Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kate's Top Ten Worst Moments of 2013

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone and it's time for our Worst Moments again. You can read our previous recaps here, here and here. Happy New Year, and without further ado, here is our fourth (wow!) annual compilation of Kate's Worst Moments:

10. For crying out loud. 

We weren't the only ones to shed a tear
for the Gosselin kids in 2013.
Although it was filmed in 2012, Celebrity Wife Swap didn't air until early 2013. Check out our recap for a full summary of this monstrosity. The Cliff Notes version is the Gosselin kids were put to work maintaining the McMansion so hard and so long that Kendra ended up in tears over it, Kate won a battle of wills with a three-year-old, and deeply insulted Kendra as both a wife and mother even though Kendra turned out to be pretty darn good at not only that but also at just being a compassionate person (Is it opposite day? I mean, who's divorced and who's not here?). Kate, with the help of enabler Deanna (now oddly MIA like many other people who've befriended Kate), learned absolutely nothing from the experience except that she needs more "me time." Oh, and did we mention Kate admitted she didn't even tell Jon she was putting his children on national television again? Hardly co-parenting.

As 2013 comes to a close, we hear Kendra's expecting again. Good luck to the Basketts on baby number two; they are wonderful parents and should never doubt themselves about that just because some shrew from P.A. with an egg fetish tried to tell them otherwise.

9. The ninth Gosselin child comes forward.

Kate's always talked about that blighted ovum she had, but we never knew until now he was alive and kicking in Texas. Carlos Gosselin is a fun, carefree, yet hard-working 20-something music producer from the Longhorn State. Yes, Gosselin is his real name. It's not exactly Smith, but the surname is pretty widespread. One early Wednesday morning, Carlos tweeted "I love you mom" to @Kateplusmy8.


Courtesy of Carlos Gosselin

If you've been following Kate long enough, you can bet what happened next. You can read more details here, but among the highlights, Kate accused the poor guy of illegally impersonating people and demanded he change his ID and e-mail.

No, not my e-mail too! But I've had it since eighth grade.

2013 marked the year when people stopped being bullied by Kate. Carlos stood up to Kate, calmly telling her he would do no such thing and that it was just a joke. A funny one, Carlos. Thanks for the giggles. Update: Carlos's twitter reveals he's still hard at work and quite successful in the thriving east Texas music scene, managing various artists and pulling marathon sessions in the studio even on everyone else's day off. Carlos, you do your generation proud.

8. Kate accepts freebies at a fundraiser for crash victims.

A horrific accident after church. Two precious little girls gone. Most bloggers thought it was great to see the community come together to help the family through such a terrible time. A fan of Kate's organized a Zumba charity event and invited Kate to come. All still looked well, with Kate signing books and posing for photos, until photos were posted of Kate gleefully accepting freebies from the fan, including a pair of Uggs and an ornament. Token gifts are sometimes given to celebrities at charity events, but this one seemed particularly inappropriate given the tragic nature of the event. If gifts must be given, it should have been done quietly.  There was also a level of suspicion that the event was used as a rouse just so a certain big fan could meet and spend time with Kate (almost all the Facebook posts from the event were of Kate, when the event was about so much more than that), which left a bad taste in many bloggers' mouths. Perhaps the items would have been better donated back to a charity and the focus of the event shifted to the family and the community who helped them, not a D-list celebrity.

7. Piecing and patching with Audis and One Direction tickets.

Kate and the kids graced the cover of People magazine this summer for an unnecessary update. There were lots of "head shaking" moments, but one of the biggest was when Kate claimed she is "piecing and patching" to get by. This is just insulting at this point. Her lifestyle this year did not reflect that she is hurting for cash one bit and hasn't been for a long time, from her annual trip to the ritzy Kentucky Derby, to buying One Direction tickets, an expensive parrot and a new Audi when her first one was only purchased in 2011, to initiating a huge lawsuit against Jon and author Robert Hoffman. Not to mention the house and private school and yet another lavish Christmas.

