TODAY   |  October 01, 2009

Attorney: Kate ‘wants to engage Jon’

Oct. 2: TLC says it’s shutting down production of “Kate Plus 8” after Jon Gosselin claimed the show was not healthy for his kids. TODAY’s Matt Lauer talks to Kate Gosselin’s legal adviser, Mark Momjian, about Jon’s claims.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

all: use a little more

>>> jon and kate gosselin's divorce is apparently taking a strange turn. on thursday, tlc announced it's shutting down filming of their reality tv show after receiving a cease and desist order from jon 's lawyer. nbc's peter alexander has the details. peter, good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning to you. in the past few days, we learned that " jon & kate plus 8 " will now be renamed " kate plus 8 " and jon would have a limited role on the show, but he as not on board with that plan and now says his children's participation is hurting them.

>> i need to be a father. i need to be a father and i need to take my kids off the show.

>> reporter: a new reality for jon gosselin , appealing on " larry king live " alongside his attorney thursday night. jon explained why he wants his children off the family's hit show.

>> i don't think it's healthy for them and i -- the reason i don't think it's healthy for them is that we're going through a divorce right now and i don't think it should be televised and i think my kids should be taken off the show.

>> reporter: on the gate of his family's pennsylvania home, which he owns with kate , jon posted this sign, warning tlc crews to keep out, and so far, they've listened.

>> daddy, we're doing interviews.

>> reporter: tlc announcing on thursday that any snooting involving the gosselin children has been suspended.

>> well, jon decided to stop production of the show just days after it was announced that tlc was going to call the show " kate plus 8 " and his role was going to be diminished. the timing is a little bit funny considering six days earlier he was happily participating in the show and he was filming with his children.

>> reporter: kate , meanwhile, continues to tell her side of the story, saying in a statement, "i do the show for my family because i believe it provides us opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have. jon used to share that belief until as recently as the day the network announced the name change of the show and indicated that jon would have a lesser role in the show."

>> aiden and joel, do you want to share?

>> reporter: kate also says while her priority has always been her children and their wellbeing, jon 's priority is jon and his interests. a show that started out documenting life with eight kids has quickly turned into a real-life drama. this year, following reports of jon 's infidelity, jon and kate 's lives were splashed across magazine covers. and in june, the couple announced their marriage was ending.

>> we can't be cordial with one another, then we've decided to separate.

>> reporter: now jon is hoping the family's reality tv show comes to an end, too.

>> we know we're not going to be husband and wife anymore, but we're always going to be mom and dad . we have to work together against this. we have to pull our kids off of television and work this out as a family.

>> reporter: and tlc told us that despite jon 's now limited role on the show, he remains under contract, meaning he's still getting paid. by the way, jon told larry king last night the family made $22,500 an episode last year. matt?

>> all right, peter alexander . peter, thank you very much. mark mangian is kate gosselin 's legal adviser, joins us now exclusively. mark, good morning, nice to see you.

>> good morning, matt.

>> i don't normally start with questions like this, but what's going on here?

>> well, i think this is less about a change of heart and more about a change in strategy.

>> on jon 's part.

>> on jon 's part. i couldn't help but watching the segment that meredith vieira had on that japanese international kidnapping and talk about the grave risks to those children. here we have children that are loved by both of their parents. jon admits that his wife is a wonderful parent. they live in their family home. kate is their primary caretaker. they have reached agreements about custody.

>> yeah, but he's saying now, he's saying with this divorce, these kids, being on tv is not the healthiest thing for him, and i would imagine there are a lot of people who are probably listening to that and saying you're right, but you should have said this a year ago.

>> well, he could have said it a year ago, but he didn't. in fact, his active participation and encouragement of the show involved all the children and a decision by both parents to include the children and continue production.

>> kate was watching this last night as he appeared on " larry king "?

>> she's seen the segment.

>> so what's her reaction to all this?

>> well, she doesn't know which jon is going to show up. i mean, he's obviously different people at different times.

>> basically, tlc released a statement on behalf of kate that said, in effect, i continue to do this show because it provides me a way to support these children and opportunities for these children. obviously, money is important to her. so, you know, is it her plan to continue doing this if she can find a way around this?

>> i think if she could, and she would, and she is going to honor her contract. she'd like to continue with the show. she loves doing the show.

>> is it your understanding that legally he can stop the show from being produce smaed.

>> no. it's my understanding just the opposite. these parties entered into an agreement once the divorce action was filed that allowed each parent that had physical custody of the children to make the filming decisions when the children were with them. so, when the children are with kate , jon agreed that kate would make the filming decisions involving the kids.

>> these two don't talk very often? this would be a real good time for them to get together face to face and work this out.

>> i agree, but it's really not kate 's position. she really does want to engage jon . it's just that he's not engaging her back, and that's regrettable in any custody case.

>> mark, thanks for your time. i appreciate it.

>> thanks, matt.