife. I would love to have a small log cabin in the woods, back to nature with a stream of water running by. Heaven. So hope you and the kids are doing great. I really want you to go on DWTS. They will be shocked to see how nice, kind and funny you really are!

  3. annastasia says:

    I have been waiting for someone normal to interview Jon, and you are doing such a great job! It is so sad how his ex allowed and still allows the media and her fans to run down the father of her children, so many lies about Jon out there, about time he found his voice. Those 8 children are extremely blessed to have Jon as their father, he is just the best parent for them. So happy he is teaching them about the real world, how us mediocre people operate thru life. I am so impressed with him, he sounds like he is very, very smart man. So proud of him:)

  4. Always loved Jon. I wish he would get this information out there more. I have so much respect for him. He has a right to finally let the public know what Kate and TLC did to him. What a great example of what success really mean.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    You made it through the rain Jon…most of us believed in you. We knew TLC/DISCOVERY were working you over. Thanks for hanging in for your kids & your honor. You dad would have been proud of you. (After slapping you upside the head for hooking up with TLC) Utube clip JibberJabber made for you Jon..so long ago mate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ngba1htN5-A

    • Beautiful video of Jon and the kids. You would have to look long and hard to find enough pictures of Kate loving on her kids to make a similar video of her. Go Jon!!!

    • yayyyforjon says:

      I always liked you Jon and I always will. You are a stand up guy and a great father!

    • I am beyond thrilled with this interview! He NEVER gets the credit due he deserves- go back people to your stupid Netflix and LOOK again. That man did it all! He took the time the love them. And look at kate AGAIN. I mean really look at her. She made EVERYTHING about her. Now fast forward………..,,she STILL makes everything about her. Every moment / every blog/. Every question posed/ every interview /EVERYTHING!!
      Read Jon’s interview again everyone – nothing selfish about it. NOTHING!

  6. Pennsylvania gal says:

    Your well written, well done interview reminds me of some of the better interviews I’ve read in Vanity Fair. This is a keeper.
    And I enjoyed hearing from Jon Gosselin after so much time. I’ve always admired Jon. I am not a fan of reality tv, in fact I think “reality tv” is to television what disco was to music. Watching Jon and nursery full of adorable toddlers was different. He came across as real and not ready for tv.

    It always seemed to me that Jon was being filmed almost unknowingly, We often watched as he remained undaunted in his nearly constant interaction with his eight children; feeding, clothing, bathing, playing, as well as so many projects around the house, where the children often sought him out. It was sweet. Jon didn’t allow the film crew to inhibit him being Dad, no melt downs. He was quietly efficient in his duties, wasn’t looking for praise, he just did what needed to be done, a natural.

    I must admit a couple of my favorite moments were Jon being Jon, rare during that time so they stand out. Skating away from the shouting, rolling down the road, the natural athlete, the snowboarding at dusk. Freedom if only for a brief moment or so.

    In your interview with Jon, you made me feel as if I were right there. You have a real talent for putting the subject at ease; this case in particular, while you and Jon discuss some uncomfortable topics.
    I have always had the feeling that Jon is a relaxed go-with-the-flow kind of guy, so your style is apropos here. It is obvious he is a nurturing loving Dad. I would imagine being relaxed essential when raising so many children. I wish him and his children well.
    This is the first time I’ve read your blog; so glad you got my attention. Would love to see you do more interviews.

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