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Kate needs to use interview to redeem herself

On the day TLC had planned to premiere “Kate Plus Eight,” the network will broadcast “Kate: Her Story,” a one-hour special where NBC’s Natalie Morales sits down with Gosselin for what TLC is calling “her most intimate interview to date.”

A more accurate billing for the Nov. 2 special might be “her most important interview yet.” If the mom of eight is going to have a future as a television personality, she needs to recalibrate her image with this interview, and move away from the persona that’s intertwined with soon-to-be ex husband Jon’s.

Luckily, Jon has opened the door for Kate to do just that, since he has not done a single likeable thing in the press. He came close to doing something right when he said he didn’t want his kids to be filmed anymore, and banned cameras from his home. But then, court papers revealed that Jon’s announcement was a negotiation tactic — simply put, he said if TLC didn’t let him out of his contract, he would ban filming of his kids.

Need more examples? Jon, who recently claimed he is half Jewish, appeared at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue for a panel discussion on “Values in America” and reportedly opened his question for panelist Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, by saying, “As you probably know, I’m going through a divorce.”

“It was insulting that this guy would be so glib and arrogant with Elie Wiesel," said a source who was there. “As if surviving the Holocaust and being on a reality show put you on the same plane. It didn’t seem like Mr. Wiesel knew he was, but that didn’t seem to faze Jon. He posed for pictures afterwards.”

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    Image: USA  Pro Golfer Tiger Woods Auto Wreckage Florida

    Celebrity scandals of 2009

    From David Letterman’s bizarre confession to Jon and Kate’s divorce to Tiger Woods’ spectacular crash.

  • Image: USA  Pro Golfer Tiger Woods Auto Wreckage Florida

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    Golfer needs new caddy -

    Professional golfer Tiger Woods' damaged SUV is seen in a photograph released by the Florida Highway Patrol on Dec. 2. Woods was treated at a hospital after an early morning accident after Thanksgiving outside his Windermere, Fla., home.

    But the real pain would come in the days that followed as numerous women came forward with allegations that they had had affairs with Woods. He acknowledged "transgressions" and that he let his family down.

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    Difficult truth -

    Mackenzie Phillips appears on the TODAY show on Thursday, Sept. 24, a day after dropping the bombshell that she’d had a long-term incestuous affair with her father, musician John Phillips. The former "One Day at a Time" actress was promoting a new book, "High on Arrival."

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    Late night confession -

    "Late Show" host David Letterman acknowledged during the taping of his Oct. 1 show that he had sexual relationships with female members of his staff and that someone tried to extort $2 million from him over the affairs. Letterman mixed jokes into the confession to his audience about what he called a "bizarre experience."

    Robert J. Halderman, a producer for CBS' "48 Hours," was charged with attempted grand larceny.

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    Invasion of privacy -

    Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick became the parents of twin girls born via surrogate mother in Martins Ferry, Ohio, on June 22. Two Ohio police chiefs were accused of breaking into the home of the surrogate and trying to sell photographs of her personal belongings to a freelance photographer. Martins Ferry Chief Barry Carpenter was found guilty of receiving stolen property, theft in office and tampering with evidence.

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    Finally caught -

    Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sept. 26 as authorities in Los Angeles sought justice in a decades-old sex case. Polanski fled the United States in 1977 before his sentencing for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. As the year drew to a close, the filmmaker was under house arrest at his Swiss chalet and vowed to fight extradition to the U.S.

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    Scene stealer -

    In the diss heard 'round the world, rapper Kanye West takes the microphone from country star Taylor Swift as she accepts the "Best Female Video" award during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Sept. 13, in New York. West declared Beyonce, also nominated, should have won because her “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was “one of the best videos of all time.” And ... cue weeks-long, Internet-fueled outrage.

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    Affair to remember -

    Country star LeAnn Rimes, left, and actor Eddie Cibrian starred in the Lifetime movie "Northern Lights" and then starred in a tabloid scandal involving two broken marriages over the summer.

    The two denied initial reports that they had hooked up while making the movie but eventually went public. Rimes left her husband Dean Scheremet and Cibrian left his wife Brandi Glanville, with whom he has two children.

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  • Howard K. Stern Arraigned For Supplying Drugs To Anna Nicole Smith

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    Anna Nicole fallout -

    Howard K. Stern, center, Anna Nicole Smith's longtime confidante, arrives for his arraignment at Los Angeles Criminal Courts on May 13.

    Stern and doctors Khristine Eroschevich and Sandeep Kapoor were accused of conspiring to furnish drugs to Smith, the one-time Playboy Playmate who died of a prescription medication overdose in February, 2007.

