Jon Gosselin decided to take his romance with girlfriend Stephanie Lebo public after the pair have been dating for the past two years.
“We met at a backyard barbecue at a mutual friend Dean’s house,” Gosselin, 46, said in an interview with The Sun published on Tuesday, August 1. “It was a hillbilly thing we let fireworks off, it was fun. I had been single for a few months after Colleen [Conrad] and I broke up.”
After connecting at the party, Gosselin and Lebo, 35, started messaging and “never stopped talking.” A few days after meeting Lebo, the duo went on a date and sparks began to fly. As their connection progressed, Gosselin checked in with their mutual friend, who hosted the bash, before he proceeded.
“I called Dean because he is like Steph’s brother and I said, ‘Did you ever hook up with Stephanie?’ and he said, ‘No man she’s like my sister,’ and then I called Stephanie and asked her the same she said, ‘No way he’s like my brother,’” he recalled. “So I called Dean back and said, ‘Do you mind if I ask Steph out?’ And he said, ‘No I don’t mind, but if you hurt her I’ll kill you, I’ll snap you in half.’ And he’s a big guy!”
Before falling in love with Lebo, Gosselin faced his fair share of heartbreak. He was married to ex-wife Kate Gosselin for two decades before she filed for divorce in 2009. The exes share eight children, twins Mady and Cara, both 22, as well as sextuplets Collin, Hannah, Alexis, Aaden, Leah and Joel, all 19.
The family’s lives were documented on their hit reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, which aired for 11 seasons on TLC from 2007 to 2017. In July, Collin and Hannah spoke out against their mother, 48, in a Vice documentary about the alleged abuse they faced during their childhood.
Lebo, for her part, knew of Jon before they met but wasn’t phased by his reality star past.
“I did know who he was when I first met him, although I haven’t watched the show as faithfully as some others have, but I knew who he was and I had seen him DJing before,” she told the outlet. “So I knew about his past and everything although I was never Team Jon or Team Kate because I just didn’t know enough or watch the show that much.”
Jon admitted he felt relieved that Lebo was so understanding about his tumultuous relationship with Kate.
“I never thought relationships were easy,” he confessed. “I always thought my relationships were going to be a struggle and people would always have a chip on their shoulder where they’d say, ‘Screw you, you’re famous and I don’t have anything and I’ve had to give up this or that.’ But this time it’s not like that at all. It’s easy.”