However, the kids were old enough to be interviewed this time, and Mady offered an incredibly insightful comment about the show: Had the show and trips continued, "we could have wound up being really bratty," the 12-year-old said. Yes, kid, good point.  Too bad your mom doesn't listen or care.

6. Writer's Bloke

Kate managed to scrounge up another pathetic blogging job this year, this time for The Stir, and as usual her posts offered nothing helpful, insightful, or worthwhile to the over saturated world of Mommy blogging. Several me, me, me posts later and the job was over before it ever even started. What happened? This is one of those to add to the Gosselin black hole of things we'll never really know for sure the truth about. But we sure can guess, and it probably starts with something printed on thin pink paper.

5. Tug of Katie

Katie Couric headed out to the Gosselin compound in September for an update interview, and the kids were anything but adorable. Rather, they were irritable and awkward and so out of control Katie couldn't even play a simple game of tug of war with them without it erupting into a firestorm. Katie might have just caught them on a bad day, but whatever the reason, it was embarrassing for the children and a stark reminder that when child stars grow up, it's rarely ever cute anymore. It's over, time to move on.

4. Watch out for the sharks

Kate used her children yet again for another paid endorsement this summer, this time for NoNetz swimsuits. The public had finally had enough of the exploitation, and told NoNetz so, as is their right. It wasn't so much what Kate did do, but what she didn't do. When NoNetz showed themselves to be complete amateurs when dealing with a PR crisis (they claimed they had no idea Kate was controversial and posted multiple versions of a press release responding to the criticism), Kate never intervened or took the blog post at issue down, as they asked her to. As per her usual behavior, Kate acted like nothing ever even happened and left NoNetz to deal with the fallout. For a couple of measly swimsuits. If you're expecting this woman to ever have your back when things get tough, she won't. She took her freebies and ran out on these nice ladies just trying to make a go of a small business idea.

3. Crookbook

Kate's been carrying on about a cookbook for years now, but this year it finally hit bookshelves. For a hot minute anyway. The book was so embarrassingly amateur it's hard to believe a real publisher was involved (even then, the publisher takes a lot of self-published projects).  Greasy, slimy, fatty, salty meals were the order of the day, with mostly grainy cell phone photos and a few awkwardly posed shots of the kids from a quick photo shoot. What's worse, Kate's "book tour" consisted mostly of Kate whining about her finances and throwing Jon under the bus (sadly, Jon had had enough and let it loose about Kate this year, too, most angrily in a recent interview with Philadelphia Magazine). She barely promoted the book anywhere. The cookbook itself was as much of an afterthought as those little breath mints you get at family restaurants. 

2. Kateville sure is a scary place.

If ever there was proof of Kate's judgement issues, this was it. She aligned herself with the nefarious, lawsuit-prone web site Bullyville.com, writing a blog post for them claiming she was bullied as a child (Twenty years ago! Time to get over it, millionaire!), but it didn't stop there. She then actively encouraged a bizarre campaign to "out" her "haters" that bordered on actual threats and went on for months. She called the suspect people running this terror her heroes. Even this site was not immune. Bullyville demanded an apology for a blog post swiffered over two years ago or they would "out" us. Even when this blog saw it was appropriate to apologize and did so, there was no acknowledgment of the apology by anyone from that "side" and we were soon outed anyway. That's not the rules of war any decent man lives by. As quickly as this alliance was born, it was gone, never to be mentioned again by Kate. Kate and Bullyville were the biggest bullies of all in this mess, and yet they never saw the irony.

1. May the criminals you end up defending be less terrifying than the bar exam. 

Kate's delusional behavior has been going on for years now, but it was never worse than when she decided to sue her children's father, along with author Robert Hoffman. Kate's moving papers described an elaborate and blatantly implausible scenario in which Jon and Robert conspired together on one dark and stormy night to "get" Kate, I guess, sorta. Even Hailey resurfaced and got in on the game with some text messages that were just so perfect it was too good to be believed (later, Jon would explain he wasn't even using the cell phone carrier that Hailey claims the texts came from). Speaking of apologies, we demand Kate apologize to Jon and his children for this stunt or we'll out her. #ticktock! 

