"When Jon & Kate Gosselin of rural Pennsylvania signed up for their reality show — Jon & Kate Plus 8 — two years ago and opened their doors and let television cameras in to follow their lives as they went about the harried job of raising their family, one wonders if they’d done their homework on the jinx.
The family, of course, are twin girls, Cara and Mady, now 8, and the charming four-year-old sextuplets, Alexis, Hannah, Collin, Aaden, Joel and Leah.
That would be the couples’ curse, which has felled pretty much every fresh-faced couple that ever agreed to air their public laundry on a cable network.
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. They, and The Newlyweds, divorced.
Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro? They, and ‘Til Death Do Us Part, did.
Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler. They, and Meet The Barkers, crashed.
Linda and Hulk Hogan. They, and Hogan Knows Best, apparently didn’t.
And now the Gosselins, who once said they signed up for what is now one of the top-rated reality shows because it was a great way to get a record of their kids’ growing up and because they certainly didn’t have time to take non-stop video, have been under fire over the past few months for all manner of alleged social transgressions, including greediness (they’re in it for the money is the big knock, otherwise how could they have bought that new $1.3 million house featured in the last season?) and because Kate is insufferably controlling and so hurtfully dismissive, on camera, of her husband.
The curse seemed to raise its thorny head after Jon was spotted a few months back out and about in nightclubs without his wife and without his wedding ring, in the company of young women who, clearly, were not his wife.
The tabloids had the proverbial field day, so much so that the incident prompted Jon to admit on the final episode of this season that the media spotlight has been so tough he’s considering not signing up for another season.
Or, as he told TV Guide:
“Like most people, I have male and female friends and I'm not going to end my friendships just because I'm on TV,” admitting that being out late at night “showed poor judgment on my part.
“What makes me sick is that my careless behavior has put my family in this uncomfortable position. My family is the most important thing in my life and it kills me that these allegations have hurt them.”
And, now, this week there comes another photo of Jon, this time leaving a nightclub in the wee hours and driving off in a car with a pretty young woman at the wheel who, again, was not his wife.
When the paparrazi shot hit the Internet, Kate, who has acknowledged on the show that she’s tough to live with and that the show has been much harder on Jon that it has on her, was on the west coast on a book tour to promote Eight Little Faces: A Mom’s Journey, which, by the way, debuted at number five on the New York Times bestseller list.
Famous? Oh, yes.
Cursed by the reality jinx?