We were first introduced to the Gosselin family on their TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, in 2007. The series showed what it was like after Jon and Kate Gosselin gave birth to sextuplets on May 10, 2004, after already having twins.
The show ran for two years until the couple announced that they were filing for divorce. However, their loyal viewers still wanted to follow the family, and Kate was given a spin-off show, Kate Plus 8, which aired on and off until 2017. Fans were happy to be able to see what the kids are up to, but they also noticed that they were seeing less of Collin, one of the sextuplets. Here's what was happening behind the scenes.
Collin is One of the Six Sextuplets
Kate gave birth to the sextuplets via Caesarean section at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center between 7:51 and 7:54 a.m. and Collin was the fourth baby to arrive.
One of three boys, Collin was the biggest child of the sextuplets when he was born, weighing 3 pounds 0.5 ounces and measured 15 inches. Like his brothers and sisters, Collin grew up with the cameras around, but he was more uncomfortable than his siblings about the camera crew.
He Was Camera Shy and Anxious
The Gosselin house had eight kids, two parents, and the TLC camera crew. All of this was overwhelming for young Collin, as you could imagine any kid could easily feel this way. But this was the life that he was born into.
By the time Collin was enrolled in school, he was so camera shy that he didn't even want to have his picture taken for the school yearbook. Being filmed for the television serious was taking an obvious toll on the young kid.
Jon and Kate Decide to Separate
Viewers were intrigued by the family of ten; watching Jon and Kate parent eight kids was entertaining, to say the least. There was a lot of pressure on the two of them as both parents and as a couple, and while filming Season 5 of Jon & Kate Plus 8, the couple made the announcement that they were going to separate.
Reportedly, Jon was overwhelmed being a parent of eight, and after ten years of marriage, felt that the romance was gone. He described Kate and his marriage as being "very non-affectionate" and compared it to a "ten years of a business transaction." Ouch.
Collin Began Misbehaving
Out of all the kids, Kate noticed that Collin would misbehave the most. Often times, he would push Kate to her limit, and she wouldn't know what to do to parent Collin. Apparently, Kate had always had her struggles with Collin, even from a young age. In 2010, Kate released a memoir, Just Want You To Know, and explained her struggle trying to parent Collin.
She writes, "At two and a half, you began testing and trying my parenting at every chance. I called Daddy at work many days crying because you would not obey. I had to ask you every day, 'Who's in charge here: you or me?' You would reluctantly answer, 'You are.'"
Collin's Behavior Led To Him Getting Expelled
As Collin grew older, his behavior didn't improve. It got so bad that Collin was eventually expelled from the kids' school. In November 2011, both Collin and his sister Alexis were expelled. The accounts were bad. Reportedly, the two of them fought with other students, bullied their classmates, and even physically harmed their teacher.
Their actions left the school administration no choice but to expel both Gosselin kids. After leaving the school, Collin and Alexis were placed in a three-week intensive special treatment program to work on their behavior. When asked, Kate commented that she believed that the expulsion was unnecessary and she planned on having them back in school soon.
Viewers Stopped Hearing About Collin
Viewers noticed that as the episodes continued, they didn't see much of Collin on Kate Plus 8. When they did show Collin on camera, he didn't seem to want to talk or be there. While no announcement was made, his appearances became more rare, until viewers noticed that he was completely gone from the show.
It wasn't long before fans of the show wanted to know what was going on with Collin. Where was he? All of his siblings were there, where was Collin? Rumors began to circulate.
People Accused Kate of Terrible Things
Of course, when your personal life is in the spotlight as it is on reality television, everyone had their opinions about Kate's lifestyle and parenting. Rumors were spirling that the reason that Collin wasn't seen on the show was that behind the scenes, Kate was abusing her son.
How did this rumor start? It was reported that Collin told another adult that his mother abused him. They took the threat seriously, and Child Protective Services was sent to Kate's home. Jon also received a call from CPS, and said that he worried about Collin's well-being. Kate told Good Morning America, "I'm in the public eye. I have been investigated many times … It's always unfounded obviously."
Maybe It's Not What People Think It Is
Later on in 2016, Kate told People Magazine that it was true that Collin was different than her other children, and needed to be treated differently as he had special needs. She said in the interview, "Collin has special needs. [There's] a fairly fluid diagnosis of what those needs are, but he needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things. This has been a struggle we've had for a very long time, and it's one I've dealt with on my own. I've felt very alone in this."
While she didn't share what Collin's exact diagnosis was, fans had an answer as to why Collin's appearances on the show weren't as frequent as his siblings.
So Where Is He?
It came as a surprise to many when Kate announced that Collin didn't live at her house with the rest of the kids anymore. Collin now lived at a facility nearby their Pennsylvania home where he was receiving special attention to help him learn better. Kate described her son's program as "helping him learn the skills he needs to be the best him that he can be."
