The questions surrounding “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” patriarch Jon Gosselin do not end with whether he cheated on Kate, as Us Weekly reports on their cover for the second consecutive week. There’s also speculation about the impetus behind the couple’s publicity blitz since Us broke its story.
The couple denied the affair to Entertainment Weekly on May 6, and is scheduled to appear on TODAY May 7; Kate will be on “Larry King Live” later the same day. According to an industry source, the appearances have been arranged by TLC, which broadcasts “Jon & Kate,” in an effort to rebut the cheating claims.
“(TLC was) completely enraged by the story in last week’s Us, and this week they didn’t respond to multiple (comment) requests. Then you see the (alleged) mistress talking to People, and Jon and Kate to EW,” said the source. “If the story wasn’t true, you’d think they would have lawyered up and fought it on Monday before it got out. Now, they’ve flipped out about how to handle this.”
A source from within TLC refutes the claim and says the appearances were booked in advance to promote Kate’s book “Eight Little Faces,” which came out April 19 (the new season of the show doesn’t air until May 25).
“They were booked on shows two months ago via the book publishers, and the Entertainment Weekly feature was in the works,” the source says. “Two weeks ago, EW was planning on doing a ‘behind the scenes with the family piece,’ but obviously now they had to address these (infidelity) questions.”
If you need proof that Jon’s behavior is a big story, reference last week’s Us Weekly, which broke the news of the alleged affair on its cover. It sold more than a million copies, making it one of the most successful issues of the year.
Why is the public so interested?
“You can’t work this kind of reality into a reality show,” says Us Weekly editor in chief Janice Min. “This isn’t Nick and Jessica on ‘Newlyweds,’ this (scandal) actually makes the show more interesting.”
TLC issued this statement on behalf of Jon Gosselin: "These allegations are false and just plain hurtful. As I adjust to the attention that comes from being in the public eye, I need to be more careful and aware of who I am associating with and where I am spending my time. But the bottom line is, I did not cheat on Kate. I am sorry for putting my family in this awkward position, given some poor decisions and bad judgments I've made recently. I am working through this difficult time with my family. My family is my top priority."
Keeping tabs: People weighs in
Weight loss stories are a dime a dozen, but a weight gain story, with the gainer in question speaking on the record? That doesn’t happen every day, which is why People magazine is the pick for the best cover this week.
The main cover image shows a current photo of Kirstie Alley, paired with a photo of the star in slimmer days, with the headline, “Yes, I gained 83 lbs!”
The only other cover elements are a photo of cheated-on political wife Elizabeth Edwards, and one of ailing Farrah Fawcett with the headline "Farrah's Final Fight." Pitch-perfect and newsy, but all three cover stories tug at the heartstrings. Those who want to look away from the Gosselins will be looking toward this issue of People.
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.