JON Gosselin has split with long-term girlfriend Colleen Conrad, 51, amid her battle with breast cancer, the star today reveals in an exclusive interview.
The 44-year-old Jon & Kate Plus 8 alum says he’s “incredibly sad” the seven-year bond has come to an end, but he’s ready to “start a new chapter” in his life.
Gosselin says their relationship had become “fraught” a year ago during the coronavirus pandemic, insisting the split has nothing to do with Colleen’s ill health.
“It’s hard, it was a big decision. We have been together for seven years which is a long time, so it’s very upsetting,” he explained.
“It’s really hard to even talk about it. When you’re with someone that long, especially in the public eye and she’s someone private.
“We had some struggles and we tried to push through them as best we could, but it didn’t really work out the way we thought it would.
“I still love and care for Colleen but we’ve both determined that it’s the natural end.”
Speaking to The Sun Jon said cracks began to emerge in the relationship back in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
He revealed the unhappy pair split up more than once and even tried couple’s therapy in a bid to mend their issues.
At the end of 2020 Jon also contracted COVID and was hospitalized for 11 days and spent 47 days off work.
While he says Colleen was “super supportive”, he said the strain in their relationship only grew.
Then in February this year the worn down couple decided to call it a day.
Jon made plans to move from his home in Reading, Pennsylvania to Florida for a fresh start.
“We decided to terminate our relationship, we were both ready,” he recalls.
“I made plans to ask Amazon for a transfer and I talked to the kids about moving, but in the end Hannah and Collin decided they wanted to stay in Pennsylvania for school, so ultimately we stuck around.
“Then we got to April and that’s when Colleen was diagnosed with cancer.”
During a routine mammogram doctors discovered a mass and diagnosed breast cancer.
“When she was first diagnosed, I mean, it was a huge shock,” explained Jon.
“It was heart-breaking and scary. I love Colleen so I decided to stand by her and do the best I can, I cared for her regardless of the state of our relationship.
“I wanted to see it through and support her through her treatment and work through it all.”
Jon says another deciding factor was the medical insurance he has through his IT job at Amazon.
“I have very good medical insurance, it covers the whole family, so I knew that would be the best option for her,” he said.
Earlier this week Colleen posted about her battle with cancer on her Instagram account.
She admitted she’d “been putting off” telling everyone but realized it was a good opportunity to remind her followers to get checked.
The nurse shared that she had to put off getting a mammogram for more than two years because of scheduling issues and the COVID pandemic.
When she finally was able to be seen by a doctor this past April, they found a mass in her right breast, which was later confirmed to be “stage 2, triple-negative breast cancer.”
She continued: “I was BRCA1 and 2 negative. Everything seemed so surreal.
“I had a single mastectomy done on my right breast on 7/14/21 followed by a DIEP Flap procedure on 7/30/21 and I feel good. The DIEP flap was a personal choice for me.”
While thanking her “amazing surgeons” at her Philadelphia hospital, Colleen added that she’s “very happy with the outcome.
After finding the cancer “had not spread to the nodes,” the doctors downgraded the diagnosis to stage 1.
In the post Colleen thanked those around her who have been most supportive, but notably missed Jon from the list.
The omission sent fans into a frenzy with many speculating online that the two had broken up.
Ex TV star Jon, who was previously married to Kate Gosselin with whom he has eight children, described Colleen’s post as “different” but says he doesn’t harbor any ill-feeling for his now ex.
‘TRYING TO GET BY’
“We’re still living together, but we’re not communicating very effectively or at all right now. We’re just trying to get by, it’s just very fraught,” he said.
“I told Colleen I had found a new place to live which didn’t go down too well.”
He added that he’s surprised by her post because he felt he had been very supportive throughout her treatment.
“Colleen did all the research, she’s a great medical professional, and through my insurance we got her the best care,” he said.
“I went to most of the appointments in Philadelphia, took time off work to drive her there. I tried to support her as best I could, being by her side and meeting with all the doctors, trying to understand the cancer and her diagnosis, doing all the research and being as supportive as I could.
“I was at her surgeries while still trying to hold down my job. I was pretty much stretched to the max and overwhelmed and exhausted.
“I think I did my best for her, trying to be the best kind of friend, I guess, while knowing full well that we might not end up together in the end.”
‘THIS WAS A MUTUAL BREAKUP’
He added: “I’d like to make clear this was a mutual breakup and something that was being discussed before Colleen’s diagnosis. It has nothing to do with cancer.”
Looking to the future Jon said: “She’s gonna be fine I believe, I trust her doctors and the outcome looks fantastic. God bless her, you know, I mean, everything’s gonna hopefully pan out really well for her, her future looks good and she’s healthy. I’m happy for her.”
Part time DJ Jon remains philosophical about his and Colleen’s time together.
“It’s always very difficult to end a relationship, but I think we’ve given it a pretty good go,” he said.
“We tried to blend our family as best as we could but it just wasn’t working out. It’s hard because I love her and care for her and I want the best for her, but I also want the best for myself.
“Now Colleen’s health is in a better place, I have to start looking out for me and my family and my kids.
“I’m thrilled to move on to the next chapter in my life.”
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/3463263/jon-gosselin-split-colleen-conrad-supports-cancer-battle/