It's been seven years since the Jon & Kate Plus 8 star divorced from his wife, Kate Gosselin, and said goodbye to the reality show that made them famous. Now, Jon is speaking out on how his life has changed since he and his family first appeared on the popular TLC series.
"I'm not afraid anymore," Jon insists during an interview with Yahoo! Celebrity. "I'm not under TLC. I don't have to behave."
Jon says his relationship with Kate has been nearly nonexistent ever since the two called it quits, and it doesn't seem like things are going to get better anytime soon. Jon describes their current status as "bad right now."
"Kate tells my kids a lot of stuff, and they tell me," he claims. "I don't want to get my kids in trouble, but she pretty much alienates me. 'He's a party boy. He does this…'"
Per his and Kate's custody agreement, Jon is technically allowed to see their eight children once a week for dinner and let them stay at his home every other weekend. Unfortunately, Jon says he only gets to see four of them at a time and "has no control over" who he gets to see.
"I can't do anything," he explains, alleging that he hasn't seen 12-year-old Collin, one of their sextuplets, in a year and a half. "It's unfair of her to do that, considering she claims that she does her best for all my kids. Dah, dah, dah, drama. 'I'm perfect.' No one's perfect, honey. Trust me."
In addition to Collin, Jon and Kate are also parents to Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Leah and Joel (all 12 years of age), and 15-year-old twins Cara and Mady.
"Now all the secrets are coming out because I'm not afraid to say anything," he adds. "'How come you only get four kids?' Because who I get is who I get. Whoever comes through that gate or gets off that [school] bus is who I get. And Collin is homeschooled, so he doesn't get off a bus."
He admits he "loves them all," but isn't going to force them to visit. "If the kids want to come, they come."
Jon now resides in his hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and "pays his bills" by working as a DJ. It's the first time he's been able to be his own boss, as Jon says Kate always took on that role for him when they were together.
"It's the longest job I've had after the divorce, and it's all mine," he dishes. "I own it."
"I get good money," he notes. "I work at Building 24 in my hometown. It's great for my kids. It means I'm not traveling a lot. [But] I make more money booking than I do DJ'ing. You can only DJ seven days a week. You're capped. But if you have other DJs working for you, that's increased."
Jon also hopes to return to TV, this time in a documentary-style series with a focus on music.
"The platform might start off on YouTube, and we'll see what happens, but I'm sure somebody is going to pick it up as soon as they see my face," he reveals. "Unfortunately, that's how it works."
The series would be much different than Jon & Kate Plus 8, however, as he has no plans to feature his kids. "I will never film my kids again," he insists. "It will never happen. Never ever."
"I'm 39 and I finally know what I want to do," he points out. "For those who had patience with me, God bless 'em. For those who don't, I'll see you on TV."
Jon has received a lot of hate over the years, so he's well aware that people will most likely continue to bring him down. Jon says that's not going to happen his time around, however.
"I know everything that's going on. I know all the s**t people talk about me," he confesses. "I know the haters, the lovers, the team this, the team that."
"Because I was sworn to secrecy by TLC through my injunction, I had no voice," he further explains. "I had to wait until all of that rode out and hope that people still understand where I’m coming from. Now that there are more reality shows, I think people are more understanding. But then? Then, it was different."