Judge curbs Jon Gosselin media appearances

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 11, 2009

A Montgomery County judge ruled Thursday that controversial former reality show star Jon Gosselin -- he of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" and Las Vegas pool party fame -- must cease making media appearances that TLC network views as a violation of his production contract. The opinion was a victory for Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications, which owns TLC.

The contract "has been breached time and time again by Mr. Gosselin," Paul Gaffney, an attorney for TLC, said after the ruling.

"Jon & Kate Plus Eight" began as a charming series about a couple raising eight youngsters, but morphed into two parents being really mad at each other. A gaggle of reporters established camp at the Montgomery Circuit courthouse, hoping Gosselin would make a personal appearance. No dice. In Pennsylvania with the kids, according to his attorney.

At issue was a one-day hearing for a preliminary injunction. Since leaving the show, Gosselin has appeared on numerous other media outlets. In August, he played host to something called Wet Republic at the MGM Grand Hotel in Vegas. TLC argued that his contract forbade him to make certain appearances that diminished the value of the show or made money for competitors.

Circuit Judge Michael Mason agreed, signing an order late Thursday. Gosselin must get written consent before making public statements about the show, TLC or Discovery. He cannot do media "except insofar as such appearances" are unpaid and meet certain other terms, according to the order.

Gosselin's attorneys argued that he is an entertainer, and keeping the clamps on him curbs his livelihood. A full trial on the lawsuit is scheduled for April, but the sides will get a crack at mediation over the next month, according to attorneys in the case.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company