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TLC v. Jon Gosselin: The Breach of Contract Allegation

By Neetal Parekh | Last updated on

Where there's smoke, there may be fire.  And when a reality show makes a number of changes because of the non-cooperation of one of its stars it can hint to non-compliance with an existing contract.  In the case of Jon Gosselin, there's no need to look for nebulous signs of employment contract trouble, because the case was officially filed by the television channel TLC in a circuit court in Maryland last week.

The charges?

The lawsuit alleges that that Gosselin gave unauthorized interviews and entered into a "lucrative arrangement" to appear on the infotainment shows "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" in violation of contract terms he previously agreed to.  It also cites Gosselin's non-cooperating with recent filming attempts.

According to the Associated Press, TLC released a statement stating that "the network has been trying privately and patiently for months to get Jon to honor the contracts he signed and to comply with his obligations relating to public appearances and statements" and that "those efforts have been unsuccessful."

What does TLC want?

The civil suit seeks compensatory damages and demands a return on income he earned from actions that breached his contract with TLC.  It also prohibits him from violating the contract again in the future.

The Gosselin defense?

According to the Huffington Post, Jon Gosselin's attorney has publicly stated that the suit is "weak, feeble and baseless" and that the contract is "unenforceable and unconscionable."

Unconscionability is a legal defense to a breach of contract claim.  It refers to contract terms that are so skewed for one party as to severely restrict the other party.  The contract terms would have to have been sufficiently egregious as to "shock the conscience" of a judge or jury.

Jon, of course, also faces an alimony suit from Kate Gosselin.

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