Kate shared, "I don’t know what the road ahead entails, but I’m very happy with the care that he’s getting, and am still completely comforted by the fact that he is so clearly exactly where he needs to be."
Jon Takes Full Custody of Collin
When Collin turned 14 years old in October 2018, his father made the decision to file for full legal and physical custody of him. Jon already had custody of Hannah, and she had been living with him for a year.
After Collin completed the program he was enrolled in at the facility, he was to move in with Jon and Hannah. It seemed that Jon didn't have doubts about his son's learning skills, and believed that he was combative because he actually had higher intelligence than some of their other kids."Collin is very intelligent," Jon told Us, "He was always questioning Kate and talking back. Kate doesn’t like that.”
Kate Decided He Was Overstimulated
Kate made the conscious decision to stop filming Collin on the show, and reportedly, it was the change that he needed to begin correctly his behavior. The family noticed that when he was surrounded by the cameras he felt overwhelmed, and Kate thought that all of it was too much stimulation for him.
A friend of the family told Hollywood Life, "He definitely finds it easier to function and cope better without all the chaos that his home life entails."
Collin Was Left Out
Because the family was famous for having twins and sextuplets, it was blatantly noticeable when Collin was left out of family events and photos. Kate would often share family photos on social media, and only five of the six sextuplets would be shown.
Kids' birthdays, holidays, and family celebrations went on without Collin, and fans of the show were wondering if it was for Collin's best interested, or if Kate was purposefully leaving him out as a terrible form of punishment.
He Was Never In The Photos
Fans of Kate Plus 8 empathized with Collin's need for treatment and privacy from the camera crew, but they thought that Kate was taking it to another level. He disappeared from Kate's social media photos of the family, and then she stopped mentioning him at all.
Her followers thought that Kate was acting like she didn't even miss Collin, like he was no longer apart of the family. Was Collin's absence really about him getting the education he needed, or was this about Kate not wanting him around?
He Was Labeled The "Problem Child"
Kate had been open and honest about Collin's bad behavior, and that she struggled to correct him while also parenting the rest of the kids. In an interview, Kate said that Collin's behavior, "is not something that has only impacted me or him – our entire family has been impacted.”
This further led fans to believe that he was ousted from the family because Kate just didn't want to deal with him, rather than what was best for Collin. Did he really need special care? Or was this a cover-up?
Collin's Dad Didn't Know His Where-Abouts
In November 2016, Jon sat down for an interview with Entertainment Tonight. During the interview, Jon claimed that he didn't even know where he son was. He told ET that his ex-wife told him that Collin was at a facility nearby, but she wouldn't tell him the name of it.
Jon said of Collin, "I have an idea where he is, but I don't really know where he is. I mean, I ask, but she doesn't tell me. She doesn't answer any of my texts." In response, Kate said, "We are both court-ordered not to speak about the care and custody of our children in detail."
What About His Siblings?
While he was at the facility, his siblings missed him dearly. He was one of the six sextuplets, and they were inseparable growing up. Having one of them out of the house at such a young age was confusing for the kids. Especially on their birthday.
May 10, 2017 marked the sextuplet's 13th birthday, and Kate finally opened up a bit. She shared, "It's a bittersweet moment [and] we've had many of them. You can't do anything without realizing he's missing. So we may not say it, but it's always there." She also said, "he's where he needs to be right now, and I can feel good about that."
Jon Thinks Kate is Treating Collin Unfairly
After their divorce was finalized, it was clear that there were still a lot of issues and disagreements between Jon and Kate. In court, they were ordered not to talk about the details of their children, but when a mic was given to either parent, they wouldn't shy away.
Jon disagreed with the way that Kate was handling Collin, and thought that she sent him away and failed to care for him out of her own selfishness.
Kate Holds All The Power
A friend of Jon's was asked about the divorced couple's relationship, and he said, "She controls everything, it's her way or the highway when it comes to the kids, including Collin. When he saw that Kate left Collin out of Halloween, that his son was missing yet another family celebration Jon broke down and cried. He hates that she's doing this to Collin and feels so helpless to stop her…"
Kate seemed to be making all of the decisions about their children, and Jon was feeling powerless to help them as their father.
Finally, Fans See A Photo Of Collin
Fans were told that Collin entered the treatment facility in 2016, and it had been nearly two years since a photo or video of him was shared. Finally, on the sextuplets' 14th birthday, Jon shared a photo of his son.
The photo appeared to be of Jon and Hannah with Collin at the treatment facility that he was staying at. Jon captioned the photo, "Glad I could celebrate my son Collin's 14th birthday with him and his sister."
