The father of eight is off the market -- and secretly has been for two years.
Jon Gosselin is off the market -- and secretly has been for a while now.
"Jon and Stephanie have been quietly dating for almost two years. Jon wanted nothing more than to respect Stephanie’s privacy," the former reality star's rep tells ET. "They are very much in love and have been dating for almost two years. Stephanie adores Hannah and Collin and they have already been on numerous family trips together."
In an interview with The Sun, published on Tuesday, Aug. 1, the 46-year-old father of eight reveals that he’s met 35-year-old Stephanie Lebo at a backyard barbecue for their mutual friend, Dean.
"It was a hillbilly thing. We let fireworks off. It was fun. I had been single for a few months after Colleen [Conrad] and I broke up," says Jon while talking to the outlet at the luxury Ette Hotel in Orlando, Florida.
As for Jon and Colleen, they started dating in 2014, but knew each other long before that as they'd grown up together in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. While Jon is dad to eight children with his ex-wife, Kate Gosselin, Colleen has two children from a previous relationship.
ET learned Jon and Colleen split in August 2021. At the time, a source said, "After seven years together living as a family, Jon and Colleen have decided it’s time to move on. This wasn’t an easy decision for them, one they didn’t take lightly. Jon wanted nothing more than to make his relationship work with Colleen. They tried both couples and family therapy but, in the end, realized they were better off as friends."
After meeting at the party, Stephanie tells The Sun she and Jon started messaging and "never stopped talking." A few days after connecting, the duo went on a date, but not before Jon ran it by their mutual friend, Dean.
"I called Dean because he is like Steph’s brother and I said, 'Did you ever hook up with Stephanie?' and he said, 'No, man, she’s like my sister,’ and then I called Stephanie and asked her the same. She said, 'No way he’s like my brother,'" he recalls. "So I called Dean back and said, 'Do you mind if I ask Steph out?' And he said, 'No, I don’t mind, but if you hurt her, I’ll kill you. I'll snap you in half.' And he's a big guy," Jon told the outlet.
The Gosselin family became household names after starring in the TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, which debuted in 2007. The show ended in 2017, but by that time, Jon had left the series and it was renamed Kate Plus 8.
Stephanie knew who Jon was before they met, but wasn’t phased by his reality star past.
"I did know who he was when I first met him, although I haven’t watched the show as faithfully as some others have, but I knew who he was and I had seen him DJing before," she tells the outlet. "So I knew about his past and everything, although I was never Team Jon or Team Kate because I just didn’t know enough or watch the show that much."
Jon says he felt relieved that Stephanie was understanding about his tumultuous relationship with Kate.
"I never thought relationships were easy," he confesses. "I always thought my relationships were going to be a struggle and people would always have a chip on their shoulder where they’d say, ‘Screw you, you’re famous and I don’t have anything and I’ve had to give up this or that.’ But this time, it’s not like that at all. It’s easy."
Jon and Kate recently spoke out amid drama between their children. In a statement to ET, the dad of eight defended his son, Collin, after his daughter, Mady, accused her younger brother of "violent behavior." Meanwhile, in her own statement, Kate took the opposite side, aligning herself with Mady.
Jon and Kate share eight children. Collin is part of a set of 19-year-old sextuplets -- Aaden, Alexis, Hannah, Joel, and Leah -- while 22-year-old Mady has a twin sister, Cara.