For a while in the early 2000s, the Gosselins were one of the most famous families in America.
Jon and Kate Gosselin were the focus of the media when they became parents to sextuplets, Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah and Leah. The couple already had twin daughters, Cara and Madelyn.
They initially appeared on the NBC reality TV show Home Delivery and on Discovery Health's Surviving Sextuplets and Twins. Their episodes brought in high ratings and shortly after, they signed on for their own reality TV show titled Jon & Kate Plus 8.
Cameras followed Jon and Kate as they adjust to life with eight very young children. At first, it all seemed to pan out as expected, but then things took a turn.
After 10 years of marriage, Jon and Kate divorced, but their split was far from amicable. The longer their feud went on, the more skeletons fell out of their closets.
Many fans later realized that the personas the couple tried to portray on the show were far from reality. From cheating and abuse allegations, to firing a gun at a trespasser, there are a lot of secrets the Gosselins kept hidden at the height of their fame.
1. Jon and Kate were forced to pretend they weren't separated
As the seasons went on, viewers started to pick up on the tension between Jon and Kate. Many fans were convinced that their strained relationship was caused by the stress of raising eight children, but that wasn't the whole truth.
According to multiple reports that surfaced after the couple parted ways, Jon and Kate had already been separated a while before making the news public.
They were reportedly sleeping in different bedrooms and constantly fighting when the cameras weren't rolling. It was the executives at TLC that forced them to pretend they were still happily married because being a family was their show's main appeal, and once that was no longer the case, they believed viewership would decline.
Jon and Kate kept up the pretense until Kate's brother spilled the beans to the media.
2. Jon cheated on Kate's birthday
Although it wasn't addressed on the show, Jon's cheating was one of the main reasons why his marriage fell apart.
In the final season of Jon & Kate Plus 8, tension was at all time high when Kate was forced to spend her birthday alone, while Jon went on a ski trip to Park City, Utah.
The 2009 episode showed Jon skating with developmentally challenged children, but it was later revealed that the reality star was actually joined by 23-year-old schoolteacher Deanna Hummel, and the pair looked very cozy with each other.
Both parties denied the allegations, but Us Weekly eventually published photos that clearly showed Jon and Deanna spending time together at the ski resort.
3. They tried to get out of a $10,000 therapy bill
As dysfunctional as their relationship is now, Jon and Kate once loved each other, and did try to salvage their marriage.
They took part in a number of marriage counselling sessions, but once the fees started to add up, Kate reportedly decided she no longer wanted to participate.
The therapist, who had to fly between Pennsylvania and California multiple times to offer her services to the reality TV couple, ended up suing Kate for not paying her.
Thanks to a court order, the mom-of-eight was eventually forced to pay up a total $10,300.
4. Kate had a "rule book" for her staff
Kate has a reputation of being very difficult to work with. The staff who worked in the Gosselin household revealed that she had a set of strict rules that everyone had to abide by.
She reportedly had her employees, including cleaners and nannies, on call 24 hours a day. Nobody was allowed to vacuum during certain hours, shut doors too loudly, or place purses on the floor or countertops. Kate also expected everyone to walk with light feet.
"She was condescending and always put me down. She never let anything slide," a former employee told Radar. "It was a total pain…[I quit because] it was just too much."
In a addition to taking care of the children, her nannies were tasked with household chores, taking care of the pets, maintaining the chicken coop, and even landscaping.
Even her former Dancing With The Stars partner, Tony Dovoloni, echoed these unpleasant sentiments.
“Some of these celebrities, or reality celebrities, I should say, they sometimes … they have an idea of what they think they are and who they are, and they didn’t realize that I wasn’t there to deal with them," explained the professional dancer. "I was there to teach them how to dance. So, when it becomes about other than teaching them how to dance, I want no part of it."
The facts only get crazier from here...
5. Kate allegedly fed her kids stale lunch
According to court documents filed by Jon, Kate is abusive towards their children. He claims that she switched their bedroom doorknobs so it can only be locked and unlocked from the outside.
