TODAY   |  October 04, 2009

Kate Gosselin: ‘I can’t pay my bills’

Oct. 5: In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Meredith Vieira, Kate Gosselin speaks out about the suspension of her reality show, her messy split with her husband, Jon, and reports that he took thousands of dollars out of their joint bank account.

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>>> into dangerous territory.

>>> but we'll begin with kate gosselin , here with us exclusively to talk about her divorce bat.

>> caller: jon and the future of her family's reality show . we'll talk with her in a moment. but first "today" national correspondent amy robach has the latest.

>> good morning. things are heating up between jon and kate . there are explosive new allegations of financial wrongdoing connected to jon and a bank account that the gosselins shared. it's the latest twist in the very public divorce battle being played out in the tabloids and on tv. media outlets are reporting that jon violated an arbitrator's rules and pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars out of a joint bank account he shared with kate , leaving her with only $1,000. the account is reportedly used by kate to pay family bills and a separate account for the children was left untouched. lawyers for kate are expected to go to court today to try to get the money back. early last week, tlc announced it was changing the name of their hit show currently in its fifth season from " jon and kate plus 8 " to " kate plus 8 " leaving jon with a diminished role. jon asked the court-approved arbitrator to suspend his divorce for 90 days , and on thursday in an interview with larry king he said he wanted his kids off the show.

>> i don't want them to film anymore. don't think it's healthy for them and the reason i done think it is healthy for them is we're going through a divorce right now and i don't think it should be televised.

>> reporter: a sign hung outside his pennsylvania family's home warning tlc crews to keep out. and while the sign has been removed, the battle is far from over . with both sides having very different views about what's in the best interests of eight young children. tlc says the show's production will remain suspended pending further conversations between both parents and that jon remains under contract with the network. meredith.

>> amy robach , thank you very much. kate gosselin is with us exclusively. kate , good morning to you.

>> good morning. thank you.

>> it has been a real roller coaster after week for you. first of all, how are you doing?

>> i'm hanging in there. it's hard. every morning i don't know what i'm going to wake up to.

>> let's talk about the latest that you have awakened to, this report that jon emptied a joint bank account of hundreds of thousands much dollars leaving you with just $1,000. is that accurate?

>> it is accurate. you know, when we started this out i was determined -- i didn't want to discuss this stuff. i didn't want it out there. he didn't want to talk about it. obviously it has gotten out. and it is true.

>> how much money did he take out of the account and what were the stipulations with regard to that account when you could take out money and for what purposes?

>> back in the beginning when we had our first meeting, the arbitrator said that neither one of us could take money without the other's consent. however, i was given historically, i am the bill payor, i am the money manager , i was allowed to show proof of every bill i paid and use the money that way. our liquid money, this joint bank account , contains all of our liquid money and it was sitting there waiting to be paid. he was not allowed to touch it. at some point i removed it to keep it safe on the suggestion of my lawyer but needed to put it back according to the arbitrator. i did that.

>> why did you remove it? did you think that he was going to try to take funds out of that account?

>> he had done it a few days before i had filed for divorce. he didn't empty it completely but it was enough that i was afraid. in fact, at some point up until that point i had taken $100,000 and put it aside, safely, so that i could buy my kids food if this occurred. i was afraid. he was literally buying erratic purchases, randomly purchasing things and -- i'm sorry. -- the last thing i wanted was to do this show and end up not being able to pay my bills. so i put money aside willingly brought it forward and split it with him when we had our meeting. so he took the $50,000 and did whatever with it. i paid bills with my $50,000. and once the court arbitrator stepped in, i felt like the money -- i had to put it back. i didn't feel like it would be safe, to be honest. and he took $230,000 of the $231,000 that we have liquid and i have a stack of bills in my purse i can't drop in the mail.

>> let me tell you what his lawyer said. we reached out, they did not respond to us but they did respond to e.t. --

>> i have a few comments to that. first of all, i have the accounting over the last few months and it is exactly $230,000 beginning on august 10th and his last withdrawal was september 29th . second of all, it 's wonderful to say that he will be awarded significant funds. however, there are no significant funds for him to be awarded. and i don't care that he feels he needs to be awarded this. when you have left your children and their mother unable to pay for the roof over their head, it's not acceptable.