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    Rest in peace? Not so easy -

    Michael Jackson's siblings and children are pictured at the singer's memorial service on July 7.

    While the singer's death on June 25 at age 50 was shocking and unexpected, there were dozens of angles that the tabloids seized on afterwards. From Jackson's reported money woes to the custody and parentage of his children to various family feuds and, of course, the medications the singer was taking, every angle of his life is being shaken out and discussed in the media.

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    No joking matter -

    Susan Wynalek, right, of Coltsneck, N.J., her daughter Stephanie, center, and son Brett participate in a "Fire David Letterman" rally on June 16. The family was protesting Letterman's earlier joke about Palin attending a New York Yankees game, in which he suggested that Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez impregnated Palin's daughter.

    Issues arose when Letterman said he was referring to 18-year-old teen mom Bristol Palin, but it was 14-year-old Willow Palin who actually attended the game with her mother.

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    Renewed vows didn't take -

    Jon and Kate Gosselin, parents of twins and sextuplets and stars of TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8," renewed their vows in Hawaii in 2008. But by June 2009, the couple had announced plans to divorce, and Jon Gosselin was seen in Paris with a new girlfriend, daughter of the surgeon who performed Kate's tummy tuck.

    Eventually the one-time reality TV hit went off the air and the drama shifted to the courtroom as TLC and Jon Gosselin went after one another.

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    She dreamed a dream -

    Locals gather at the community center in Blackburn, Scotland, to watch Susan Boyle during the finale of "Britain's Got Talent" on May 30.

    Boyle, 48, wowed the world when she came from nowhere and displayed stunning vocal talents when auditioning for the show. Once her name became known, her every step was hounded by photographers, and after she came in second to dance troupe Diversity on the show, Boyle received care at a private psychiatric clinic in London.

    The singer bounced back with the release of her wildly successful first album.

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    "Slumdog Millionaire" child actor Rubina Ali, 9, waves as she is welcomed back to her home in suburban Mumbai, India, on Feb. 26, after traveling to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

    "Slumdog Millionaire" was the big winner at the Oscars, but following the ceremony, Ali and her fellow child stars returned to slum life. In April 2009, Ali's father denied reports that he tried to sell his daughter, claiming he was set up. In July 2009, Ali's co-star, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, left the slums for a one-bedroom apartment. Filmmakers were reportedly looking for a new home for Ali as well.

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    Celebrities for no reason -

    Famous for doing absolutely nothing, Heidi and Spencer Montag still managed to coax their way into numerous media stories in the first half of 2009.

    The couple came to public attention by appearing on the MTV show "The Hills," then for having a non-legally binding wedding in Mexico in 2008, followed by a second wedding in California in 2009. The newlyweds joined the cast of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" but repeatedly left and rejoined the cast while whining about their treatment, even reportedly calling NBC chairman Ben Silverman to complain about being "tortured" on the show.

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  • Actor Mel Gibson (R) and his guest Oksan

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    The Passion of Mel -

    Actor Mel Gibson infamously made anti-Semetic and sexual remarks when pulled over in 2006 for driving under the influence, later issuing apologies through his publicist. Gibson's Catholicism, which is strict and ultra-traditional, has also made news, especially relating to his film, "The Passion of the Christ," a gruesomely realistic depiction of the crucifixtion of Christ.

    Thus many who knew of Gibson's religious beliefs were shocked in April 2009, when it was announced that the actor was leaving his wife of 29 years and that his girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, was pregnant with his child outside of marriage. She gave birth to their daughter on Oct. 30.

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  • Publicity photo of pop star Madonna and the Malawi child she hopes to adopt, Mercy

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    Madonna and child -

    While actress Angelina Jolie's international adoptions have gone off relatively quietly, that's not always been the case for Madonna.

    In 2006, she adopted young David Banda from Malawi despite a law that requires adoptive parents to live in the country for one year, which Madonna had not done. Then, in 2009, the singer returned to Malawi to adopt a 3-year-old girl, Chifundo "Mercy" James. That adoption was first approved, then rejected due to the residency rule. The country's highest court later approved the adoption. James Kambewa has come forward and claimed to be the girl's father, but later admitted he has never met her.

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    'Bachelor' can't make up his mind -

    Seattle single dad Jason Mesnick brought controversy to the 2009 season of "The Bachelor" by proposing to Melissa Rycroft, shown with him here on March 2. But as the two began to spend time together, Mesnick decided he should have passed on Rycroft and instead chosen her runner-up, Molly Malaney, shown in inset photo.

    On a shocking "After the Final Rose" special episode, Mesnick admitted his feelings and publicly dumped Rycroft. Rycroft later went on to almost win "Dancing With the Stars." Mesnick and Malaney are now engaged.

