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TLC Sues Jon Gosselin for Breach of Contract

A new chapter in "Jon vs Kate + TLC"!

TLC cable network on Friday sued Jon Gosselin, of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" fame, for allegedly breaching his contract with the cable network when he started getting paid to do interviews on celebrity suck-up shows and generally carrying on, around the television firmament.

In the suit, filed in circuit court in Montgomery County, Md., the cable network claims Gosselin did not meet the terms of his contract when he started appearing on other TV shows for pay, and making unauthorized public disclosures -- like his salary, to CNN's Larry King -- about the show which, once upon a time a long, long time ago, was a cute little reality series about this crazy couple that was trying to raise eight adorable tots.

(More recently, of course, it's become a show about two bitter parents slinging mud at each other.)

"The network has been trying privately and patiently for months to get Jon to honor the contract he signed and to comply with his obligations relating to public appearances and statements," TLC said Friday in re its suit.

"Those efforts have been unsuccessful."

Among the juicier bits in the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by The TV Column, TLC claims Jon Gosselin "set about to capitalize on his rising notoriety by selling his services to other media, in violation of his contractual exclusivity obligation to [TLC]."

Among the things that has TLC's knickers in a bunch, "He entered a lucrative arrangement to appear regularly on 'Entertainment Tonight' and its companion show, 'The Insider,' to discuss his family and the problems he was having with Mrs. Gosselin, and he routinely sold photographic rights to various media outlets," TLC said in the suit.

Plus, he accepted money to endorse products and services, like when he was paid in late August to "host" a pool party at something called Wet Republic at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

TLC claims it was forced to change "Jon & Kate Plus 8" to "Kate Plus 8" because of Jon Gosselin's "erratic public behavior, unprofessional conduct and serial disregard for his contractual obligations."

On Sept. 29, TLC announced the new name to the press and said the show would be re-launched in November with Jon as a recurring character in stead of a series regular. He would "continue to receive compensation and would remain under contract," TLC explained in the lawsuit. But the star would be Kate.

The day that was announced, Jon Gosselin asked to be let out of the "exclusive" part of his TLC pact, so that he could earn money from appearances elsewhere, - while still being paid by TLC.

According to TLC's paperwork filed in court, Gosselin's attorney informed the network that if this release did not show up within one hour.... "Gosselin would reverse his often repeated public comments to the contrary and publicly object to further filming of the program on the grounds that it is purportedly detrimental to his children."

When the network declined his offer, "Gosselin followed through on his threat and thereafter notified TLC that he would attempt to bar TLC's further access to the family property and further filming of his children," the network said, noting it was the "first time in nearly five years that ...Gosselin articulated to TLC that filming the program was detrimental and should be stopped."

Jon Gosselin's attorney, Mark Jay Heller, meanwhile, said in interviews on Friday that TLC and its parents company Discovery Communications, LLC have treated Jon Gosselin "like a dog" by trying to keep him "on a leash and muzzle him" and otherwise deny the father of eight the opportunity to "earn a livelihood to support his family."

Stay tuned!

By Lisa de Moraes  |  October 16, 2009; 7:55 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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