Jon Gosselin - Caught in the Rumor Mill

Filed under: Celeb Parents

Jon GosslinExcept for Jon and Kate Gosselin, and possibly a handful of college coeds, no one knows for sure whether the reality television dad is finally showing off a bad-boy side -- or if it's his doppelganger.

What happened? Yesterday Star Magazine reported that the "Jon and Kate Plus 8" star was recently seen partying with some Juniata College coeds. And now it seems that the following night he was caught canoodling with a long-legged blond at a local bar.

Juniata is in Huntingdon, PA, where Gosselin's mom lives. According one gossip Web site, he has been living apart from Kate since February and is staying with his mother.

Gosselin reportedly showed up -- uninvited -- at a bash thrown by seniors Erin Albert and Mariel Little last month, and played beer pong with members of the women's volleyball team.

"He was acting like a drunk, girl-chasing frat boy," Babble quotes one team member as saying. "It really disturbed me. On the show he is so nice, but here, he was acting like an idiot."

What's makes this story even harder to believe is that the next night Gosselin was spotted out again at a local bar. "He was dirty dancing with several girls from the volleyball team, making out, kissing them on their necks and mouths," a witness said. "He was all over one girl, a long-haired blond who's nearly 6-feet-tall. He left with several of the girls, including her."

Was it really him? That's the big question being asked by legions of fans who know the 31-year-old as a loving dad to his 8-year-old twins and 4-year-old sextuplets, a caring and attentive husband and an all-around nice guy.

In a ParentDish poll out yesterday (so far, 40,000 of you have weighed in!), just about 30 percent of readers tell us it really doesn't matter. "Cut him some slack - he deserves a night out!" Fifty percent of you are a little less understanding, saying that he's allowed to get away, "but not with co-eds." And the rest disapprove: "He needs to be home with his kids, not drinking with someone else's."

Kate Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus 8

    Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you had one more child? How about two more? How about SIX more?

    Four years ago, Jon and Kate Gosselin went from being parents of two to parents of eight, and their lives have never been the same.

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    Today we all have a window into that life on TLC's Jon and Kate Plus 8. And of course, part of peeking into someone else's life is hypothesizing how we might do things differently or better, because it's always easy to imagine what you would do in someone else's shoes.

    What is harder to imagine is what it would really be like to walk in those other shoes -- what's it like to wake up every morning and be Kate Gosselin? ParentDish had a chance to ask her just that recently.

    In a normal week, the Gosselins have a television crew in their house about half the time, which is a lot, if you think about it. And while they will occasionally opt out of filming specific moments with their kids, the Gosselins have no editorial control over the show -- what you see is what you get, packaged by a team of folks at Discovery and TLC. But, Kate says, this is reality TV, and it accurately reflects life at the Gosselin house; nothing is pre-planned or made up. "We don't have time to memorize scripts," she jokes.

    I believe that.

    "We set out to show the truth," Kate says, "I couldn't watch it if it weren't true." What you see, in every televised moment, is precisely what is happening -- no stage directions or do-overs. This is life at the Gosselin house.

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    Kate Gosselin has gotten quite a bit of flak, both from the media and from viewers, for the way she treats her husband; the two are often shown bickering during the show. Kate says the criticisms don't bother her; she doesn't Google herself or make a practice of reading about herself on or off line. "Everyone has an opinion," she says, "and I'm only paying attention to my own." But she does admit that the way the show is edited affects how people see her family and her marriage. "If Jon and I have three spats over a two day period, they're going to edit it to make it look like those happened in the 22 minute period." The show is just a small slice of her family's life, after all.

    Kate is clearly focused not on what goes on outside her family but on her children. Her goal, she says, is to treat each child like an only child -- a hard thing to do when you're the mom of eight. "I hold myself to a very high standard," she says. At the same time, though, she's not trying to be perfect, or even to appear perfect to viewers of the show. She's just living her life.

    And yes, she's living it with television cameras in her house, but it's still her real life. Kate says that while the experience of being on television has changed her life, it hasn't changed who she is. She says the same about having eight children -- "It's hard to live through what we have lived through and not change. We are the same -- it's how people treat us" that is different.

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    One of the hardest things about her family, Kate says, is the noise; there are days when the older girls, Cara and Mady, come home from school and their reports about what they have done are drowned out by the noise of the sextuplets. More than anything, she says, she longs for peace and quiet -- otherwise, she would not change a thing about her life.

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    Kate finds the humor in her life -- recently, she partnered with P&G to help promote some of their brands, including Bounty paper towels, which she refers to as "my weapon of choice." She also laughs about the end of nap time at the Gosselin house; the sextuplets are four now and no one, Kate says, naps any more. But it's a rare night that the family gets through dinner without someone dozing off at the table. Recently, Jon said, "I think we can kiss goodbye ever having a family dinner again." A good night, Kate said, is when the kids push their plates out of the way before they fall asleep.

    You have to laugh about that, and Kate Gosselin does.

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    The Gosselins have a strong faith in God; they are often seen on the show wearing t-shirts with scripture on them and attending church. But despite the fact that the show doesn't highlight their faith, the Gosselins see it as an opportunity to share what they believe. Their website, The Gosselin 10, includes prayers and devotionals, and Jon and Kate travel around speaking to various churches and groups about their life and faith. The show, Kate says, has given them this opportunity to share what they believe.

    And for the Gosselins, being on television is about opportunity, not fame. The show has opened a variety of doors for them; Kate and Jon both work from home, which makes their life as parnents of eight more manageable. But it's not easy by any means -- there are days, Kate says, when she and Jon work until midnight.

    Kate has three pieces of advice for other parents. "Every morning, before my feet hit the floor," she says, "I pray for strength, just enough to get through that day." She reminds parents that a sense of humor can get you through nearly everything -- laugh, she says, don't cry. And finally, the most important lesson of all: "Always remember that bedtime comes, every single day."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.