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    Phoenix rising? -

    Actor Joaquin Phoenix, seen here in February, claimed in January that he was giving up acting to pursue a rap career. Partly because Phoenix is being filmed by pal Casey Affleck for a documentary, many didn't believe he was serious about music, saying instead that the supposed career change was all an elaborate hoax to make an interesting movie.

    Phoenix also drew attention in early 2009 for attacking a heckler at a Miami concert and for making a mostly incoherent appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman."

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    Tale of the tape -

    Christian Bale, star of "Terminator Salvation," blew up at the film's director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, in July 2008. Bale claimed that Hurlbut had walked into his line of sight twice and ruined his concentration, and betlitted and theatened Hurlbut in a lengthy, disturbing tirade that was caught on audiotape.

    The tape was released in February and Bale eventually apologized, saying he "acted like a punk."

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    Bloody battle -

    Singer Chris Brown, top, reportedly beat and threatened girlfriend and fellow singer Rihanna, shown in court on Feb. 8. The two were riding in a car together the night before both were scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards, and the resulting detailed arrest report and bloody photo of a beaten Rihanna immediately turned fans' stomachs.

    Brown was dropped from ad campaigns by numerous companies, and some music stations refused to play his music. He pled guilty to felony assault in June and has accepted a plea deal consisting of community service and five years probation. He later apologized for the assault in a YouTube video.

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And then there’s Jon’s new spiritual advisor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who once advised Michael Jackson. Jon is teaming up with Rabbi Boteach for regular study sessions and counseling, but a source who has worked with both Jon and Kate said it’s a move to make it seem like Jon is more focused on family.

“Kate has always been focused on the family, with or without the show,” the source said. “She has no need to do a regret tour with Rabbi Shmuley.”

What won’t work in Kate’s favor are recent reports of high-maintenance behavior from producers who recently worked with her, who report Kate’s sudden mid-shoot demands of chocolate chip Clif bars, and sushi. The more Kate lets fame affect her, the greater her chances of become infamous.

What can work in her favor is if her interview is an honest one that illustrates real concern for her eight kids. There exists a scenario where Kate can navigate fame in a way that allows her the chance to support her family, both financially and meaningfully.

Kate didn’t get where she is by being perfect, she got where she is by being someone real moms could identify with. She needs to remind people that she’s not a true Hollywood story, she’s a mom who cares about providing for her kids.

‘This Is It’ doesn’t surprise at box office“This Is It” was the only wide release at the box office this weekend, therefore coming in No. 1 isn’t a surprise. Going in, the only mystery was going to be how much money the film made.

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    Celebrity Sightings

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    Actor Nick Kroll arrives at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actors Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson arrive at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    James D'Arcy arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Julianne Hough arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Hannah Simone arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    TV personality Nicole Murphy and singer Brandy Norwood attend The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    Actress Tara Reid attends The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    Actors James Wirt and Julia Stiles stand on stage during the opening night curtain call for "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Actress AnnaSophia Robb attends the opening night performance of "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    A boy gives the wax figure of Selena Gomez a kiss at the unveiling of the new new, never-before-seen Selena Gomez wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show at Z100 Studio on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Actor Michael Fassbender attends "Meet the Actor" at Apple Store Soho on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Actor Mickey Rourke is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Jordana Brewster waves outisde of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Singer Miley Cyrus performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

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    The stars of "Expendables 3," from left, Kellan Lutz, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes attend "Expendables 3" at Cinema UGC Normandie on Aug. 7 in Paris.

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    Grammy-nominated artist Akon, who is the founder of Akon Lighting Africa Project, discusses at the US-Africa Leaders Summit "Africa: New Parnership Models for Growth" news conference, held in Washington, DC, on Aug. 7, the progress that African heads of state have made.

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Domestically, the Jackson tribute film was something of a mild disappointment, grossing only $32.9 million. The big money was earned overseas, where “It” made $68.5 million.

Although that sounds good, the grand total of $101 million is actually on the low end of the estimates — some experts projected a $200 million five-day opening. Although the bottom line is ultimately what the film will be judged upon, it would be interesting to see just how many bodies were in seats, as some theaters quietly upped the ticket prices.

And if you can’t make it to theaters before the end of the two-week run, don’t worry, that wasn’t it. Sony made the unsurprising move of keeping “This Is It” in theaters a little longer, through Thanksgiving.

But wouldn’t sticking to the limited two-week run have been a more fiscally advantageous move? A short run would have created greater demand for the DVD sales, and there’s greater profit to be made there since the studio wouldn’t have to split the cash with theaters.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

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