Fans Were Super Happy To See Collin
For over a year, fans hadn't heard much about Collin, and not a single photo of him was released. They were elated when Jon shared the photo of Collin with his dad and sister, and many commented on how happy they were to see them together and celebrating his birthday.
It was also interesting that it was Jon who was the first to share a photo of Collin, and that Kate had never came around or gave into including him in their family celebrations.
What Will Happen to Collin Now?
Of course, after Jon shared the photo of Collin, people began talking about him once again. When Kate was asked what the future holds for Collin's life path, she commented, "I don't know what the road ahead entails, but I'm very happy with the care that he's getting, and am still completely comforted by the fact that he is so clearly exactly where he needs to be, getting precisely what he needs."
Her response showed that she wasn't going to welcome Collin back to the family's home anytime soon.
What Are The Rest Of The Gosselin's Doing?
It's been twelve years now that the Gosselin family was introduced to the world through Jon & Kate Plus 8 and the family has been through a lot since then. As the kids grew up, the cameras kept rolling, and the kids had to go through their parents' nasty divorce as it played out in the public eye.
The kids didn't have a choice but to be filmed on the show, but they didn't know life to be any different from their TLC fame, either.
The Sextuplets Start Eighth Grade, Twins Start Senior Year
All grown up! The Gosselin sextuplets aren't little kids anymore, and on August 24, 2018, Kate shared this photo of them starting the eighth grade, as the twins started their senior year in high school.
Kate shared: “This was yesterday! Feels like school never ended…and they’re already back! #EighthGrade #ProudMom.” In this photo, you see the twins and four of the sextuplets... Collin and Hannah were the two siblings missing.
The Custody Battle Continues
The custody battle between Jon and Kate has (so far) lasted the same length of their marriage. The couple was married for ten years and divorced in 2009. The disagreements in parenting decisions have led to a decade of arguments as they try to set their eight kids up for success.
In August 2017, Hannah refused to go back to her mom's house after spending time staying at Jon's. The couple was called into court for an emergency custody hearing over the situation. The judge decided that the issue should go to trial, and until then, Jon would have equal custody of Hannah.
Jon Announces That Hannah Is Living With Him Full-Time
While the custody battle continued in court, both Jon and Kate posted photos to their Instagram accounts that kept fans questioning what was going on. Kate would consistently post photos of six of the Gosselin kids, with Hannah and Collin missing from the photos. So where were there?
Well, Hannah was living with Jon. He told his Instagram followers that he had full custody of Hannah, sharing an Instagram live video taken at his house with Hannah playing music in the background.
The Twins Aren't Speaking With Their Dad
While Hannah is living with Jon, the two eldest daughters, Mady and Cara, revealed that they aren't on speaking terms with their father. In an interview with People, Mady said, "He makes it seem like we're being kept from him, which is insane."
She continued, "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."
Jon Is Having Trouble Finding Steady Work
While Kate has held steady with her TLC TV show Kate Plus 8, Jon has publicly struggled to maintain a proper job. In 2016, it was revealed that he was working at T.G.I.Friday's. One of his co-workers posted a photo on social media of Jon working at the chain restaurant, and he promptly quit.
In an interview with Dallas radio station 103.7 KVIL FM, Jon said, "Thanks a lot, man! Now I gotta go through all of this stuff and now I gotta leave a job that I was passionate about."
Jon Gosselin Files Lawsuit Against TLC For $5 Million
As mentioned, Jon was having a difficult time keeping a steady income after leaving the show. In order to get some money coming in, he decided to make a bold move. In September 2016 Jon filed a lawsuit against TLC for a whopping $5 million.
He claimed that he couldn't find work or making a living for himself because the network and television show had damaged his reputation. Jon also claimed that the producers reached out to other media and television networks, and warned them not to work with Jon. This was a counter-lawsuit after TLC filed one against Jon in 2009, stating that his paid TV appearances violated his contract with TLC.
Jon Gosselin is Working As A DJ in Atlantic City
Before the kids, before TLC, Jon was working as an IT tech. It seemed that after the fame and all of the drama, he didn't want to go back to his regular 9-5 job. After he claimed he could no longer work at T.G.I.Friday's after a coworker revealed his job, Jon started working as a DJ at a nightclub.
The last anyone has heard, Jon was working as a DJ in Atlantic City, New Jersey at Dusk Nightclub, as well as doing promotional work. He told Entertainment Tonight in March 2018. "I DJ at the club sometimes, but I find promotion is more rewarding both financially and emotionally. I like taking care of people and making others feel welcome.”
Jon Is Running Out Of Money
Back when Jon and Kate were married and filming their television series they were pulling in a reported $22,500 per episode. After they separated, the former couple battled it out in court for ten years. This added up to a lot of legal fees for them both.
But while Kate continued working with TLC, earning $40,000 per episode for Kate Plus 8, Jon couldn't find his footing in the working world. Reportedly, he's running out of money and he doesn't know where to turn-- hence, the $5 million counter-lawsuit.
