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EXCLUSIVE: Jon Gosselin Defends Part-Time TGI Friday's Job: 'Why Can't I Work at a Restaurant?'

by Alex Ungerman 5:27 PM PDT, July 20, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Jon Gosselin Defends Part-Time TGI Friday's Job: 'Why Can't I Work at a Restaurant?'

Jon Gosselin isn't letting all the noise over his TGI Friday's job get to him.

The former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star tells ET's Jennifer Peros that while his full-time job is DJing -- he has a residency at the Building 24 night club in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania -- he took a part-time gig at the restaurant chain "maybe a month and a half ago," because he likes to cook, and to help out a buddy.

"I only work there 8 hours a week, because I like to do it," Gosselin, 39, shares. "Why can’t I work at a restaurant? I like to cook."

"My buddy needed help so I said OK, why not," he adds of how he got started working on the kitchen line. "I’ll saute!"

MORE: Jon Gosselin Explains Why He Worked at TGI Friday's: 'I'm Passionate About Cooking'

Gosselin lasted a month before a photo of him working in the kitchen was leaked on Wednesday. "I see the picture and I’m wondering who leaked it,” he says. "They don’t really understand how it works. How many people it affects and the chain reaction."

He said he left the restaurant chain after the image leaked, but is considering returning.

Thankfully, the reality star has plenty of experience with the media cycle and knows it just keeps moving.

"Today I’m a headline, tomorrow someone else screws up in Hollywood, and I’m off the front page," he says, noting, "But I didn’t screw up this time, I’m just working.”

WATCH: Jon Gosselin Admits He Knows People Talk 'S**t' About Him

Since leaving the TLC show, Gosselin has faced endless scrutiny over his choices and continues to, even though he doesn’t quite understand why.

"They think I’m a joke,” he says of the public’s opinion of him. "I didn’t do anything to be a joke! All I did was have eight kids and raise them on television. But then I quit. I partied for six months after that and they’re going to hinge my whole life existence on six months of making appearances so I could pay my attorney fees during my divorce?"

Whenever the spotlight does fall on him, Gosselin just focuses on what really matters.

"My mom and I just look and each other and just laugh and say 'What is going on?!’ he says. "But whatever. I just laugh. I have nothing to hide. I have a super supportive girlfriend, my family is great. My kids love me. I have a pretty simple life. I have guy friends now, which never happened. I didn’t have time for friends — I worked. People bash me but I work more than most people."

As for if he’ll return to the restaurant, he’s taking a two-week break and hopes to return after that. "I’m so thankful TGI Fridays hired me as a cook -- just as me, not the reality TV me. They respect what I do,” he gushes. "It’s a passion of mine."

In the meantime, he’s focusing on his main passion — music. Gosselin says that one benefit of DJ'ing is that it helps him spend more time with his children.

EXCLUSIVE -- Jon Gosselin Says He Didn't Mock Kate's Breakup on Facebook: I Wouldn't Trash My Kids' Mother

"It’s awesome -- I get to be with my kids during the day, especially in the summer," he shares. "Why not do something you love, and make people happy?"

While he donated most of his TGI Friday’s paycheck to charity, Gosselin also notes that a great deal of what he earned on Jon & Kate Plus 8, he used to make sure "my kids were taken care of."

"They’re doing well," he shares, explaining that at times, there's "confusion with filming and what [Kate's] doing," but that ultimately, "They're older, they understand."

WATCH: Jon Gosselin Steps Out Holding Hands With New Girlfriend

"I try and integrate them as much as possible," he adds of keeping his children exposed to real life. "We’ll go to the pool in the summer, or the beach."

Meanwhile, Gosselin and his ex-wife are still not on great terms.

WATCH: Kate Gosselin Says Jon Lives His Own Life

"I don’t talk to Kate," he says. "I’ve almost been divorced as long as I was married."

"I’m not trying to stop the shows she’s doing now," he shares, adding that when he speaks out, it's only because "It’s kinda hard not to when people are throwing you under a bus."

Watch the video below for more of Gosselin's thoughts on life after Kate.

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