Beginning in 2007, viewers got an inside look at the life of the Gosselin family, which consisted of Kate and Jon Gosselin and their eight children, including a set of twins and a set of sextuplets. At the time Jon & Kate Plus 8 was on the air, the kids were all small, and at the start of the series, Jon and Kate were still together. But many years have passed since reality hit was in its heyday. Jon and Kate divorced in 2009, and today, not all of the family members are even still in contact.
Two of the sextuplets—Collin and Hannah Gosselin—lived with their father after the split, while the other four were in the custody of their mother. In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Collin opened up about his life after the series, his estrangement from his mom and siblings, and his time being treated in two “scary” institutions. Read on to find out what the 18-year-old had to say.
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Collin was sent to a behavioral health institution in 2016 when he was 12, which led to the deterioration of the relationship between him and his mother.
“Collin has special needs,” Kate told People in 2016. “[There’s] a fairly fluid diagnosis of what those needs are, but he needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things. This has been a struggle we’ve had for a very long time, and it’s one I’ve dealt with on my own. I’ve felt very alone in this. By the same token, it’s not something that has only impacted me or him—our entire family has been impacted.”
Telling his own story, Collin told Entertainment Tonight, “I was in two different institutions. Scary place. I was actually 12 when I got admitted there, and then I spent my 13th and 14th birthday there.” He added that he believes that “being in a place like that does more damage than it helps you.”
Collin wrote a passionate letter to his father begging him to bring him home from the institution. In 2018, Jon won sole custody of his son when Kate did not appear in court, as reported by Us Weekly.
Of his mom’s rationalization for sending him away, including describing him as having “special needs,” Collin told ET, “It’s unfortunate that that’s the way my mom phrased me as a person. I don’t see those things, and I don’t think anyone else sees those things. And I hope that if we met again one day, she would understand that that’s not the case.”
The high school senior also said of Kate, “My mom had her own agenda. I don’t know exactly what that was, but my agenda was to make it out on top of that tough spot.”
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In addition to not having a relationship with his mom, Collin is not in touch with his siblings other than Hannah. Hannah had also decided to live with their father. “I have always been closer with my dad and we’ve always had a strong good relationship,” she told ET in May. She also explained that she is in contact with her mom and siblings, unlike Collin.
“I have not spoken with my siblings in probably five or six years now. It’s tough,” Collin told ET. Collin’s other sisters and brothers are 22-year-old twins Madelyn and Cara and the remaining sextuplets, Aaden, Alexis, Joel, and Leah.
Collin shared that he hopes he and his siblings can rebuild their connection someday and look past any issues they’ve had with their parents.
“I love my siblings. I would be willing to put my parents aside and I have. In my eyes, it’s me and my siblings. I love them to death,” Collin said after tearing up. “I love them very much. How I see it is, without parents involved, it’s just me and them. I really hope that one day when I have kids that my kids will know their aunt and uncles.”
He went on to say that he is waiting for them to reach out first. “I want to respect their space and their time and respect how they feel about everything, so I’m kind of just waiting for the day that they reach out,” Collin explained.