The mother of the eight tiny stars of “Jon & Kate Plus 8” vowed Thursday to survive the tabloid firestorm that has erupted over allegations that her husband cheated on her — charges that Jon Gosselin emphatically denies.
“We just need to weather this storm, just like all the other storms that we’ve been through,” Kate Gosselin told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira in New York. The tabloid attention and paparazzi have come as something of a surprise to her, she added.
“It is so public. It’s one of the things we did not envision when we started our show,” Gosselin said. “It’s one of the things that comes with it — the tabloid stuff. To be very honest, I’m very hesitant to believe any of it. It comes with the territory. We’re dealing with it just like everybody else does.”
Kate minus Jon & 8
Gosselin was ostensibly visiting TODAY to talk about her new best-selling book “Eight Little Faces,” but she spent much of her airtime with Vieira talking about the allegations, which were published in the current edition of Us Weekly. Jon Gosselin and their eight children had been scheduled to appear with her, but as controversy continued to swirl, the family decided Wednesday that it would be better if Jon stayed at home with the children.
Instead, Jon sent a statement to TODAY denying the charges that he had an affair with 23-year-old Deanna Hummel, whom he met in January in a Reading, Pa., bar. Hummel also denies that the two are anything but friends.
“These allegations are false and just plain hurtful,” Jon said in his statement. “As I adjust to the attention that comes from being in the public eye, I need to be more careful and aware of who I am associating with and where I am spending my time. But the bottom line is, I did not cheat on Kate. I am sorry for putting my family in this awkward position, given some poor decisions and bad judgments I've made recently. I am working through this difficult time with my family. My family is my top priority.”
The reports of infidelity were attributed by the gossip magazine to Hummel’s older brother, Jason, with whom she lives.
Jason Hummel claimed that Jon has come to their house and spent time alone with his sister in her room. He said he could hear the two having sex.
Deanna fired back in People magazine, saying, “"My brother is making this all up. I can’t even stomach the lies he’s saying about me.”
Private vs. public
“You have to remember, take it with a grain of salt,” Kate Gosselin told Vieira. “Tabloids pay thousands of dollars for stories. The juicier the story, the more the payment. When you pick up those sort of magazines, is it believable? Ask yourself. People are being paid to talk.”
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“Jon & Kate Plus 8” is moving into its seventh season on TLC. Vieira asked if the allegations are going to be part of the show.
“We’re dealing with it privately. It’s kind of ironic to say that, because we do have a reality show. People see the good, the bad and the ugly. But there are those things that we keep to ourselves. And we’re working through it together, and that’s the important thing,” Gosselin replied.
While Gosselin said she understands the tabloid fascination with her family, she admitted it’s not pleasant.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I enjoy it,” she said. “I tend to be very thick-skinned. We all know that. It’s hurtful for the sake of my children, looking through their eyes, seeing the things that are out there. It’s absolutely not a bit enjoyable. But we’re learning as we go along. I’m really focusing on our kids. Everything I do is for them.”
She said her second book, “Eight Little Faces,” was written for her 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old sextuplets. The book features two-page picture spreads of the children. Each spread is accompanied by some words from Kate and a relevant Bible verse.
“I honestly don’t care if either one ever sells one copy,” she said. “I’m flattered and thrilled that they both hit the New York Times best-seller list, but certainly that was not my goal or my focus. I want my kids to have in writing how I feel about them, and how I may not have planned for them, but they are so the best eight things in the whole world.”
Twins plus sextuplets
Video: They have eight bundles of joy Jon and Kate met at a party in October 1997 and were married in June 1999. When they tried to start a family, they learned that Kate had polycystic ovarian syndrome that prevented her from ovulating. They went to a fertility clinic and Kate conceived twins Cara and Madelyn, who were born in October 2000.
After considering adoption, the couple instead returned to their fertility clinic. This time, Kate conceived sextuplets. On May 10, 2004, she gave birth to Alexis, Aaden, Collin, Leah, Hannah and Joel.
Rumors that Jon was straying have been circulating on the Internet for several months and came to a head with the publication of the Us Weekly story.
Jon, 32, and Deanna Hummel confirm that they know each other and met in January at the Chill Lounge in Reading, Pa. A paparazzo photographed both leaving the bar early in the morning of April 18 while Kate was on a book tour and Jon was home alone.
Both say they’re just friends and deny any improper behavior.
Said Kate Gosselin: “It goes with the territory. We knew to expect it.”
She said the stories won’t change the way they live.
“We are living our lives, whether in the public eye or not,” Gosselin told Vieira. “We’ve always said, ‘Come along, capture what you can, it’s the realest reality show that there is, and come along for the ride.’ It’s been very encouraging to us to see how people have found us inspiring, and we’re not perfect. I’m the first one to say it.”
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