A bit of entertainment for all of you not as enamored of the Jon and Kate Gosselin situation as I am:
Immediately convinced they couldn’t have kids on their own, they sought fertility treatments. On October 8, 2000, twins Mady and Cara are born.
Still wanting “just one more,” Kate heads to the fertility doctor again (although Jon is perfectly content with the twins). This is wildly successful, as Kate has healthy sextuplets May 10, 2004: Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel.
At first, the Gosselins struggled. In the brief time of their marriage, Jon had lost at least one job, and Kate quit her job when she was pregnant with the six babies. They were thrilled when the Discovery Channel approached them about a TV special on their family, and eventually a series, when the babies were about 18 months old.
But somewhere along the way, the show morphs from being a sweet look into a chaotic yet “regular” family to a peep at the nouveau riche, as the family is given free trips (to Disney, a Utah ski resort, Hawaii, and more), free tickets to everything you can imagine along with free refreshments and free souvenirs, free haircuts, free dental visits, free matching clothes, free furniture – the mind boggles.
It comes to a head last fall when the family sold their “normal” house and moved to a $1.3 million, 26 acre estate:
Also in the past year, Kate goes from looking like every-mom-you-see-at-WalMart to celeb-like:
She travels the country promoting “her” book (which was actually written by former family friend Beth Carson), and then enthusiastically “writes” two more books; the first being a glorified Shutterfly-type scrapbook and the second a cookbook (by a woman who claims not to bake).
Jon, definitely the more laid-back and “type B” of the two, doesn’t like public speaking and traveling the country. He finds hobbies of his own, most notably younger women:
Kate is rumored to be more than friends with her bodyguard, Steve Neild (Neild is on the left):
Personal note: when I took this photo while seeing Kate speak in Indianapolis Feb. 4, Neild seemed totally professional. Not saying something couldn’t be going on after-hours, but my impression seeing him then would not have led me to think so).
Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the family splashed across most of the check-out magazines. Will they split up, or (decidedly more likely) stay together for the sake of continuing their multi-million dollar empire?
Along the way, Jon and Kate (emphasis on Kate) have alienated most of their friends and Kate’s entire family. Aunt Jodi and Uncle Kevin, Beth and her family, Nana Janet – you name them, they were once part of the kids’ lives, but no longer are. Sadly, the eight little kids in the middle of this mess are almost overlooked in the midst of their parents’ misadventures. If you look at many recent pictures, you’ll notice that while Jon and Kate have big smiles, the kids don’t look so happy.
I feel for them and the confusion they must feel with the turmoil in their home, just months after Jon and Kate renewed their vows in Hawaii, repeating ad nauseum to the kids that the purpose of this was “to show that Mommy and Daddy will be together forever.”
I wish I could end this tale with, “and they all lived happily ever after.” But this appears to be a much more cautionary tale. Beware of fame and fortune. You may gain the world, but lose what’s most important.