While surely this suit wasn't fun for Jon and Robert, it was entertaining to read all the excellent legal briefs (from the defense side anyway), see Kate's attorneys fumble around and tweet passive aggressive tweets about how much it sucked to be them, and watch public opinion sway firmly against Kate. Most people were outraged Kate would stoop so low. Most bloggers thought Kate was likely sitting at home scratching her head, wondering how on earth this went so terribly wrong; that she really thought that as soon as she just explained what happened with Jon, the public will understand and sympathize with poor put upon Kate. 

Fortunately due to Jon's lawyer Shawn Tuma and Robert's stellar legal team too, the lawsuit never really got off the ground and was quietly dropped a few months later. Sadly the incident will never really be erased from the record books, someday to be found quite easily by the children. Which makes Kate's blog post, upset with Jon for sharing in the press some serious concerns he has about the children's social skills due to their bizarre upbringing on T.V., rather hypocritical. 

And now for our annual "best of" the year. It's always hard to pick just one, so why try? This year we selected five--five people actually:

5. Ashton Kutcher. He never had a job he was better than, and he never quit a job until the next one was lined up. Oh, and he worked hard. Darn hard. For all the greed, gluttony, and entitlement this country has seen in recent years, boy was this refreshing.

4. Lorna Colbert. She raised 9 kids all by herself after her husband and two other children died in a plane crash. One of those kids grew up to be the brilliantly funny Stephen Colbert. Colbert put on a serious face for a moment and gave a moving eulogy upon her death.

3. Mara Wilson. No one has ever spoken so eloquently and credibly for her peers about the dangers of child stardom.  If child stars had a patron saint, she would be it.

2. Megan Kowalewski

Thanks to a chance encounter with Jon Gosselin in a Chick-fil-A last January, we learned about this amazing (and clever) young woman from Berks and her battle with lymphoma. So how is Megan doing a year later? Well, her hair has grown back, she's out of the house and working, she made a documentary that aired in Germany, and she had this message for all her supporters on Christmas Eve: "Today is my Re-Birthday!! It has been one year today since I had my stem cell transplant. Many people asked me today why I'm so happy and festive. Working in retail at the mall on Christmas Eve was a bit hectic, but I actually had tears of joy. I'm just so grateful that I'm alive and home this year for the holidays." Thank you for what you taught us, sweet Megan.

And the best moment person of the year is . . .

1. Shawn E. Tuma, Esq.

The computer fraud expert from Texas was retained by Jon after Kate filed suit last summer, and it was hands down the best move Jon could have made. Tuma demolished Kate's briefs piece by piece, and even had a sense of humor about it while doing so ("Plaintiff says her login information was used but does not even offer a speculative guess as to how Defendants gained access to that information. Was it a Trojan horse? DDoS attack? Malware? Social engineering? Clairvoyance? We have no idea—neither does Plaintiff.").

As predicted, no finally meant no and it wasn't long before Kate dropped the lawsuit in full before it hardly saw the inside of a courthouse. Check and mate! Not only did Tuma save Jon a lot of time, stress and money, but we believe he helped put a stop to what was surely a great deal of turmoil and uncertainty for eight young children. Add him to the list of people who decided to put a stop to her bullying this year. Oh, and he's strangely kind of cute, too. Well done, counselor.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Karen Dotrice: 'I’ve never really wanted any of my children to become child actors like me'

Saving Mr. Banks is an endearing film now in theaters about Walt Disney’s struggle to acquire the rights to a children’s author’s beloved books, but the actor who played Jane in ‘Mary Poppins’ says child actors are who really need saving

Another child actor is all grown up and joining the long list of former child stars disclosing all was not as cheery as it seemed. Karen Dotrice won hearts as Jane in the 1963 film ‘Mary Poppins. The brilliant Sherman brothers’ song “The Perfect Nanny,” in which Jane reads an advertisement describing the kind of caretaker any child would long for, is particularly sweet (and funny).

