When it comes to reality television in the 2000s, there were few bigger stars than Kate Gosselin. But during the height of her fame, she and her husband Jon Gosselin got divorced in 2009. A decade on from the painful split, Kate finally revealed where her head was at as a single woman.
Back in 2007, Jon & Kate Plus 8 made its debut on the small screen. The show focused on the Gosselins as they tried to raise their eight young kids at home, six of whom were sextuplets. And it was a big hit at the time, with one episode drawing in nearly ten million viewers on the TLC network.
Following Jon and Kate’s high-profile split in 2009, the program’s title was eventually changed to Kate Plus 8. And it stayed on the air for the next few years, before coming to an end in July 2017. However, that didn’t mark the end of the mom’s career in television, as we’re about to discover.
No, because Kate returned to the small screen in 2019, starring in a new show called Kate Plus Date. During that period, the reality TV veteran touched upon her life as a single mother, but that’s not all. You see, she also explained why she was ready to start dating again after ten years on her own.
Going back to 2009, Kate and Jon’s break up was huge news in the reality television world. You see, their show had been on the air for around two years, and it had built a loyal fan base across America. And although the announcement of the split was shared that June, the catalyst had come a little earlier.
To give you some background, Kate was on a publicity tour in April 2009 after her latest book, Eight Little Faces, hit the shelves. While she was away, Jon remained at the family home in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. But everything changed when the dad-of-eight decided to go out one night.
Indeed, Jon stayed out until the early hours of April 19, with photographers capturing shots of him outside a nearby bar. And he wasn’t alone, as a young woman named Deanna Hummel left with the TV star. Some time after that, her sibling went on to suggest that they’d been seeing each other for quite a while.
Furthermore, some additional photographs emerged, showing a group of people, including Hummel, at Jon’s house. The pair rejected the allegations leveled against them, claiming that they weren’t having an affair. However, Kate was clearly affected by what happened, as she spoke to People magazine a month before the split.
“I don’t know that we’re in the same place anymore, that we want the same thing,” Kate said in May 2009. “I’ve been struggling with the question of ‘Who is this person?’ for a while. I remember where I was the first time I heard [Hummel’s] name.” And her thoughts didn’t end there.
Kate added, “It’s one of those things where you can try to make it go away, but there’s blaring, red flashing lights.” With that in mind, she asked for the divorce in June 2009, some ten years into their marriage. The news of the split was then broken to the public during an episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8.
Prior to the airing of the episode that day, Kate and Jon had actually started the proceedings at a state courthouse. And the reality television stars released separate statements following the meeting in Pennsylvania. They both shared their immediate thoughts on the matter, with the mom going first.
Yes, Kate revealed, “Over the course of this weekend, Jon’s activities have left me no choice but to file legal procedures in order to protect myself and our children. While there are reasons why it was appropriate and necessary for me to initiate this proceeding, I do not wish to discuss those reasons at this time.”
And Kate continued, “[This is] in the hope that all issues will be resolved amicably between Jon and myself. As always, my first priority remains our children.” Jon’s message echoed those sentiments, as he also wanted to make sure that the kids weren’t negatively affected by the break up at home.
Regardless of legal proceedings coming to a close in December 2009, Jon and Kate remained locked in a bitter feud over the next few years. You see, the mom was looking after six of their children, including their oldest daughters Cara and Mady. Meanwhile, her ex was caring for two of the sextuplets.
According to Jon, that split in the family has had a major effect on their children, especially Collin. Indeed, he suggested that the teenager wasn’t on speaking terms with anyone under Kate’s roof. These comments came after the dad appeared on a podcast called First Class Fatherhood in February 2020.
Jon said, “Kate has no contact with [Collin], so there was a whole bunch of stuff that happened with him. There’s no contact between Collin and his other siblings. There’s contact between Hannah and the other siblings. So the problem right now is we have parent alienation and sibling alienation.”
While the feud between Kate and Jon continued to simmer after their 2009 split, the latter moved away from reality television. Yes, Jon took on a number of different positions, ranging in responsibility. For instance, the father-of-eight had roles within the I.T. industry and an energy company.
In addition to that, Jon also worked at a couple of restaurants and a nightclub, while trying his hand as a DJ. But Kate’s ex-husband has had more luck in the romance department and is currently enjoying a new long-term relationship. Since 2016, he’s been with a woman named Colleen Conrad, who plies her trade as a nurse.
As for Kate, she offered some insight into what it was like raising her children during those tumultuous years. Yes, the mom took to Instagram in October 2019, where she posted a photograph of Mady and Cara sitting together. And along with the image, she wrote an emotional message.
“I love these kids fiercely,” Kate wrote on the social media website. “And I don’t apologize for my tears. Times have been so tough and so needlessly unfair for them. Despite it all, they’ve turned out to be such wonderful amazing human beings.” Then she concluded the post with a strong message.
