June 26, 2009 -- 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.
Us Weekly Photos of Jon Gosselin, Deanna Hummel
Hummel was first linked to Gosselin when Us Weekly magazine reported at the end of April that they had been having an affair for three months. The magazine ran photos of the couple together with Hummel behind the wheel of Gosselin's car outside Legends Lounge, a bar in their hometown of Reading, that had been taken on March 18.
According to the magazine, Gosselin had so much to drink he could barely walk. But when he saw a photographer approaching to snap his photo with Hummel, he called to her, "Hey babe. Babe! Give me my jacket."
The magazine said Gosselin met Hummel, who is single, at the bar in mid-January while he was sitting in the VIP lounge and the two sent each other $3 shots.
On April 26, another photo of Hummel and Gosselin was taken. This time Hummel was sunbathing on the front lawn of the Gosselins' $1.1 million Wernersville, Pa., home, while Jon looked on. Kate Gosselin, 34, was reportedly away in Florida.
Questions were again raised in June when another picture of Gosselin and Hummel cropped up on the cover of Us. Taken on March 28, the picture showed the two of them in Park City, Utah, where they attended the Canyons Ski Resort's annual Spring Gruv, which features concerts and sporting competitions.
Hummel's brother Jason, whom she lived with before all the tabloid coverage, also told Us that Gosselin never called the house, saying the pair communicated "mostly via text message." He added that whenever Gosselin visited their shared home, "they would pretty much stay locked away in her room like two teenagers."
Gosselin only spent the night once, March 13, when he was seen slipping out of her home at 7:30 a.m., according to the magazine.
"She's a nice girl, not a homewrecker," her brother told the magazine. "[Jon] is a bad liar. This isn't healthy for her. But she is refusing to help herself, so here I am trying to help her myself. I hope this clears the air."
But in attempting to "clear the air" herself, Hummel has since contradicted her brother's story.
"My brother is making this all up," she told People magazine May 4 in the only interview she has given since the story broke."He has no credibility. ... I can't even stomach the lies he's saying about me."
Hummel said she and Gosselin were friends, and that "it's absurd that anyone would think otherwise."
US Weekly's Drew said it's possible that Hummel could make an appearance on Gosselin's reality show. But, more likely, he believes the purported affair will not last. "I think it was just a vehicle to get out of his marriage."
If so, he accomplished his mission.