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Kate Gosselin's Estranged Son Accuses Her of Taking "Frustration Out on Him"

The 19-year-old co-starred with his parents and seven siblings on Jon & Kate Plus 8.

For years, viewers got to intimately know the Gosselin family, through their TLC reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8. The show documented then-married couple Jon and Kate Gosselin raising their large family, which consisted of twin daughters Cara and Mady, as well as sextuplets, Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel, and Leah. Jon and Kate divorced in 2009, and the show carried on as Kate Plus 8 until 2017. But, there have been other major changes within the family in the time since the heyday of the series, including Collin and Hannah choosing to move away from their mom and siblings to live with their dad.

Now an adult, Collin has opened up about his strained relationship with his mother and the fact that the two have been estranged for years. In a new interview with Vice TV, the 19-year-old shared his thoughts on why they don't get along, including a claim that Kate chose him as the child she would "take out her anger and her frustration on." Read on to find out more.

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Collin said he became the target of Kate's anger.

Collin and Hannah appear on the upcoming Vice TV special Dark Side of the 2000s, which premieres July 18. In a preview clip, they discuss Kate's relationship with Collin.

"I'm not going to say I was a perfect child. But I'd say my misbehaving was no different than from my siblings," Collin says. He also explains that he believes Kate chose to take out frustrations in her own life on him.

"I know my mother was going through a lot of things. I mean, a divorce, and plenty of different things that can't be easy to go through," he says. "And, you know, I want to think that she needed someone to take out her anger and her frustration on, and it was just kind of me. I was in the way and I was there. So, she chose me."

Best Life has reached out to Kate for comment.

Hannah said that Collin was isolated.

Hannah Gosselin on "Dark Side of the 2000s"
© Vice TV / Twitter

On Dark Sides of the 2000s, Hannah claims that Collin was treated differently from the rest of the Gosselin children.

"He would be separated from us," she says in the clip. "Like, he would not get to come and play outside with us. He would eat dinner at different times than us."

She adds, "I don't think effort was made in the home to help him learn what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not acceptable."

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Collin was institutionalized as a child.

Kate Gosselin at the NBCUniversal TCA Press Tour in 2015
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

When he was 12 years old, Collin was sent to a behavioral health institution. Kate justified this decision to the press.

"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."

She continued, "We miss him so much, so it's been hard because there is a huge hole in our family without him here. But it comforts us to know he's where he needs to be right now, and I can feel good about that."

Collin said it was a "scary" experience that "[did] more damage."

Collin has spoken out about being institutionalized and how it ended his relationship with his mother.

"I was in two different institutions. Scary place," he told Entertainment Tonight in November 2022. "I was actually 12 when I got admitted there, and then I spent my 13th and 14th birthday there." He added, "Being in a place like that does more damage than it helps you."

Collin wrote a letter to his dad begging to be taken home from the facility. In 2018, Jon was granted sole custody of Collin.

In the interview with Entertainment Tonight, Collin addressed Kate's comments about sending him to those facilities, including claiming that he has "special needs."

"It's unfortunate that that's the way my mom phrased me as a person," he said. "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." He continued, "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."

Collin hopes to reconcile with his siblings.

While Hannah told ET that she was still in contact with her mother and other siblings, Collin said that he didn't speak to them.

"I love my siblings. I would be willing to put my parents aside and I have," he explained. "In my eyes, it's me and my siblings. I love them to death. 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."

Jon is estranged from some of his children.

In a June 2023 interview with People, Jon revealed that he's estranged from all of his children, except for Hannah and Collin. At the time, all eight children had recently celebrated graduations—Cara and Mady from college and the sextuplets from high school. He explained that both he and Kate were at their graduation together but did not speak.

"Hannah invited Kate and… we saw each other, but there was a whole football field between us," he said. "I talked to Hannah and Collin before graduation to make sure that it was gonna be cordial."

Jon explained of his relationship to his children, "The only kids I see and talk to are Hannah and Collin. So I've been pretty much estranged from Mady and Cara for nine years. At first it was very difficult, but now it's, you know, you hope for the best, but you don't dwell on it, you know what I mean?" He added, "I haven't talked to Kate in years."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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