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    Jon Gosselin Launches "David vs. Goliath" Fight for Right to Be a Media Whore

    Jon Gosselin INFphoto.com

    In between fake breaking up with his girlfriend, posing with fellow infamous pop-culture trainwrecks, befriending rabbis and showing a modicum of self-awareness by promoting mocking himself in viral videos, Jon Gosselin has found time to fight back against TLC.

    The former reality TV dad is countersuing the Jon and Kate Plus 8 cable net, answering their widening breach-of-contract suit against him by claiming TLC not only violated child labor laws while filming his octobrood at their Pennsylvania compound, but made him sign a totally unfair contract that severely restricted him from pimping Ed Hardy, making the entertainment news show rounds and doing whatever else it is he does to earn money these days.

    Aside from alleging that the network caused him to lose business opportunities and harmed his reputation (we weren't aware he needed help on that last one), Gosselin claims in his $5 million suit that the network has also failed to make good on the promise of some cold, hard cash.

    "Jon is going to court with a slingshot and is going to aim it at the eye of the monster, TLC," attorney Mark Heller told E! News.

    The monster has yet to comment on Gosselin's salvo, which is making its way through Maryland's Montgomery County Circuit Court.

    But according to documents leaked to Radar Online, Gosselin reveals that he pocketed $22,500 per half-hour episode and $45,000 for the hour-long, Very Special Episodes—and says he is still owed $175,000.

    As for his contract-violating moneymaking ventures, well, if it's flimsy excuses you're looking for, Gosselin's got you covered.

    The tabloid staple insists in the court documents that the contract TLC apparently forced him into signing is "against Public Policy and therefore, unenforceable and null and void," as he and his family were represented by neither a lawyer nor manager during their initial negotiations back in 2005. Then unknowns, they were taking home just $2,000 per episode.

    "They didn't know how they would support themselves," Heller said. "That was less than $200 per head, when you think about it. And it did not even compensate them for the use of their 24-acre farm. So they clearly were violating minimum wage standards. And they had them sign an agreement without a lawyer, without a manager, which was a very overbearing one-sided contract."

    As for the child labor law violations, Gosselin claims that it was written into their April 2008 contracts that he and Kate would be responsible for obtaining the necessary filming permits, but that the responsibility was passed to them simply because they did not know how to go about obtaining such permits, thus ensuring that TLC could circumvent the laws and videotape the kids with abandon.

    Per the documents, such sneaky contract ploys "were designed to take advantage of Mr. Gosselin's inexperience and lack of sophistication, while attempting to protect [TLC] from liability and obligation."

    As for his ability to shill, Gosselin goes on to say that should the contract be upheld, he would be "unable to earn a living as a television personality, and therefore be precluded from supporting his eight children."

    Give him fame or give him death, people.

    Painting Gosselin as the David to TLC's Goliath, Heller said that Jon is constrained by the contract even as he's been pushed out of the series.

    "They have put the show on a permanent hiatus...They have eliminated him from the title in any event. Jon and Kate Plus 8 is now Kate Plus 8.

    "They would like to shackle this guy from being in any other television productions, not go forward with the one he is obligated under and it is costing him a lot of opportunities."

    Gosselin further asserts that TLC's parent company Discovery got in on the media-blocking act, and on Aug. 9 of this year did their best to strong-arm various media outlets into maintaining Jon Gosselin-free airwaves.

    Needless to say, his Self-Promotingness was not amused.

    "As a result of Plaintiff-Discovery's conduct and actions, Defendant-Gosselin has suffered and will continue to suffer harm to his reputation, lost business opportunities, lost profits and other consequential damages, such as, but not limited to, a loss of good will and name recognition."

    Actually, if there's one thing the world can agree he didn't lose, it's name recognition. If only Discovery had hussled a little more.

    Meanwhile, from the Let's Think This Through Department, Gosselin claimed that his rigid contract with TLC prevented him from earning a decent living ($22,500 can only buy so much Red Bull and vodka, after all). TLC answered that claim by pointing out that if he had just abided by his contract, he would still be on TV and, more or less, rolling in it.

    Money, that is. It's safe to say he's rolling in something else entirely these days.

    The first hearing in the case, to discuss TLC's original breach-of-contract suit and request for preliminary injunction, is set to be heard on Dec. 14.

    And it's shaping up to be quite the gathering. While TLC has already successfully supboenaed Hailey Glassman, Michael Lohan and Gosselin's divorce lawyers in the case, they recently added Jon's two-week Star fling Kate Major to the list of people who will be called to testify.

    Not that Gosselin & Co. are worried.

    "We are extremely confident that the courts in Maryland are going to look at this case not only as breach of Jon's rights, but also as a horrendous affront to public policy as it impacts children," Heller said. "I can't think of anymore egregious tort than taking advantage of, or abusing children in the workplace."

    —Additional reporting by Whitney English

    (Originally published on Nov. 12, 2009 at 10:20 a.m. PT)

    ________

    You want more Gosselin? You got it.

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