Jon’s New Girlfriend Set Up a GoFundMe Account For Him
The $5 million lawsuit he filed against TLC was a low for Jon Gosselin, but it didn't stop there. He basically deemed himself unemployable, and his new girlfriend, Colleen Conrad, decided to make a bold move.
She went on GoFundMe in September 2017 and set-up an account to pay for Jon's legal fees for his custody battle with his ex. The account read: "The family and friends of Jon Gosselin know the loving, caring, devoted father that he is, and they understand his desire to do what is best for his children."
He Didn't Get Enough Donations
When she set-up the GoFundMe account, Jon's girlfriend set the goal at $30,000. With all the fame he received from his TLC show, the couple thought that they had a good shot at getting enough people to contribute to the fund. However, they were wrong.
The account made the plea, "Like many divorced parents, Jon works hard each day and most weekends, wanting nothing more than to spend quality time with his kids. For Jon, it’s been an eight-year battle in family court, one that pits him against media and financial forces that far exceed his own." The account received 66 donations, equaling $3,301. Falling very short of the goal.
Kate Is Moving On From Jon
While Jon didn't hide the fact that he had a new girlfriend, Kate kept her romantic life pretty quiet. It had been 10 years since the parents of eight divorced, and Kate finally felt like maybe she was ready to move on and meet a new guy.
Surprisingly, her kids were supportive. Speaking with People magazine, Kate said of her kids, "Now that they're older and talking about dating and how they're all gonna get married someday…it became apparent: they want someone for me. They want me to have somebody in my life.”
Another Show: Kate’s Plus Date
When Kate decided that she was ready to date, she did it the only way she knows how: by starring in a TLC series. The network signed on to create Kate Plus Date as she tries to find Mr. Right.
Kate said that although it wasn't her idea, and it was mostly her daughters that were motivating her to date and sign onto the show, she was happy to put herself out there and find a new love interest after a terrible ending to her marriage.
Her Eldest Daughters Gave Her A Push
She said that it was her two eldest daughters beginning to date that made them worried that their mom will never find love again. And maybe it started creeping into her head too... Kate told People, "As we’re talking about Mady and Cara going off to college which is becoming more and more of a reality, it’s gonna happen, it almost became like a worry for them, too, like ‘Mommy, you’re gonna be all alone soon...
But it was very apparent, now that they’re older and talking about dating and how they’re all gonna get married someday … it became apparent: they want someone for me. They want me to have somebody in my life."
Hannah Wants Her Privacy
Although Hannah used to be active on Instagram, when she turned 14-years-old, she decided to delete her account. It was August 2018, when the sextuplets were getting ready to head back to school.
Clearly, she made the decision that she didn't want anyone digging into her personal life anymore. It might seem like a weird move for someone who's entire life has been out there for the world to see, or maybe it was exactly what she needed.
Weirdly Enough, Kate Doesn't Want The Kids On Social Media
Although Jon and Kate made the decision to film and share their family's personal lives even before the sextuplets were born, and when the twins were still very young, Kate doesn't want the kids to have their own social media accounts.
Her feelings on social media are those of a concerned parent, not wanting adults prodding into her kids' personal lives or possibly putting them at risk. While some fans might not understand it, Kate's concerns turned out to be realistic, as someone soon created a fake Instagram account pretending to be her daughter Alexis.
Jon Disobeyed Kate's Wishes With Hannah
While Kate stated that she didn't want the kids using social media to protect their safety, Jon went against her wishes. Just months before Hannah's Instagram account was deleted, Jon went so far as promoted their daughter's account in May 2018.
Jon posted, "Thank you to everyone for all the love and support this week!!! Hannah and I forgot to take a pic. She is doing her in video @itsmehjg check it out!!! Have awesome Holiday, Happy Memorial Day and let's get summer started!!!! Thanks again!"
Kate Doesn't See Hannah Very Often
Out of the eight kids that Jon and Kate share, six of them live at home with Kate. Hannah and Collin are the two that don't live in her household, as Hannah is staying with Jon.
A source close to the Gosselin family told Life & Style, "Kate is trying to be supportive of the situation, but the truth is, she hates that Hannah chose Jon over her. The problem is that the kids are getting older and they're starting to ask questions. Some are still Team Mom, but Team Dad is growing. It's a very divided household."
Kate Gets Bullied Online
The internet is an easy place to openly pass judgment on people, which happens quite often. There's cyber bullying and also mom-shaming, which happens to Kate. On her Instagram account, people share their very opinionated opinions about the way that Kate is raising her kids.
One user commented on a photo of one of her daughters with the family dog, "For someone who was such a germaphobe, I'm surprised you allow your dogs to lick your kids' mouths."