Known for her tart-tongued verbal assaults on husband Jon, as seen on the TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8, Kate Gosselin came from humble beginnings — growing up in a trailer park and not riding on an airplane until her honeymoon to Disney World. Married to Jon from 1999 to 2009, former nurse Kate gave birth to twin daughters Madelyn and Cara in 2000. Sextuplets Aaden, Hannah, Leah, Collin, Alexis and Joel were born as a result of in vitro fertilization in 2004. Kate’s family — from whom she is now estranged — are angered by her greed and desire for celebrity. In addition to rejecting cribs for her sextuplets because they did not match, Kate charged $20 for photos of her children at public appearances for her books Multiple Blessings and Eight Little Faces. As rumors of her husband’s infidelity surfaced in early 2009, Kate faced scrutiny for her too-close relationship with married bodyguard Steve Neild, who had been under the Gosselin’s employ since 2007.
As the show’s fifth season premiere commanded a record 9.8 million viewers in spring 2009, TLC announced they had ordered a 40-episode season. The Gosselins earn a reported $75,000 per episode. On the June 22, 2009 episode, the couple announced they were separating. Their divorce was finalized six months later, when Kate was granted primary custody of their children.
In March 2010, Gosselin competed on the 10th season of Dancing With the Stars with partner Tony Dovolani. Gosselin headlined her own TLC reality series, Twist of Kate, that summer. She starred in a series of specials titled Kate Plus 8, which ran from 2010 to 2011 and later returned in 2014. Kate Plus 8 stopped filming when it was revealed in a 2017 episode that the exes were in a custody battle over two of their children, Collin and Hannah. One year later, Jon was awarded sole custody of Collin, who has special needs, and claimed via Instagram that Hannah “permanently” lives with him. As of 2018, the estranged couple are no longer communicating, except through attorneys.
In May 2019, TLC revealed that the three-time New York Times best-selling author would be starring in a reality dating series, Kate Plus Date, which premiered in June.