INSIDE STORY: Jon Gosselin and the Rabbi
10/30/2009 AT 02:30 PM EDT
In a statement, the beleaguered father of eight says that he plans to reconnect with his "deeper, more spiritual, more altruistic self" through regular study sessions with celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
"I am well aware that my behavior over the past few months has not always reflected my personal and religious values," Gosselin, 32, says in the statement. "I further accept that I have allowed myself to become somewhat severed from my own moral anchor and [to] be carried away by the challenges of fame."
Boteach, who bills himself as "America's Rabbi," is best known for his high-profile connection to Michael Jackson, to whom he also served as a spiritual adviser. After Jackson's death the rabbi published a book of their private conversations, The Michael Jackson Tapes. Also for sale on his Web site: a Rabbi Shmuley Bobblehead and his book, Kosher Sex.
Boteach and Gosselin reportedly met at a forum on values held at a Manhattan synagogue earlier this month. The unlikely pair have something in common: Like the former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star, Boteach is not shy about publicity and also once appeared in a TLC reality series, Shalom in the Home, in which he counseled families in crisis.
Gosselin – whose girlfriend, Hailey Glassman, 22, is Jewish – says he plans to publicly apologize "in a sacred space to those whom I have hurt" on Sunday at Manhattan's West Side Synagogue.
The planned apology caps another tumultuous week for the reality husband. On Thursday, he apologized to Glassman after she accused him of throwing "mantrums" and abusing her emotionally.
One controversy the ex-reality star says he is not courting: a role rumored series costarring Octomom Nadya Suleman.
"I do however accept that some of my previous actions have in some way lent credence to such outrageous stories," he said.