The world is astonished to learn that anyone could think the public will buy a 297K words (that's 800 pages, folks!) book about someone whose social relevence has long faded.
The author of the supposed upcoming new book on Kate Gosselin claims to be Robert Hoffman. If it's true, who is he? He's been mentioned over the years, and I have occasionally clarified who he is in my blog comment discussions, but allow me to consolidate everything here, all in one place at the same time, once and for all.
Robert Hoffman, or Bob, as he is sometimes called by friends and family, was an employee of the Reading Eagle until he was fired around 2007. He then teamed up with Al Walentis, another former Reading Eagle employee who in the spring of 2009 was part of a massive Eagle layoff of 50+ employees, to follow the Gosselins for US Weekly. While working as reporters for US Weekly, they agreed to share notes for a book they planned to co-write about their adventures following the Gosselin saga during that summer and fall.
The summer of 2009 was a crazy Gosselin summer here in Wernersville. We were besieged by the paparazzi and tourists who gathered in front of the Gosselin property until the cops were eventually handing out tickets right and left to anyone who even came to a complete stop on the road in front of the house. Robert Hoffman and Al Walentis were at the property every day along with paps from all over the U.S. as well as the U.K. Robert Hoffman and Jon Gosselin eventually became friends, or, in my opinion, Robert ingratiated himself to Jon. Jon gradually included Robert in his social activities, inviting him inside the fence, including him in dinners and on trips such as the one to Las Vegas for the Wet Republic pool party.
Flashback to 2005: As you may recall if you are familiar with Gosselin history, Dana Hoffman was the Reading Eagle blogger who first ran entries in the newspaper questioning the sincerity of Jon and Kate's, particularly Kate's, impassioned cries of poverty and need for excessive “love offerings” for the children and family. She also questioned why the state should pay for care for the children beyond the normal care provided for other state-assisted families, particularly when the parents chose and even engineered this lifestyle for themselves. And she wasn't afraid to point out Kate's many instances of entitlement and rudeness toward those who came forward to help.
In 2009, after Robert befriended Jon, he was afraid Jon would find out he was married to Dana and be upset about it, so for months he pretended he and Dana only coincidentally had their last names in common. As it turned out Jon was not upset when he found out, probably because of Jon's good nature and the fact that he and Robert had been friends for some time by then.
Here's Robert picking Jon up the day the kids were upset about being dropped off in the big blue bus. He's driving the car Jon gets into at the end of the video.
Eventually Robert pulled out of the book with Al and withdrew some of the material he'd contributed to it, telling Al he was afraid Jon and US Weekly (which was still paying him) would know he was the source. Since then he's claimed to be a friend of Jon's, although personally I question his definition of the word Friend. The story about Jon having two call girls in for the night at the Las Vegas hotel, while Jon's mother stayed in the room next door, came from Robert, and so did the chicken coop story, which Robert shared with Al after apparently making it up to see what Al would do with it. Robert's also the one who launched that annoying/cloying bogus Jon Gosselin fan site, unbeknownst to Jon. It also appeared to me that Robert was the person pretending to be “an insider” giving “exclusive” information on one of the Kate fans blogs a while back. Robert, Jon's “friend,” was also the one who took the photographs of Stephanie Santoro leaving Jon's Gosselin garage apartment early in the morning.
After meeting Jon in person some time ago and finding him to be sincere and unassuming, and seeing how Robert appeared to enjoy manipulating others, I told Al I had doubts about Robert's trustworthiness. I also at one point tried to warn Jon through a go-between to no avail. My concerns about Robert's loyalty to Jon were further validated after Al gave me a disk which Robert had given him after the summer of 2009, containing Robert's original notes for his and Al's book. At my suggestion, Al withheld from printing some of the information on Robert's disk in his book because it was either not credible, or, if it were true, could have been extremely hurtful to not only the Gosselins but other families as well. I do not plan to share the nature of that information but I am mentioning it here to provide background information on Robert Hoffman.
Will Robert's book have anything special in it that hasn't been covered already by Al or in my book, which focused on the need for child advocacy in reality TV and the psychological effects on reality TV on the Gosselin family, especially the children? I doubt it. Has he interviewed “hundreds” for his book? I doubt it, and whoever he's interviewed probably hasn't included any true insiders. Is there any reason to believe Robert Hoffman has the children's best interests in mind? From the way he's been marketing his book, I don't think so. Has Robert ever given any indication that he is an advocate for the children? Um, no, and if he was, why would he write creepy tweets with cryptic Biblical references and comments about Deanna's boots? And why would any publisher accept a 297,000 page manuscript ~ equating to 800+ pages ~ about a topic that is clearly past its prime? Sounds to me like Robert's trying to create a lot of buzz about nothing. Also sounds like his main motivation is profiting off the Gosselin kids, and as we all know, no one's allowed to profit off of them except for Kate herself.