Couple Jon and Kate took more pounding in the media Wednesday. Meanwhile, it was hard to say how the harsh spotlight being focused on the Gosselin marriage would affect their TLC series, “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” On its Web site, Us Weekly described an over friendly relationship between Kate Gosselin and her married bodyguard, Steve Neild, that “caught the attention of her husband, Jon – and has become the talk of many locals” in their Pennsylvania community.
And People magazine’s Web site quoted Gosselin as saying she and her husband have been struggling for months.
I don’t know that we’re in the same place anymore, that we want the same thing,” she said. “I’ve been struggling with the question of ‘who is this person?’ for a while.”
Gosselin, who has previously denied having an affair with Neild, recalled the first time she heard the name of the woman with whom her husband was reportedly having an affair.
“It’s one of those things where you can try to make it go away,” Gosselin said, “but there’s blaring, red flashing lights.”
Jon Gesselin has denied cheating with the 23-year-old schoolteacher, and he apologized for putting his family in an “awkward situation.”
But Kate Gosselin told People she can finally envision a future apart from Jon.
“When your mind is ready to go there,” she said, “you can accept any number of scenarios.”
However, it turns out, this unfolding soap opera is a different kind of show than the first four seasons of “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”
TLC’s most popular series, it attracts an average audience of more than 2.8 million viewers as the Gosselins, along with their eight children, face the wholesome, everyday challenges of family life.
Marital discord afflicting TV co-stars could give “Jon & Kate” a new tone.
“There’s no question they’re going through a tough time,” said TLC spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg. “But we are shooting, and the series is continuing.”
The new, 40-week season will premiere May 25 with an hourlong edition.
Jon and Kate will talk about what’s going on, with all the scrutiny,” said Goldberg. Although she didn’t specify how the show’s narrative would factor in the continuing scandal, “the show is based on authenticity,” she said, “and with all the allegations that are out there, it’s important that they talk about them.
As theater and ratings, if I'm running a network, the trouble in the marriage of Jon and Kate right now is the best thing that could possibly happen," says Sheri Parks, associate professor of popular culture at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The marital ugliness is turning off Lori Pleasant, a Baltimore mother of two and part-time marketing consultant. Pleasant, who has watched the show for years, can't see herself giving much more of her time to what has essentially become a painful, ugly soap opera.
"I'll definitely start tuning out if it's all 'he said, she said' and 'we're splitting up.' I don't want to watch that," she said. "Let's show some positives, some reconciliation."