Since March, they have appeared on the cover of the major celebrity weeklies more than 50 times—more than any other celebrity, including Brad and Angelina. That was the story that broke the rumor of an affair between Kate and her bodyguard, Steve Neild—an allegation Kate has called “disgusting and unthinkable.” A spokesman for Neild deems the rumors without “any merit whatsoever.”Neild, a dashing, salt-and-pepper-haired former counter-terrorism cop from New Zealand (also married), is in the hotel room with us now. “I think it’s too risky,” he tells Kate, who just shrugs, blandly conceding, resembling not at all the self-described control freak who bossed and bullied Jon through the first four seasons of their reality show (once barking at him in a store, “Come! It’s an image that’ll play well in the media: Kate buying toys for the kids while Jon is on the cover of announced), Kate says they have hounded her “every single single single single single single single day of my life. I hate it so much.”I say you can almost feel sympathy for the celebrities who lose their tempers around photographers. ” Kate asks archly.“I’m waiting for the call,” Goldberg says, laughing.“I’m actually there to keep the paparazzi safe,” Neild jokes.“Shut up,” Kate tells them sharply, frowning.
And most of this frenzy of coverage has not been at all flattering to Kate, her image, or her fledgling “brand,” which already includes books, DVDs, product endorsements, speaking engagements, and plans for a children’s-clothing line and a talk show of her own.“I’m running a business—hello? ” “You yelled at me like I’m a frickkin’ dog,” Jon whined). “Now that’s where I draw the line.”How did Kate Gosselin become a reality superstar?
She challenged the ruling denying her aid, the news of which prompted an outpouring of angry letters into papers across Pennsylvania.
Even before she was on TV, Kate was controversial, seen as a diva.
“And yet part of the sick appeal is, I think, every single person who’s married can admit there’s a little bit of Kate Gosselin lurking in them.”In the show’s fourth season, in 2008, Jon seemed to experience what Gail Collins has cleverly identified as the “feminine ‘problem that has no name’ that Betty Friedan wrote about in 1963.” He had been working again, this time as an I. analyst in the governor of Pennsylvania’s office in Harrisburg, but then he quit.“He said he ‘just wanted to be Jon,’” Kate says disdainfully. “I remember Jon and I having a conversation some time in 2007,” Kate says, “to the effect of ‘We’re in this, and we can never go back,’ and I kind of secretly had a little grip of fear.” When they renewed their vows, in Hawaii, in the summer of 2008, she says, it was the first time they were “paparazzi’d.”“I think Jon lost his identity,” says someone who works for the show. This is a classic story of people growing apart.”A reality star was born.
She got a tummy tuck and a trainer and a new hairdo, which she traveled 90 miles, each way, to have styled. They also had a new house, a $1.3 million, 6,200-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom Mc Mansion on 36 acres in Berks County, Pennsylvania, a rural area with a lot of affluence. The paparazzi follow—on bikes, in cars, weaving in and out of traffic, turning back and pointing their cameras at Kate.
Figure 8 found Jon and Kate—a laid-back, laid-off I. specialist and an uptight pediatric nurse with a set of twins, age five, and sextuplets, age two—in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg.
Kate was the daughter of an evangelical pastor and Jon the son of a pediatric dentist; they had both grown up in Pennsylvania, she in Reading and he in Huntingdon.Their weekly show debuted on TLC the following year.Speculation about their compensation per episode has ranged from ,000 to ,000—“I wish!Kate yelled at Jon; she ordered him around, made fun of him. He now says he felt “abused.” Once, as Jon served the mounds of pancakes Kate was making for the kids, she quipped, “I’m the cook, he’s the waitress.” “Waiter,” Jon corrected her in his desultory fashion.And this was another aspect of the show that seemed to whip up -ian winds: in an era of confusion about gender roles in marriage—not to mention an era obsessed with mommy culture—Kate was unapologetically wearing the pants.“I think part of the intrigue was that Kate was behaving in a way you don’t expect mothers to behave,” says Janice Min, the former editor of who put Jon and Kate on the cover an unprecedented seven times in a row. And Kate was like, It’s funny, I hated the fame and now I’m liking it. Jon acknowledged on the show that she was the one who had the writing, the books, the career.He wore a leather jacket back then; she, a former cheerleader, wore scrunchies.