Jon Gosselin can't play nice, so he doesn't want his kids to play at all.
TLC has temporarily halted production on of Jon and Kate Plus 8 after Gosselin fired off two cease-and-desist letters and posted a sign at his home warning camera crews to stay away.
The 10th-most liked member is attempting to not only take his ball and go home—and make off with the entire playground—after the cable net announced the octodad has been dropped from the soon-to-be rebranded reality hit. Gosselin's latest gripes also come just hours before he launches his media blitz on, we suspect, a largely uninterested nation.
Ironically enough, while Gosselin was quick to defend the production's noninvasive presence in his children's lives for the many years he was involved in the show, now that he's been ousted, he seems to have suddenly developed a few moral problems with their participation. Go figure.
"Effective immediately, no production crews are to enter Jon's family home for any reason," one of the letters, sent to TLC by attorney Mark Jay Heller, read. "In the event that anyone enters the marital property, Jon Gosselin will notify the local authorities to effectuate police action against any trespassers."
The family's Wernersville, Pa., home has long served as the backdrop of the reality show and, you'll recall, many a makeshift paparazzi photoshoot and press conference for Jon himself. (Judging by the newly erected and clearly unspell-checked notice signed by "Johnathon Gosselin," we're guessing such newsworthy events are numbered.)
And while the letters were dated Tuesday, the same day of TLC's Jon-dumping announcement, he claims the decision to pull the kids was made several weeks ago.
"This isn't about money," Heller told E! News. "This isn't a negotiation tactic. This is about his kids. He's worried about what impact the show is having on them and is taking action.
"He's done with the show."
And apparently wants his kids to be, too. But not because he's jealous, mind you. Au contraire.
"He hasn't been fired. As TLC said in their statement, they have an 'exclusive' contract with him. He has been trying to get out of that contract for a long time.
"TLC has issues with the Pennsylvania department of labor, they've got issues with Jon saying he thinks the kids are starting not to like the cameras. He's taking action to protect his children."
As for those issues, Heller claims the cable net not only never followed through on obtaining the special permits required by Pennsylvania Child Labor Law to legally film the eight-strong brood, but they failed to properly pay the kids.
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry confirmed to E! News that there remains an active investigation into the show, after allegations surfaced earlier this year that child labor laws may have been breached. They noted, however, that "no new information" was available to release about the investigation.
Heller went on to say that TLC may not have a leg to stand on if they wish to fight Gosselin's legal action, saying their contract with the family may prove unenforceable and that the network has yet to pay the children for their four years on the series.
TLC, as you would expect, has come out swinging against Gosselin's claims.
"We are aware of Jon Gosselin's recent statements and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behavior," a spokesman for the broadcaster told E! News.
"He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic. Despite Jon Gosselin's repeated self-destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC.
"Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents."
Which seems to be exactly what Jon wanted in advance of next month's planned Kate-centric relaunch of the show.
"I am totally confident that he will be completely successful in his quest to take back control of his family and preserve, protect and ensure their future well-being by putting the brakes on his divorce and pulling the plug on TLCm the media giant that he perceives as a monster that has exploited and manipulated his family and has been partially responsible for the breakdown of his marriage."
And here we thought the Gosselins were overdramatic.
As for the reality dad, he has not and will not, per his lawyer, give the required consent for his kids' involvement and, if necessary, seek court intervention.
"Jon is resolved not to allow the TLC corporate machine to devour his family and promote the monster's best interests over those of his family."
Citing the network's recent quarterly earnings of some $186 million, which he claims came "compliments of the Gosselin Family," Heller claims that it's the cable channel that's motivated by dollar signs, not his client.
"Jon firmly believes that their greed to continue that cash flow will be trumped by his courage and determination to protect his family."
His parental concern would seem much more genuine if only it had come before his pay cut.
—Additional reporting by Ken Baker and Ashley Fultz
(Originally published on Oct. 1, 2009 at 8:37 a.m. PT)
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