Curious timing! The same day People published an excerpt from its Dec. 20 cover story highlighting Kate Gosselin and her twin daughters' life outside the limelight, In Touch also put the famous family on the cover of its Jan. 20 issue—and it paints a very different picture of the controversial mom of eight.
In the tabloid interview, Jon Gosselin slams his ex-wife for wanting to put their children back on TV. "I consider that exploitation," says the former TLC reality star. He also alleges that the former Dancing With the Stars competitor is driven by greed and will stop at nothing to stay in the spotlight.
"She uses them as her props," Jon, 36, says of Kate keeping their children in the public eye. "It's a problem for her that she can't afford our old lifestyle anymore. It's so unfair to them. I work really hard to keep my kids safe and then she just goes and tweets about them all the time. I don't have a Twitter anymore and even when I did, I never tweeted about my kids. I kept their lives private."
(While coupon queen Kate does indeed involve her children in various projects, her financial status is not known.)
Jon, who next appears on Vh1's Couples Therapy with girlfriend Liz Janetta, regrets letting Discovery Health and TLC film his family from 2005 to 2011. "I don't think being on TV is good for kids. A lot of them do not want to film and they come to me and tell me that," the restaurant waiter claims. "It's upsetting and I think it's embarrassing for them. They are enjoying having an ordinary childhood."
The divorced dad also worries that the prolonged media exposure may have caused some long-term damage. "They shy away from cameras and I don't think that is normal," Jon says of twins Cara and Mady, 13, and sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel and Leah, 9.
Despite her father's worries, Cara insists she's happy. "I feel like I've done a pretty good job at handling everything," she tells People. "People who think they know who we are, they don't really understand."
In fact, being the oldest of eight siblings has been more challenging for the twins than having their parents' divorce play out in the press. "Having six little kids show up all at once, that's the big deal in our life," Mady says. "And their messes, and their being annoying. I mean, I love them, but...yeesh."