Doctrice, who left show business as a teenager, had this to say about child stardom:

 “If I’d had my way, I’d still never have done any of those films, because kids should be kids. They should be doing their homework, or outside riding horses. They should be learning and growing at their own pace – and learning things at the right time, rather than when it’s convenient for others. It’s just not normal for a child to have that kind of focus on them and then trot off into life thinking that everyone’s going to pamper them and treat them as if they’re ‘special’. The fact is that if you’re living in a Justin Bieberesque type world surrounded by a bunch of yes people, the odds are you’re going to struggle in later life. That’s why I’ve never really wanted any of my children to become child actors like me. I’ve seen a lot of my peers go through terrible times and have to deal with all sorts of demons.”

Thank you, Karen for your insight.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Judge orders psychological evaluation of Real Housewives' children to decide if they should be on reality T.V.

In what appears to be a reality show first, an Orange County judge has asked for outside help in making the important decision whether to allow three minors to appear on reality T.V.

Real Housewife's star Tamra Barney and her ex Simon have been fighting since their divorce a few years ago about the fate of their children. Tamra wants them on the show, Simon does not. Up until now, Simon has successfully kept the children off T.V., asserting it is a legal custody decision and he has veto power under California law because he and his ex have joint legal custody, and that the show would be harmful to the children. Last week, Tamra filed a motion to contest that, asserting a theory that this doesn't qualify as a legal decision that Simon would be able to veto, and therefore she is allowed to put the children on T.V. during her custodial time without his permission. On Friday, the judge refused to make a temporary order allowing the children to go on T.V. and ordered the evaluation.

Such independent evaluations are usually refered to as California Evidence Code 730 exams (or a "730," for short), and are performed by a psychologist agreed upon by the parties from a "730 panel" appointed by the courts. They are relied on often in California's family law system when parental alienation or other dysfunctional behaviors are going on. A 730 evaluator can make expert recommendations about custody, visitation, mental health of the parties, parental alienation, and a variety of other issues. An evaluator's opinion about what should happen to the children in a case can be crucial. However, 730 exams usually take several weeks to accomplish.

[From the Evidence Code: When it appears to the court, at any time before or during the trial of an action, that expert evidence is or may be required by the court or by any party to the action, the court on its own motion or on motion of any party may appoint one or more experts to investigate, to render a report as may be ordered by the court, and to testify as an expert at the trial of the action relative to the fact or matter as to which the expert evidence is or may be required.]

Kudos to the judge for recognizing the grave psychological nature of this issue and relying on experts to assist.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Real Housewife's ex: The children are too young and 'do not understand the consequences' of Reality T.V.

"I will not sign the consent form for my eight-year-old daughter or my other children, to participate on the Shows, because I know the negative impact and consequences it will have on their health and well being."

Simon Barney has responded to his ex-wife's Tamra's bid to ask a judge to allow her to put their three children back on The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Portions of the response filed in Orange County family law court last Friday include the following:

