Jon and Kate Gosselin lied to their eight children in order to stage a Christmas episode for their TLC show, Kate's brother Kevin Kreider charged in a public hearing in Horshow, Pennsylvania Wednesday. Another claim: the kids were taped potty training — and their parents weren't present.
Critical of set conditions on Jon and Kate Plus Eight, Kevin and wife Jodi spoke of the show's potential "psychological damage" to twins Mady and Cara, 9, and 5-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Collin, Joel, Hannah, Leah and Alexis.
State Representative Tom Murt called the hearing to address mounting worries about child labor practices as they relate to reality TV — and the famous Gosselin kids were the day's biggest example.
According to MyFoxPhilly, the Kreiders were first to testify before Wednesday's panel, and Kevin described the "vivid example" of a staged "Christmas" episode.
"The children were told it was Christmas morning. It was so that the camera crew could get the genuine reaction of the children," Kevin recounted. "It wasn't until after, later that they were told it was not Christmas morning, they just did it for the show. Can you imagine how confused eight little kids were that morning?"
Kevin and "Aunt Jodi" also said that the kids' privacy and safety were threatened, with cameras and crew members invading their bedrooms and bathrooms. The children's potty training sessions — allegedly filmed without Jon, 33, or Kate, 35, present — were later uploaded to the internet, Radaronline reports.
The hearing also disclosed new details about an investigation into Jon and Kate Plus 8 — charging that child-labor permits should have been obtained for the kids' appearances on TLC's hit show.
The Associated Press confirmed that the state will take not further legal action against the show's producers — as long as at least 15% of proceeds from the cancelled series are put into a trust fund for the kids, and child-labor permits are obtained for any future filming. "It's important to note that we did an investigation and we made sure the children were not in any danger or endangered as a result of the work they were doing," Troy Thompson of Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry said.
Also on hand for the hearing: celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. "They are separate people from their parents, and they need to make sure that their interests are advanced," Allred said of the kids. "Those interests include regulation of their wages, regulation of the hours that they work, their working conditions on the set..The work place is their home that is being televised."
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