What was billed as an intimate discussion about the pitfalls of fame between Jon Gosselin and his spiritual advisor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, ended up as an announcement as public as a Facebook relationship status change.
"We decided not to take a break, just slow things down, until I get through my divorce and I know everything is settled and okay," Gosselin said. "I don't want another failure in my relationships. I don't want to make the same mistakes I made with Kate, with Hailey. I would just be repeating the pattern over again."
Gosselin added that he and Glassman, the daughter of Kate Gosselin's plastic surgeon, "should never have gone to France" earlier this year.
"Half the stuff I've done, if I look at my moral compass, I shouldn't have done," Gosselin admitted. "I know that but I did it anyway. It's like fame canceled out conviction."
The reality TV star also apologized to his estranged wife.
"I want to apologize to Kate in private," he said. "I'll apologize to her for openly having relationships in the public eye. That was a huge mistake, because if she would've done that to me, I would have been extremely pissed off. Not because our relationship is over, it's almost like a stab in the back. And now that I think about it, it was a very wrong thing to do. I definitely regret it."
Gosselin's public mea culpa followed his announcement last week that he's seeking counseling from Boteach, an Orthodox rabbi known to counsel a number of celebrities including the late Michael Jackson. The event came one day before Kate Gosselin returns to TLC with "Her Story." It also follows an avalanche of bad press for Gosselin, including his girlfriend, Hailey Glassman's recent allegations that he throws "mantrums" and takes his anger out on her, and his estranged wife's seemingly never ending list of grievances.
Boteach: Gosselin Should Lay Off the Ladies
But Boteach believes Gosselin can be a better man.
"Jon and I have been studying together and speaking for a few weeks now," Boteach told ABCNews.com Friday. "And it is my strong opinion that he has to rediscover his moral convictions. He was not always an outlandish playboy, he was not always someone who fed the hungry paparazzi with scoreless stories of his out of control behavior. He was once a devoted father, a devoted husband, a religious man. A Christian man. He needs to rediscover his true self."
Part of that, according to Boteach, means not pursuing anything with a woman for the time being.
"Jon should not be in any relationship right now," he said. "He's still married. He may be on his way to divorce, but he's still married and you don't date when you're married. He needs to focus on his kids right now because they're in a lot of pain."
"I've never met Hailey Glassman," Boteach added. "But it is my strong opinion that Jon should not be in a relationship. I don't think this relationship is blessed at this juncture in both their lives."
The two men hail from different faiths (though Gosselin claimed to be "rediscovering his Jewish roots" earlier this fall), but they share much in common. Both boast a large brood (the Rabbi has nine children, Gosselin, of course, has eight), both burst into the public eye through TLC (Boteach hosts "Shalom in the Home") and both believe in taking advantage of fame.
"The celebrities who flourish in fame do so when they find a voice in the culture," Boteach said. "I'm trying to help him discover his deepest passion so he can live for something other than himself. Why shouldn't he use his fame for a righteous cause?"
That righteous cause might be becoming the new face for family values.
"He has to consecrate his fame to a cause larger than himself," the Rabbi said. "I said to him, 'Perhaps your calling is to highlight the beauties of babies and children. That coming home to children is better than staying late at work to impress your boss, to going out with your buddies.'"
Boteach said he's helping Gosselin because "the Jewish faith excels in creating strong families and creating strong communities." However, he doesn't believe Gosselin should join the Jewish religion, as the reality TV star hinted he might when he talked about celebrating Hanukah with Glassman.
"It is my firm belief that Jon as a religious Christian must find God within the Christian faith," Boteach said. "He could be a life redeemed if he seriously begins to change his actions."