Jon Gosselin has set himself upon the road to redemption and hopes to set the record straight about his relationships and reputation.
During a public dialogue Sunday night with celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at New York City's West Side Jewish Center, the reality star, 32, said, "I think I'm just misunderstood. I'm not a fame seeker. Everyday I look in the mirror and I wonder [why I'm famous]. I don't sing. I don't dance. I'm not a Nobel Peace Prize winner. I just had eight kids and I had a show on TLC."
Dressed in a formal black suit and without his trademark CZ earrings, Gosselin openly discussed the reasons for the dissolution of his marriage with Kate Gosselin and how he became intoxicated by celebrity.
Without being anymore specific than admitting he's been photographed in nightclubs, Gosselin acknowledged his recent bad behavior. "Half the stuff I've done, if I look at my moral compass, I shouldn't have done," he said. "I know that but I did it anyway. It's like fame canceled out conviction."
Reaching out to KatePart of Gosselin's attempt to make amends includes apologizing to his former Jon & Kate Plus 8 costar.
"I want to apologize to Kate in private," he said. "I'll apologize to her for openly having relationships in the public eye. That was a huge mistake, because if she would've done that to me, I would have been extremely pissed off. Not because our relationship is over, it's almost like a stab in the back. And now that I think about it, it was a very wrong thing to do. I definitely regret it."
Referring to himself and girlfriend Hailey Glassman, he said the two of them "should never have gone to France."
Gosselin claims he is well aware of the public's perception of him but insists he is his own harshest critic. "It's hard for me because I can't forgive myself for the things I've done," he said. "So to ask for forgiveness from someone who may never forgive me is tough for me. I do apologize to Kate. I'm sorry for doing the things I did. I do ask for her forgiveness."
Not taking a break from Glassman
Despite rumors that Gosselin was set to announce his breakup from Glassman, 22, Gosselin said they are merely applying the brakes to their relationship.
"We decided not to take a break, just slow things down, until I get through my divorce and I know everything is settled and okay. I don't want another failure in my relationships. I don't want to make the same mistakes I made with Kate, with Hailey. I would just be repeating the pattern over again," he said.
The new status of the duo's relationship comes on the heels of Glassman's highly charged interview with TV's The Insider in which she claimed Gosselin was emotionally abusive and threw "mantrums." Gosselin claims there are no hard feelings, despite the harsh criticism and claims that he was in fact, proud of her honesty.
According to Gosselin, "I was standing right there [at The Insider]. Mike [Gosselin's manager] was standing right there. He was looking at me like, 'Oh my god, what is she saying?' He's looking at my career going down the tubes and I'm thinking, 'Good for her, she got all of this out.' "
He added, "I have to be accountable for my actions. Maybe she used the wrong terminology, but she's 22, that's what she knew. Those are the words and that's how she felt."
In a lengthy statement to ET, Jon also said of Glassman: "I will forever love Hailey. I see how all this has truly hurt her. She has not been happy and hates the media light that she has been put in. She is in no way a homewrecker."
The statement also reads, "Hailey says she thinks it's a good idea that we both take some time right now and focus on each of our individual lives. It is important for me to go back to Pennsylvania and be with my children and get through this divorce and decide what I truly want out of life. I do love her and care deeply. She has made me realize I can love myself and just need to be more honest. I am taking things day by day."