Kate Gosselin has filed the divorce papers and taped the television show in which she and her estranged husband, Jon, told a record audience that their marriage is over. But she still can’t take off her wedding ring.
“She’s not ready to do that yet,” People magazine’s senior editor Kate Coyne told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Wednesday in New York. “She stopped and thought about it and realized that if her kids saw that visible indication that the marriage was over, that it would just devastate them.”
Coyne talked extensively to Kate Gosselin for the cover story in the July 6 issue of People, which hits newsstands and supermarket checkout lines Friday.
In it, Kate confesses, “It feels like I failed.” When it became clear that divorce was inevitable, the mother of eight said, “I curled up in a ball and I sobbed. I couldn't breathe; I was hyperventilating.”
Telling the kids
In Monday’s episode of “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” the couple told their fans why their marriage had failed and how they would share custody of the children by swapping places in their $1.1 million house in rural Pennsylvania. But, Coyne told Lauer, they didn’t talk a lot about how they broke the news to their children — twins Mady and Cara, 8, and sextuplets Alexis, Collin, Leah, Hannah, Aaden and Joel, 5 — and how the children took it.
Coyne said that Jon and Kate, who have agreed on very little for quite some time, seemed to have handled the difficult task well.
“In a way, it was reassuring to see how normal they kept things,” Coyne said. “They did it together. They came together despite all their differences and they told the children jointly.
“They told the oldest girls first. And then they told the younger children separately.”
Coyne said the kids are aware their parents are feuding, but don’t understand why.
“They don’t really know what Jon and Kate are fighting about. I think sometimes Jon and Kate aren’t clear on what they’re fighting about,” she told Lauer.
But the kids still love both their parents. “They can’t not love their mom and dad,” Coyne said.
A rocky road
The Gosselins’ marriage has been headed for the rocks very publicly for a long time. For years, fans of the show have talked about how bossy Kate was.
The final blow hit earlier this year when Jon was photographed partying with a young woman, and rumors that he had cheated on Kate hit the tabloids. Allegations that she, too, was unfaithful — with her bodyguard — quickly followed.
left/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/090623-peopleMagCover-vmed-734.jpg11000133300left#000000http://msnbcmedia.msn.comPeople Magazine1PfalsefalseIn effect, the couple have been living separate lives for several months. When Kate has been on the road promoting her book, Jon has stayed home. When she was home, he took to the road.
Even so, it is not true that the Gosselins have been living “separate and apart” for at least two years, as erroneously reported by The Associated Press Tuesday. That report quickly led to speculation on blogs that the show had been “faked” during that period — but the wire service later issued an unusual retraction of the story that said that “Gosselins’ lawyers say they did not live apart for two years” and that “court papers saying so were boilerplate.”
Still, it was apparent the marriage was over when the couple did not celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, and when Jon spent Father’s Day at home with the kids — but without Kate.
While the marriage has disintegrated, the paparazzi have become more persistent. Recent tabloid reports have questioned Kate’s devotion to her children. She says her commitment to them remains unchanged.
Two different worlds
Kate filed the divorce papers, but she said that Jon initiated the action.
“Jon has wanted this for a long time,” Kate told Coyne. “He said, ‘We’re doing it. I got a lawyer, you better get one.’ ”