The Gosselins, composed of Jon, Kate and their eight children including a set of sextuplets, were arguably the most talked about family in America in 2007.
Jon and Kate met at a picnic in 1997 and two years later, just a few months shy of their dating anniversary, the couple got married. In the following year, they welcomed twin girls, Cara and Madelyn “Mady” after Kate found success with fertility treatments.
The Gosselins wanted to keep growing their family so after further treatments, Kate became pregnant once again, but this time they were in for a surprise of a lifetime. On May 10, 2004, she gave birth to sextuplets, Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah and Leah.
The family became the focus of news across the U.S and soon after the arrival of the sextuplets they were featured in the NBC reality TV show Home Delivery and on Discovery Health’s Surviving Sextuplets and Twins. Their episodes brought in high ratings and shortly after, they signed on to be the stars of their very own reality TV show, Jon & Kate Plus 8.
The show followed Jon and Kate as they dealt with everyday struggles of raising 8 children. Kate was portrayed as the strict and controlling matriarch while Jon appeared to be “cool” dad. The show brought in exceptional ratings week after week and opened up the way for similar reality TV shows including Keeping Up With the Kardashians, 17 Kids and Counting, The Little Couple and Table for 12.
Unfortunately, the drama we’ve witnessed on screen isn’t all for show. In February 2009, rumors about Jon’s excessive partying and cheating began to circulate. Although both parties denied the divorce rumors and blamed the pressure of parenting on camera for taking a toll on their relationship, it wasn’t hard to see that they were headed for the worse especially based on the interviews they’ve given.
After 10 years of marriage, the pair decided to part ways but neither went out without a nasty fight.
“I really would have thought he’d have been here for the long haul. The weirdest thing is that overnight he became a different person,” Kate told People while Jon insisted that he hasn’t done anything wrong.
So what became of the family after the divorce?
Jon and Kate’s divorce was finalized on December 16, 2009 and Kate was given full custody of the children as well as the ownership of the family home. Jon maintains visitation rights but he plans on filing for joint legal and physical custody.
As for his career, the speculation about his wild lifestyle have not helped him much in the sympathy or employment department. In 2011, he was working as a solar panel specialist for Green Pointe Energy in Pennsylvania, but it was later reported that he took up a job as a waiter and maitre’d at two different restaurants. He tried his hand at being a DJ for some time in 2015 but returned to the service industry as a prep cook at T.G.I. Friday’s.
Perhaps the most surprising career choice Jon has made over the last few years is joining the cast of Untamed Male Revue, an Atlantic City-based strip club.
Kate on the other hand capitalized on her family’s fame and kept the show running on TLC. She and her kids are the stars of Kate Plus 8, a spin-off of the original. She also appeared on season 14 of Dancing With The Stars.
Since their fallout, the pair have always found their way back in the headlines with their feuds. Kate doesn’t trust Jon and has been rumored to have a cell phone ban in place and conduct physical pat downs after visits with Jon.
Life continues to be a roller coaster for the Gosselins but Kate have spoken out countless time about doing what is best for the kids.
“I wish that things were better for the kids. It’s very clear by now that I’m just trying to preserve what relationship he has with them. I do think it’s best for them, but, you know, divorce is hard, period. But it’s really difficult when one parent is in the sabotaging mode. That’s been difficult,” she told People.
In 2016, it was reported that Jon is struggling to maintain his relationship with his children and has no idea where his then 12-year-old son Collin was. Turns out, Kate sent him to a special school where he could get help with his “special needs,” without Jon’s knowledge.
It was also revealed that he is estranged from some of the kids including the twins, Mady and Cara.
“This year I’m going to turn 16. I’m going to be learning to drive, taking the PSATs, thinking about college,” Mady told People last year. “So much is going on in my life. And the last thing I have time for is a toxic relationship.”
The twins will be 17 this year and the famous sextuplets turned 13 back this past May. Despite their family troubles, they seem to be growing up well.
See what they look like all grown up!
Even with everything that transpired between her and Jon, Kate told People that she doesn’t spend time regretting her decisions.
“I wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about the messes and the obsessive-compulsiveness and needing to be so in control. I would spend more time nibbling little feet and cuddling up. I should have just rolled around on the floor some. I wouldn’t have melted down as much. When you’re younger, you may have more energy, but when you’re older, you’re wiser.”
The family, minus Jon, returned to their reality TV roots with an all new mini season of Kate Plus 8 which premiered on July 10.
If you haven’t had the chance to tune in yet, you might be caught off guard by how grown up the children are, so here’s a look at them before you turn the channel to TLC:
Joel & Aaden
Will you be tuning in to the new season of Kate Plus 8? Let us know in the comments!