Yes, Kate added, “I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for each of them once they get away from those who have tried to destroy them versus protect them!” Those words generated a big response on Instagram, as the post earned over 38,000 likes. It also garnered more than 2,700 comments too.
Meanwhile, Mady hasn’t been shy in voicing her opinion about the issues in her family either. Back in 2016, she and her twin sister Cara sat down to talk with People magazine. And the pair revealed that they weren’t on good terms with father Jon due to comments he’d made in the media.
Mady said, “[Jon] makes it seem like we’re being kept from him, which is insane. He should maybe spend some time thinking about why we don’t want to see him. And maybe realize that if he ever does want a relationship with us, talking about us on TV is not the way to make that happen. He doesn’t even know us.”
Away from the drama, though, Kate made a big decision in 2019. A few months before her outpouring on social media, the reality star’s newest TV project hit the small screen that summer. As it turned out, the program was a vehicle for her to step back into the world of dating.
That’s right, and, Kate Plus Date debuted in June 2019, a decade on from Kate and Jon’s split. While he was able to find love again in the following years, his ex-wife remained single. However, she hoped that her latest show on TLC would change all that.
But before Kate began her search, she explained why she wanted to find a new partner. “I started picturing myself sitting in a rocking chair, knitting, and words like ‘old maid’ and ‘spinster’ started to come to mind,” the mom admitted to People. “And I realized that no, I don’t want that to be my fate.”
Off the back of that, Kate revealed, “I do want someone with a set career, who is confident. A grown-up with their own life, their own agenda, who knows who they are. If someone travels for work, that would be great, because I’m used to being on my own and being self-sufficient.”
If that wasn’t enough, Kate went into a bit more detail in the opening minutes of Kate Plus Date. According to her, the desire to start a new relationship wasn’t just sparked by the previous feelings that she brought up. In fact, the reality television veteran said she’d finally overcome a personal hurdle that had been holding her back.
Speaking directly to the camera, Kate tells the audience, “I don’t know if it was conscious or subconscious, [but] the feeling of going on dates, if you put it in one word, is vulnerable. And I’ve avoided everything that involves feeling vulnerable. And I now realize that one of those things was dating.”
Following this frank admission, Kate reflects on her growth as a person since the divorce. She continues, “Going forward, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve changed, I’ve adapted and I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve become much more self-aware, and almost ten years later, my kids are all-but grown up. So, I’m dating again, finally.”
Kate then explains how the show will work for the next few weeks. Unsurprisingly, the cameras were going to capture her journey in finding a partner, but the process was somewhat unique. Indeed, the parent was set to meet a number of different men, before making a significant decision.
As Kate goes on to explain, “I’ll be going on dates with ten guys, and ultimately I will choose two to go on second dates with. I will be working with matchmakers. Mr. Right has not rung my doorbell. To me it’s like, okay, in natural life I’m not going to meet someone. I’m not doing the internet dating thing, that scares the living daylights out of me.”
After this, the mom of eight makes an intriguing point about her personal life. She continues, “It’s been so long since I’ve had a companion, that [it’s] such a foreign concept to me. Before I decide to grow old alone, I should probably give it a decent shot of looking around for someone. My kids are encouraged, they’re excited.”
On the subject of Kate’s children, Mady and Cara played a role on the show too. And much like their mom, the twins sat down in front of the camera to share their views on her plan. According to them, everyone in the house was desperate for her to find someone.
Yes, Mady tells the audience, “Cara and I are in our last year of high school. The little kids have four more years at home, and then they’re in college. So in the next four or five years, none of us will live at home, and then it’ll be just [my mom].”
From here, Mady gives an additional reason as to why she wants Kate to return to the dating scene. However, she also admits that the mental image of her mom going out is a strange one. After all, you don’t normally have a date in front of a television audience.
Mady adds, “We want [our mom] to be happy, all of us do. And so, if she’s happy, we’re happy. [But] I really never thought she’d be someone that would, like, go out on dates on TV. It’s going to be interesting.” Keeping that in mind, the idea appeared to pay off for Kate in the end.
Indeed, as Kate made her through the process, she honed in on a guy named Jeff. And the pair went on to have another date in July 2019, with the mom-of-eight sharing the details on Instagram. Unsurprisingly, she seemed to be in good spirits following their evening together.
For you see, Kate revealed that she and Jeff put a “romantic dinner” together themselves. That update on her personal life earned over 7,500 likes on Instagram, alongside more than 750 comments. Sadly, though, the relationship between the duo didn’t last for much longer, as we’re about to discover.
Yes, in an additional message on Instagram, the lovesick mom wrote, “Unfortunately, after keeping in touch with him for a few months, I found that Jeff had been dating someone since before our second date. I am in this to find my someone, but perhaps he didn’t take it as seriously? I was definitely interested, but onwards and upwards.”