“They have been targeted and are the subject of consistent embarrassment due to the content of the show and their mother’s involvement…The show (has) started to become increasingly more about the alcohol, intoxication, sex and bad behavior …. The truth is consistently manipulated in the show in order to make the story line more dramatic and to boost ratings. The manipulation and falsification of original statements and actions results in a negative perception from the public and it destroys one’s reputation….
"All major decisions pertaining to health, education and day care shall be made jointly by the parents. She is seeking to take away my right to parent and make decisions regarding the lasting effects and impacts the show may have on my children. This is not a unilateral ‘routine’ decision, it is a ‘major decision’ that must be made jointly….[Sophia is] too young [and] unable to make a decision on her own regarding her participation in the show as she does not understand the consequences it may have. Respondent states that Sophia has expressed her desire to be on the show, but that is only because Respondent has told Sophia that she has to sit out on all ‘fun’ activities because I won’t let her be filmed. An eight year old child us going to want to be a part of the activities is she is told they are ‘fun’ and she is being forced to sit out...
"…Our children appeared on the show from time to time, as one of the focuses on the show was out family and encouraged our familial relationship. The show first aired in 2005 and I appeared briefly on the show from 2007 to 2009. My children made appearances in those years, but with strict supervision and approval from me. If my children were to be on my show, I had stated to the production company… that I was to approve all footage and the children were only to be filmed with my supervision and presence.  At that time, (the production company) agreed. It was a good thing that I was on the show and supervising my children. One time while the show was being filmed, one of the cast members stated something about “T-Bagging” which is an inappropriate sexual comments, while Sidney, age 10 at the time, was present. I immediately took my daughter away and stated to the cast member that such comments were inappropriate while children were around. Later, he agreed that I was correct in needing to be present. It was around this time that the show deviated sharply from the family oriented dynamic it had while I was on the show [and was] the major reason I refused to allow the children to continue on the show....
"(The production company) will only air the footage of my minor children if I give my consent, or if the Court orders that only Respondent’s consent is required for the children to be filmed. I will not sign the consent form for my eight year old daughter or my other children, to participate on the Shows, because I know the negative impact and consequences it will have on their health and well being.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Real Housewife continues to battle ex-husband over putting her children on reality T.V.

Perhaps Tamra and Simon's long squabble over their children being on reality T.V. was overshadowed by the more epic battle between Jon and Kate that began about the same time. But things are heating up for the Real Housewife and her ex once again. 

Simon, who has successfully kept his three children off T.V. since 2010 and even once ended up in jail for domestic violence during the feud (he says the charges were completely fabricated by Tamra in order to try to get full custody and put the children back on T.V.--the charges were subsequently dropped), could be back in court soon.

In a statement, Tamra says she's going back to the Orange County family court again with a new theory. Tamra says that California law should be interpreted to allow her to put the children on T.V. when it's her custodial time (she concedes she cannot put them on T.V. during Simon's custodial time). Joint legal custody typically gives both parents "veto" power over the other's legal decisions. Joint legal can be a never-ending nightmare when parents don't get along, however only in limited circumstances does California allow full legal custody to one parent. Tamra and Simon have had joint custody since their divorce was finalized in an October 2011 settlement. The settlement also instructs both parents not to make derogatory remarks about the other to the children or the public, and says that each parent is responsible financially for the needs of their children during their custodial time--there is no child support or alimony. 

For his part, Simon maintains the show is harmful to his children. "I don't believe it is in our children's best interest to be exploited in this way," he said.

Stick to your guns, Simon.

In other news, a letter from production to Simon was leaked this week asking him to shoot a staged scene in which he gets ice cream with the children then exchanges them with Tamra. It is but one of many pieces of evidence that show how fake the Real Housewives is.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Twitter "hate" for Carrie Underwood

Twitter hate is par for the course sometimes. The question is how a celebrity deals with it. Carrie Underwood took on the role of Maria in an NBC live version of The Sound of Music tonight, and it wasn't long before she was sucker punched all over Twitter.

The endless nasty tweets, which have gone on for weeks now, include ones calling her a "retarded Maria" and a "bimbo," tweets blasting her acting ("she can't act her way out of a brown paper package tied up with string"), and photos comparing her acting coach to a wooden board. One tweet even asked for a moment of silence for the children whose first experience with The Sound of Music is with Underwood. Some tweets are funny, while others sound frightening. Underwood has even reportedly received death threats.

Underwood's response to all the hate? A mature and matter-of-fact, "I know I'm not Julie. I know my place."

Carrie is no Julie Andrews that's for sure, but she is a mature adult who knows how to deal with Twitter hate in an appropriate manner. Refreshing.

As for Julie Andrews, she gave her blessing to Underwood, but indicated a live show would be difficult. "She's lovely and I'm a fan," Andrews said.