Could Woman Linked to Jon Gosselin Appear on TLC Show?

Now that it's clear Jon and Kate Gosselin's marriage is on the rocks, the world may finally hear from Deanna Hummel, the woman who has been romantically linked to Jon.

There have been some media reports that Hummel, a 23-year-old, third-grade teacher, will appear in future episodes of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" when the hit TLC series returns in August.

But TLC told ABCNews.com Wednesday, "There are no plans to use her. We are in hiatus and all future episodes haven't even been planned."

The show went on hiatus after Monday's record-breaking show -- watched by more than 10 million people -- in which the Gosselins announced they were separating.

During the break, "the family will take some time off to regroup, and then a modified schedule will be in place to support the family's transition," the network said.

In a statement Tuesday, TLC president Eileen O'Neill said the network "continues to support the Gosselin family and will work closely with them to determine the best way to continue to tell their story as they navigate through this difficult time."

ABCNews.com was unable to reach Hummel at her brother's home, where she most recently lived. But she has said that she and Gosselin were nothing more than friends.

Meanwhile, Melissa Bumgardner, a childhood friend who says she calls Hummel "Dede," defended her in an interview with ABCNews.com.

"She is a very caring girl, and I truly believe she does not have it in her to be a 'homewrecker' or any of the other names I have heard people call her," said Bumgardner, who grew up on the same street in Reading, Pa., four houses down from Hummel, but now lives in Tennessee.

Bumgardner added that she has not spoken to Hummel since Hummel was first photographed with Jon Gosselin in April. She also said Hummel has become "unreachable" since her name first surfaced in the media and has not responded to Bumgardner's calls or e-mails.

"She is an amazing friend and I believe her if she stated earlier that her and Jon are just friends," she said. "As hard as it is to believe after seeing photos of the two of them together, I will stand by her and defend her, as I feel she needs to be."

But Ian Drew, a senior editor at US Weekly, which broke the story, said a number of sources confirmed to the magazine that Hummel and Gosselin, 32, were, indeed, having an affair.

"He met her, she was very convenient, he was looking for an escape, almost a mid-life crisis," Drew said. "He was looking to relive his youth and feel not so trapped in this marital life with kids."

Bumgardner said Hummel grew up in a close-knit Italian family. "She has always been proud of her Italian heritage," Bumgardner said, noting the white, Italy soccer jacket Hummel has been photographed wearing.

Hummel also attended Catholic school and still wears a gold cross that she "has worn since I can remember," Bumgardner said.

Bumgardner said she knew her friend would become a great teacher, because she was so "sweet" and "caring."

"I am not sure if she is still teaching, but I hope she is because it would be very sad if this all ruined her career, which she worked so hard to achieve," Bumgardner said.

"She has an innocent personality and kind nature, which is what I recall most about her -- unless she has drastically changed her 'being' since all this has happened," she added.

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