Scoop: Jon Hired High-Powered Divorce Lawyer - NBC New York

Scoop: Jon Hired High-Powered Divorce Lawyer



    Scoop: Jon Hired High-Powered Divorce Lawyer
    The reality TV parents of eight filed for a no-fault divorce on Monday outside Philadelphia the same day they announced the split on their wildly popular TLC show -- an episode that drew 10.6 million viewers.

    Kate Gosselin told People magazine that it’s her husband Jon who wanted a divorce “for a long time,” and, “no questions asked, he went and hired a lawyer and said, ‘You better get one.’”

    As it turns out, Jon didn’t just hire any lawyer. According to the couple’s divorce filing, Jon retained Charles J. Meyer, one of the Philadelphia area’s most high-profile family law attorneys (one of his current clients is Philadelphia 76ers player Andre Iguodala, whom Meyer is defending in his child support case).

    Kate went with attorney Cheryl L. Young. “She’s much more low-profile but she has an excellent reputation for being fair, reasonable, logical," says one local attorney. “She’s not a high-drama type, she's really, really solid.”

    And although Jon was the first to retain counsel, it was Kate who initiated the divorce filing. Why?

    Mark Vincent Kaplan, the Los Angeles-based attorney who represented Kevin Federline in his divorce from Britney Spears (and is not involved in the Gosselin case), weighed in.

    “It doesn’t matter who files first, but I like my clients to file first because that means I go first at the time of trial and present my construct of reality and let the other side have the burden of proving why that’s not accurate,” said Kaplan.

    In other words, Kate will get to present her side of the story, including her ideal plan for custody, division of property and finances, etc., before Jon can weigh in.

    Keeping tabs: Kate’s failure is People’s win
    This week’s celeb weeklies offer a vast improvement over last week, but it certainly took a village to get there.

    The Gosselin divorce announcement created cover opportunities for In Touch (“Kate’s Private Hell” is their cover line) and People magazine, which scored the big get: Kate Gosselin herself.

    “It Feels Like I Failed” is a genius cover line because much of America is thinking, “yes, you did fail.” It’s affirming — and the consumer loves that — but compelling enough to inspire a sale. Better yet, People manages at the same time to be evenhanded by devoting a significant portion of real estate to Jon, including the headline “This will be a difficult transition.”


    Props need to go out to Us Weekly, too. “Real Housewives’ Dirty Secret: Backstabbing, Lies & Fights” is perfect counter-programming (and thank you, editor Janice Min, for making sure to prominently feature the crazy-face photo of Teresa Giudice at the moment she channeled her rage into the table-tossing of the century).

    There’s so much buzz about these women — especially in light of the newly revealed criminal past of Danielle Staub, that Us might just give People a run for their money in newsstand sales this week. Stay tuned.

    Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.