After spending nearly a year embroiled in a bitter divorce, Kate Gosselin says she’s learned some things about herself. Namely, that she often spoke harshly to her ex-husband, Jon, and to others close to her.
“I learned that in the heat of the moment I have a sharp tongue, and looking back there are probably a lot of people that I love that I probably spoke to inappropriately,” she told Meredith Vieira on TODAY. “Those are the people that are beside you to support you and love you,” she said as her voice cracked with emotion. “I’ve really learned to watch what I say.”
The mother of eight, who once famously told her husband to “stop breathing so loud” on an episode of the now-defunct reality show “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” admits that she was too tough on him.
“Much of what I said to Jon was unwarranted. I could have guarded my tongue better,” she confesses in her new book, “I Just Want You to Know.”
Gosselin, 35, also responded to claims from her ex-husband that she is an “absentee mom” by saying that being a single mother with eight children leaves her no choice but to work long hours.
“I’m a working mom and cameras are on me, so people catch me traveling and working,” she told TODAY. “I’ve got to work harder now than ever because I am a single mom … I’d rather be with [my kids].”
Jon Gosselin, 33, filed for sole custody of their children last week, saying that Kate “abuses” her right to schedule visits for him with the kids and that she does not spend enough quality time with them.
The impetus for the lawsuit was Kate’s involvement with season 10 of “Dancing With the Stars,” which is taped in Los Angeles and requires her to fly back and forth between California and her Pennsylvania home, where her children live.
“I’m on the first flight as soon as the show lets me out,” she said. “That’s my night of sleep and I get home, I dance and I’m done when [the kids] get home from school. And I spend the rest of the week with them. I make the most of every minute I do have with them.”
Effect on the kids
The children, Gosselin said, haven’t shown any signs that they’ve been harmed by her schedule or her highly publicized battle with Jon.
“I don’t see anything negative they’ve taken from this,” she said. “If anything, I see the kids and I becoming much closer.”
Although they understand the concept of divorce, they are still getting used to living with one parent at a time.
“They don’t like it,” Gosselin said. “They still say things like ‘I wish Mommy and Daddy could be together’ and those sorts of things.”
Despite going through her own family drama, Gosselin has a new reality show, called “Twist of Kate,” in which she travels around the country helping others deal with challenges at work and at home. The show launches on TLC sometime this summer, but will it add more ammunition to charges that she isn’t around for her children?
“I don’t see another option — I have eight children to provide for,” she said, defending herself. “This is a great opportunity. It’s certainly not going to cut the mustard working 12-hour shifts, six days a week, as a nurse.”
Letters capture ‘good memories’
Gosselin says writing the book, a collection of letters addressed to each of her children, was a way to show them that she’s there for them.
“It’s truly what is in my heart and I wanted to write it down so that they had it — advice for now, advice for the future and for always — kind of like a legacy.”
To her son Aiden, she writes, “I don’t possess the skills to father you, but I will do everything I can to show you the way.”
Gosselin says she wanted the book to be an opportunity to capture good memories, before her marriage fell apart. “This book was not hard to write because I put myself back … when things were good. I can go there and not have anger, or regret or hatred. Those memories are preserved as good memories.”
And despite rumors to the contrary, Gosselin says she’ll walk away from “Dancing” with good memories as well. She says she’s not a diva and that her experience on the show has thus far been a positive one, adding that the dancers, cast and crew are “like a big family unit.”
The star, who has been criticized by the judges as a dancing disaster and whose moves have provided fodder for comedians, says the last thing she expected was to still be on the show four weeks into season, acknowledging that her fans keep saving her.
“Certainly it’s not my dancing,” she laughed.