Jon Gosselin: From TV Stardom to Waiting Tables

09/18/2013 at 08:00 PM EDT

Jon Gosselin: From TV Stardom to Waiting Tables
Jon Gosselin
Bobby Bank/WireImage
Jon Gosselin admits he was "nervous" when he began waiting tables at the Black Dog restaurant in Beckersville, Pa.

Just a few years ago, he'd been on top of the world, starring in the top-rated TLC reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8 and co-writing a New York Times bestseller, but a messy divorce in 2009 ended all that.

While his ex-wife Kate and their eight kids remained in the couple's $1.3 million Pennsylvania home, he moved out, and admits in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight that it's been "next to near impossible to find work."

Now Gosselin's gone from partying on yachts in the south of France to living in a cabin in the woods with no internet and no TV. And after hitting rock bottom "like 20 times," he took a job as a waiter.

"At first I was nervous because I was like, 'How are people going to react?' " Gosselin, 36, admits. "But then I'm thinking, 'Well, it's fun and I get to talk to people.' And they technically already know me … they're like, 'Are you the guy?' I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm the guy.' "

Gosselin – who's being sued by his ex-wife, Kate, for allegedly hacking into her computer and phone to gather material for a 2012 tell-all Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World – insists that he isn't struggling to make ends meet and while he's not partying like a rock star anymore, he has no regrets.

"I don't regret anything," he says. "You learn from your mistakes. That's what builds you to who you are today."

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