May 20, 2008 -- Their marriage may be on the rocks, but Jon and Kate Gosselin reportedly plan to present a united front -- at least on their hit reality show.
With the fifth season premiere of TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8" just around the corner, more allegations about the stars' troubled marriage continue to surface. According to the latest story from Kate's brother and sister-in-law Kevin and Jodi Kreider, Kate had Jon sign a contract stipulating that he could date other people -- as long as he showed up for the filming of their show.
Laurie Goldberg, a spokesperson for TLC, refused to comment on the report. "We wouldn't dignify that with a comment," she told ABCNews.com in an e-mail.
In the third installment of their interview with Radar Online, the Kreiders said Jon told them that Kate approached him with the contract "a while ago." The contract states that "he can have girlfriends and do his own thing, that they will live separate lives, they just need to continue the show," Jodi said.
"In exchange, Jon needs to show up for filming," Kevin Kreider added. "Jon needs to be there when the filming is going on. Otherwise, he has the freedom certain days to do whatever he wants."
Both Jon and Kate Gosselin have been battling accusations of infidelity and serious marital problems, celebrity tabloids have reported.
Last week the Gosselins' own family joined the chorus of criticism aimed at the TV couple. Kevin Kreider told Radar Online that the relationship has been effectively over for some time.
"Kate came to Jon and said, effectively, 'it's over,'" Kevin Kreider said. "I don't think typically I would say this, but they're showing America that it's a thriving family. And it's not what they're living."
Last week, People magazine told "Good Morning America" that Kate had acknowledged her marriage was in trouble.
"Kate's very clear on what has and has not happened," People magazine's Kate Coyne said. "For starters, she's adamant that she has in no way been unfaithful, that the allegations that she's had an affair are horrifying to her. And she's also very honest about the fact that she and her husband have hit a serious rough patch, and they've been struggling for a while."
This week, the Kreiders said they were concerned most about the impact on the couple's eight children.
"This is a train wreck for all to see," Jodi said. "Watching this family destruct should not be used as a form of entertainment."
This is not reality and it hasn't been for a very long time," Jodi Kreider added. "It's turned into a huge money making machine and that is everyone's priority."
In the weeks leading up to the season premiere, Jon and Kate Gosselin have appeared repeatedly on covers of celebrity magazines with reports that they have cheated on each other and that their nearly 10-year marriage is on the rocks.
Is the timing a coincidence or a publicity ploy?
One thing is for sure: The controversy is likely to boost attention and ratings for the couple's TLC show. When season five premieres May 25, viewers will tune in to see if the Gosselins, parents of 8-year-old twin girls and 5-year-old sextuplets, address their offscreen troubles on the show.
There's a chance they may. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the first episode was not yet in the can, as producers tried to figure out how to incorporate the latest headlines into the show.
"We are in production for season five and moving forward as planned, while fully supporting the family and respecting their needs as they work through this challenging time," a TLC spokeswoman Goldberg, said in a statement to ABCNews.com last week. "This show has always been about a real family dealing with real-life situations, and that will continue to be the case for the new season."
Fortunately for the show's producers, the Gosselins' current real-life situation happens to be of the headline-grabbing kind.
It started two weeks ago with Us Weekly reporting that Jon Gosselin had been in a three-month affair with 23-year-old school teacher Deanna Hummell. The magazine ran a photo of Gosselin sitting in the passenger seat of a car with Hummell behind the wheel.
He denied he was having an affair to Entertainment Weekly.
This week, Us Weekly reports that Kate Gosselin has grown suspiciously close to her bodyguard, Steve Neild, and Jon Gosselin has threatened to have her followed by a private investigator.
Kate Gosselin told People magazine in its cover story this week that she was "horrified" by suggestions she was having an affair with Neild.
Kate Gosselin: Marriage Is In Trouble
She did reveal, however, that her marriage is in trouble and has been for a while.
"I don't know that we're in the same place anymore, that we want the same thing," Kate Gosselin said of her relationship with her husband.
But the marriage is not over yet.
"I will never give up hope that every member of our family can be absolutely happy again," she told People.
Kate Gosselin, who is also promoting the family's latest book, "Eight Little Faces," following their bestselling "Multiple Blessings," also has spoken about the current scrutiny of her marriage on the "Today" and "Rachael Ray" shows.
All this talk is likely to have a positive effect on both the book and the reality show, as singer Leann Rimes must have discovered when Us Weekly reported she was having an affair with actor Eddie Cibrian a week before their movie "Nora Roberts' Northern Lights" aired on Lifetime.
The television movie drew 4.5 million viewers, making it the network's most-watched movie so far this year. It was no doubt assisted by tabloid rumors that Rimes and Cibrian's steamy love scenes were more than just good acting.
Stories like these can actually work in a celebrity's favor, whereas the average Jill or Joe caught in an affair is more likely to be fired. Moreover, the timing for dropping a bombshell is no accident, either.
It's designed to get us talking and -- celebrities hope -- buying their books, seeing their films and tuning into their shows.
"Once you become a public figure, everything in your life is a business," Ian Drew, editor at large of Us Weekly, told ABCNews.com. "It's Superstar Inc. Thus, everything you do is timed toward how you can make money off of it. People that say otherwise, to protect celebrities, simply don't understand how the business works. Everything is done by choice and with careful planning, including supposed reactions. Like the old song, you've got to use what you've got if you want to get ahead."