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Jon Gosselin

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Kate Gosselin got some good press this week, what with being named one of Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009.Her estranged hubby? Not so much.

Yes, it was Pile on Jon Gosselin Day at a Maryland courthouse as the preliminary hearing kicked off in his and TLC's dueling civil suits over Jon & Kate Plus 8

And the octodad sure picked a good time to be MIA as TLC honcho Edward Sabin tore Gosselin apart.

Per Radar Online, Sabin said his star's extracurricular activities (ranging from Vegas pool parties with bikini-clad babes to promoting his Hollywood Rebel clothing line) was not only "embarassing" but "it made the show look bad and was like "pouring oil on the fire" of the bad publicity engufling the once family-friendly reality show.

And that's where we come in...

Sabin said the tipping point in his battles with Papa Gosselin came after he tried to do an interview with our very own E! Entertainment Television—what Sabin called a blatant violation of an exclusivity clause in Gosselin's TLC contract. That interview was eventually dropped but he did eventually land paid deals with Entertainment Tonight and The Insider.

But that's not all. Sabin listed several potential side projects that Gosselin wanted to do despite being under TLC's lock-and-key, including a proposed reality show with Michael Lohan called Divorced Dads Club as well as a couple of  Super Bowl spots.

So far, lawyers have deposed Lohan and Gosselin's former female sidekicks Hailey Glassman and Kate Major.

No word on where Gosselin was today—attorney Mark Heller had earlier said that Gosselin would be present.

In this countersuit, the former reality patriarch claims TLC took advantage of him and made him sign an overly restrictive contract, harmed his reputation and violated Pennsylvania's child labor laws.

Now the showdown will be decided by a jury. A trial date has been set for April 19.

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In case you forgot how they got into this mess, here's a  quick primer: The Reality of Jon & Kate Plus 8 photo gallery.