>> will you demand that that money be redeposited in the account?

>> i have to in order to keep my kids where they live and put food on their table. i need that money to provide for them. you have to understand my position here. we were in a position after our is exit t sextuplets were born that we cannot pay our bills. we did the hoe to provide a better life for them. never did i think i'd be back in the same position worried about providing for them.

>> let's talk about what happened to this show. it all began last week when tlc announced it was going on hiatus, it would come back not as " jon and kate plus 8 ," but as " kate plus 8 ," that jon would have a limited role. were you aware that was going to happen? were you part of that decision making , kate ? did you want jon to have a limited role?

>> i was aware of it. but i wasn't in the decision process . i was in agreeance with it because i feel like at this point, unfortunately, we do have different goals and it appears to me, my opinion, that there is one parent at this point that is pulling for the best of our children. it's upsetting to me and i think that it was upsetting to the world to watch the unraveling. i feel like jon is not on the same path as me, obviously. and i felt like it was the best thing to come out of this and i'm a contract honorer. when i put my name on a piece of paper, the situation may change, but i want to do what i say i'm doing.

>> and yet jon has argued in the past few days that the best thing would be for this show to be off the air right now, that he claims that the kids have said to him they don't want anymore filming and tlc has in fact postponed the filming because he has basically said cease and desist . did have you a conversation with jon about that, about postponing this show, at least for the time being ?

>> i have never had a conversation -- i do not talk about these issues with him because it seems that whenever i have a conversation and we solve something, different things -- he hangs uch the phone and does something completely different. this is historical. it is almost not even really worth it anymore. i do talk to him about custody, when i can get ahold of him. it is not for a lack of trying on my part as far as communication. i've called 20 times a day before and have found myself making decisions alone without his consent because i simply cannot reach him. the kids have over the weekend, i toll them that we're not filming at this point and actually, times eight, there was wailing and sobbing. they love our crew. they love the interaction. they love the events and there is nothing harmful about it. they are angry.

>> so when he says the kids have said to him they want the filming to stop, your response to that is --

>> i'm sorry, i'm not present all the time, but it has never happened, not the response i saw this weekend.

>> kate , where do you think the disconnect is? because jon also said he had had an epiphany, he wanted the divorce proceedings halted for 90 days , that he wanted you two to become friends and mediate together and he was going to reach out to you and actually apologize to you. can you be friends? is it possible at this point for you two to bury this hatchet and to mediate together or has it gone too far?

>> he has gonen way far off the trail. i will keep peace where i need to keep peace. obviously i'm very upset. i can't sleep at night. i can't pay my bills. i think that he's receiving bad counsel. he has always been one to listen to the person who's next to him and i think that he's receiving bad advice. i think he's making bad decisions and you know, i honestly -- call me crazy, i've said it before -- but i'm still hoping that at some point i'll receive a phone call and the old jon is back.

>> but if jon decides that he wants this show postponed or removed from the air, he has the power to do that. doesn't he?

>> tlc has always said if one of us comments that it is not healthy, that it is not good, whatever, they will honor that. even just the allegation, they have to abide by that. they have to hear his voice in that. and, unfortunately, it's -- you know, our source of income, and so in one fell swoop, in one week, basically at his hands, all of this has been removed. our money, our income, it's a terribly hard situation to be in. i never wanted to sit here talking about these details. i just feel like i need to get the facts out there, the truth, not my opinion -- the truth of what has actually occurred and what is occurring. because when my kids look back on it, i don't want them to see untruths. i want them to see the balance of, no, no, this is reality.

>> does any part of you, kate , believe maybe he's right, maybe enough's enough now, maybe it is time to put this show to bed and to resolve these issues very privately?

>> i wish i could but he keeps playing to the media. he doesn't tell me the things that -- the things you've seen him say on tv i have never heard from him. it doesn't even sound like his words. and he's never picked up the the phone and said any of those things to me.

>> okay, we appreciate you being here this morning. some other things i'd like to talk to you about, hopefully at another time. kate gosselin . now a check of the weather