A judge granted TLC's request for a preliminary injunction against Jon Gosselin late Thursday following a day of testimony in a Maryland court room, and RadarOnline.com's Sarah Park was there when Judge Michael D. Mason made his decision.
The ruling means that Jon must abide by the exclusivity and confidentiality agreement in his contract, putting an end to his unapproved and paid interviews with various outlets. It will also prohibit him from continuing to pursue competing TV deals.
The action took place in Montgomery County Circuit Court TLC will continue to litigate its breach of contract lawsuit against its rogue one-time star. A trial date for that action has been set for April, 2010.
In a side note, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively that Jon's lawyer Mark Heller was denied permission by the judge to sit at the table with defense counsel Thursday. Heller is not licensed to practice in Maryland and did not apply for special permission to practice in this case. He was relegated to sitting in the audience.
After the judge's ruling, TLC released this statement: "We are pleased with the Court's ruling today. The Court has validated our view that Mr. Gosselin has a valid, binding contract and that he has breached it repeatedly. Step one -- getting the court to order Mr. Gosselin to comply with his contractual obligations -- has been accomplished. Any further breaches going forward will be violations of a court order. We look forward to the next phase of the litigation, which is to pursue our claim for damages resulting from Mr. Gosselin's numerous breaches."
Jon was not present for the proceedings at the Maryland Circuit Court. He had been expected to be questioned under oath regarding his outside income, statements about TLC and more.
TLC's attorney, Paul Gaffney, a partner in the firm of Williams & Connolly, methodically and emphatically made his case, eliciting testimony that left no doubt Gosselin had breached his contract. The judge's decision proved that Gaffney and TLC met every requirement for the injunction, a ruling that will drastically change Jon's life and silence his paid extra-curricular activities that TLC claimed caused them great harm.
TLC Chief Operating Officer Edward Sabin testified that Gosselin's behavior was embarrassing for the network and the show, pointing to an August appearance he made in Las Vegas at a pool party. "It made the show look bad," Sabin said of Jon & Kate Plus 8. "Photos of Jon Gosselin with scores of bikini-clad women was inconsistent with our image brand of our show."
Jon's lawyer Peter Toumbekis said in his closing argument that the 32-year old's lifestyle had not done any "irreparable harm" and pointed to the fact that since the controversy surrounding the Gosselin's marriage surfaced, the show's ratings went "through the roof!" Toumbekis also brought up the Pennsylvania Labor Department's ongoing investigation regarding the show's contract in the context of the children, alleging the network purposefully circumvented child labors laws and neglected to justly compensate the eight kids.
But the judge wasn't buying the argument. And the granting of the preliminary injunction is partially based on a belief that TLC is likely to prevail at trial.
TLC'S lead attorney Gaffney read from his firm's depositions of Kate Major and Hailey Glassman in his closing argument. Major said, regarding the potential Divorced Dads' Club show, that Jon knew the venture was "inconsistent" with his contract with TLC but "at that point he just didn't care." As for Glassman? When asked whether Jon ever told her he couldn't speak publicly she responded: "He said TLC will not allow it. He was like a child. 'How come Kate can do this and not me?' Because they can control Kate's mouth."
TLC also defended their renaming of the show to Kate Plus 8: Sabin said TLC "decided to rename the program and shift the focus to Kate's plight as a single mother; Jon was going to be paid under the same terms of the contract."