Jon Gosselin tries to stop 'Kate Plus Eight'; production temporarily suspended [Updated]
[Updated at 12:10 p.m: Kate Gosselin released a statement through TLC, saying she was "saddened and confused" by her husband's assertions.
"Jon has never expressed any concerns to me about our children being involved in the show and, in fact, is on the record as saying he believes the show benefits our children and was taping on Friday with the kids," she said. "I check in regularly with each of the kids to be sure they want to participate in and continue with the show and will continue to do so. I do the show for my family because I believe it provides us opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have. Jon used to share that belief until as recently as the day the network announced the name change of the show and indicated that Jon would have a lesser role in the show. It appears that Jon's priority is Jon and his interests. My priority remains our children and their well being."]
The battle between reality show stars Jon and Kate Gosselin ratcheted up another notch today with the news that an attorney for Jon Gosselin sent TLC a cease-and-desist letter ordering the cable network to stop production on the popular docudrama about their eight children.
Earlier this week, TLC announced that the “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” series was being renamed simply “Kate Plus Eight” to accommodate the couple’s recent split. The revamped program, set to debut Nov. 2, would focus largely on Kate Gosselin’s role as a single mother. The network said that it was continuing its exclusive relationship with Jon Gosselin, who would appear on the show occasionally.
But Jon Gosselin apparently isn’t on board with that plan. His lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, told “Entertainment Tonight” that the show turned his family into “a train wreck.”
“Jon Gosselin unequivocally believes that his children's continued participation in your client's television production is detrimental to his children,” Heller wrote to TLC in a letter obtained by “ET.” “Accordingly, Jon expects that your client will cease and desist from any and all further production which includes his eight children."
In a second letter, Heller told the network that any crews who enter the family’s Pennsylvania home will be considered trespassers. A sign hung today on the gates of the estate read “Notice: No film crew or production staff from TLC is permitted on this property under penelty [sic] of trespass.”
Heller told “ET” that TLC has not fairly compensated the children for their participation in the 4-year-old program and failed to secure the necessary state permits to film them, potentially rendering the original production agreement with the family void.
TLC denied Gosselin's claims, saying he was on board with the show. But the network temporarily suspended filming of the children in order to discuss the situation with both parents.
"We are aware of Jon Gosselin's recent statements and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behavior," the network said in a statement released this morning. "He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic. Despite Jon Gosselin's repeated self-destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC. Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents."
In an interview with gossip blogger Perez Hilton, Gosselin’s manager, Mike Heller, denied that he was posturing for a bigger payment from the network:
Jon Gosselin is the new David and TLC is the new Goliath. Jon is empowered by his new attorney, Mark Jay Heller, to take back control of his family. Even if it means the revenue stream will be cut off. Jon's priority is family not money. THIS IS NOT A NEGOTIATION TACTIC TO get more money from TLC.
We are completely cutting ties with TLC. This is something that he has been trying to do for a while now.
-- Matea Gold