What Happened To Jon & Kate Plus 8 Star Collin Gosselin?

Jon and Kate Gosselin soared to fame in the 2000s with their reality show "Jon and Kate Plus 8," which showed their life with their twins and sextuplets. While having eight children might seem like a feat in itself, raising them is a whole other story. Over the years, the public came to realize that they're not exactly model parents, as evidenced by Collin Gosselin's disturbing claims against Kate, revealing that she unnecessarily institutionalized him. But fast-forward to today, and Collin has turned a corner from those dark days and seems to be thriving in his own right.

One of the famed sextuplets, Collin found himself in the headlines in 2016, when Kate disclosed that she had sent him to an institution to help him address his "special needs." Speaking to People, she noted, "He needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things." Collin, on the other hand, tossed those claims back years later and accused Kate of being "abusive," claiming in Vice TV's "The Dark Side of the 2000s" that his institutionalization was merely a tactic to silence him. "I was starting to tell people what was going on at home and, you know, she caught wind of that and had to put me somewhere where I wouldn't be able to get the secrets out," he said.

Collin's institutionalization is largely what effectively ended their rocky mother-son relationship, with Collin opting to live with Jon instead. And now that he's all grown up, Collin is carving his own path on his terms, starting with his decision to enlist in the Marines.

Collin chose to enlist in the military

Like most of the Gosselin kids, Collin Gosselin kept a low profile after his reality TV stint. In a November 2022 interview with ET, he described a return to normalcy that he greatly appreciated. "I work just like everybody else. I go to school. I hang out with my friends," he shared. "You know, my life is great and I'm very fortunate for the life I have now." He also floated the idea of joining the military post-high school, a path he eventually took.

True to his word, Collin announced in a June 2023 Instagram post that he was joining the Marines and subsequently study engineering. "This chapter of my life has come to a close," he penned. "Next stop Parris Island and soon after I will be studying Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in college! Can't wait!!!" 

Curiously, a month later, Kate Gosselin released a statement denying the previous claims that Collin had made about his upbringing under her custody, insisting that his institutionalization was necessary in order to prevent him from harming others. "Unfortunately, I believe Collin remains a very troubled young man who continues to need a lot of help," she wrote in a post. "His brothers and sisters and I have not been directly involved in his life due to his history of unpredictable behavior and violent tendencies towards us." But considering the military's strict standards regarding mental health, who exactly are we to believe here?

He's thriving in the Marines according to his dad

Jon Gosselin immediately came to Collin Gosselin's defense just hours after Kate Gosselin blasted his son on Instagram. Speaking with The Sun, the former reality star-turned-DJ slammed Kate's comments as "cruel false accusations" and questioned her motives for airing dirty laundry. "True love for a child wouldn't include a mother attacking their son to the public," his representative said and subsequently underscored the fact that the Marines wouldn't have recruited Collin if there were any truth to Kate's claims about his mental health. "The government's full diagnoses clearly reflects the truth," he added.

After Collin's enlistment, Jon makes it a point to share the latest on his son. He told ET in August 2023 that Collin loved his time at boot camp. "He's doing super well he just talks about like training... He said he doesn't really have time to do anything [else]." In April 2024, Jon was proud to announce that Collin was gearing up to start college in the fall of that year.

Don't be surprised if Collin ends up pivoting from engineering to entertainment, though. He once hinted at his ambitions to return to TV screens. "I'm actually interested in acting as well — so maybe that down the road," he dished to ET, adding that he's also keen to explore kickstarting an e-commerce venture. "It's all online digital and I'm interested in just the fact you can make your own schedule and be your own boss. I love that."