This change made it easier for her to keep the kids locked in their own rooms for hours at a time. She would even deny them trips to the bathroom, said Jon.
Another outrageous claim he made is that Kate often fed the children old and stale food.
"Mother packs that exact same item the next day, and the next day until they eat it. Hannah reported having moldy strawberries and Alexis said her sandwich is stale…[The same leftovers were packed in [Leah's box] for many weeks," read the document.
Kate still has custody of the children, so these claims are so far unfounded. After all the false allegations Jon made against his ex-wife over the years, we'll take these ones with a grain of salt.
6. Jon spied on Kate
In 2012, author Robert Hoffman released a tell-all book titled Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World. The book focused on the "ugly" side of Kate.
The reality star's lawyers managed to successful have the book pulled off the shelves two weeks after it went on sale.
Turns out, a good chunk of the dirt in the book was provided by Jon. Kate alleged that her ex-husband hacked her email, stole a personal hard drive from her computer, and wiretapped her phone.
She planned to press charges, which could have landed him jail, but eventually dropped the claims.
7. Kate may not have had fertility problems
When we first met Jon and Kate, they revealed that they had trouble conceiving naturally, which is why they opted for fertility treatments.
Apparently, Kate wanted multiple babies, and although she did get her wish when she welcomed her twin daughters, she wasn't satisfied. After another round of treatment, she became pregnant with the sextupets that made the family famous.
According to Hoffman's book, Kate "copied" Bobbi McCaughey, who became famous in 1997 for giving birth to seven babies.
Of course, Kate refuted the claim, but there is no denying that certain aspects of their stories are awfully similar. For instance, just like the McCaugheys, the Gosselins chose Alexis and Joel as the names of the oldest and youngest sextuplets.
8. Kate was accused of racism
A few years ago, Kate landed herself in hot water after a photo of her mocking Asian people surfaced.
Kate is pictured wearing a geisha-inspired headpiece and using her fingers to make her eyes appear narrower, an act that is considered very offensive.
Kate later addressed the controversy saying that she had no idea how the photo, which was stored on her home computer, made it on the internet.
She also clarified that if she was racist she wouldn't marry a second-generation Korean man.
"It was a happy time for me and Jon, smiling and 'goofing off' together," she wrote. "Jon and I were opening fan mail together one afternoon—which often filled the garage of our Elizabethtown home—and when we opened this plastic Asian dress up wig sent from a caring fan, we smiled, each taking turns posing in it and snapping photos (on my phone) of each other. Naturally, I 'slanted' my eyes to show him my best Asian impression, which made him smile."
9. Jon fired a gun at a photographer
Back in 2013, Jon became agitated after a paparazza followed him home from the restaurant he was working at. In retaliation, he brandished a gun and fired a warning shot at the photographer, according to TMZ.
Jon later insisted that he had no intentions to harm her. He told the celebrity news website that he is "licensed to carry a concealed handgun," and was simply exercising "his rights under Pennsylvania law when someone is trespassing on private property."
10. Kate filmed a talk show pilot that never aired
At the height of her fame, Kate took advantage of any opportunity presented to her. She wanted to remain in the limelight after her divorce from Jon and the end of their family's original show.
In 2009, Radar reported that she and Paula Deen were in the process of filming a talk show pilot. The show, inspired by the popular website Mom Logic, was supposed to feature a mix of advice, beauty tips, health, and celebrity gossip.
Unfortunately for Kate and Paula, the pilot was never picked up because producers felt that the reality star was too controversial. She was also reportedly too shy and quiet during her audition.
One insider went as far as claiming that Kate "was never contracted to be on the panel, she was just meant to be a guest."
I guess we'll never really know who is telling the truth.
One thing that we do know is that a failed talk show wasn't going to stop Kate and her children from remaining under the spotlight. In 2010, TLC brought back the Gosselins, minus Jon, when they renamed the series Kate Plus 8.
Despite endless controversy and behind-the-scenes drama, the show is still on air.