Kate Gosselin's "Today" show interview with her 13-year-old… (Today )
Kate Gosselin's twin girls were at a loss for words during their "Today" show interview Thursday that resulted in a pretty awkward exchange between them and their mother, the former star of TLC's "Jon & Kate + 8" and its hydra-like spinoffs and specials.
Gosselin's bashful 13-year-old twins, Cara and Mady, appeared on the show in the wake of their People magazine interview in which they said they are "not messed up," despite living in a house with 9-year-old sextuplets and being on reality TV and under the microscope because of their mother's nasty, high-profile divorce from dad Jon Gosselin.
Their parents, who have continued to do the reality-TV rounds, have been widely criticized about the effects on their children.
"People think we're supposed to be messed up, like, 'Oooooh, the poor Gosselin kids, they're going to be scarred for life, waaaaah.' Here's the big news: We're not messed up," Mady added.
However, when asked Thursday by host Savannah Guthrie about their remarks, the girls clammed up. That's when the celebrity mom stepped in to fill in the blanks, but just came off as an overbearing, spotlight-chasing mother.
"Mady, your words. It's your chance. Spit it out," Gosselin, 38, said, to very little result. "So this is their chance to talk. This is the most wordless I've heard them all morning. Um, I don't want to speak for them. Mady, go ahead, sort of the things that you said in the magazine, that years later they're good, they're fine."
"No, you said it," Mady responded. Annoying, indeed.
When Guthrie asked Cara if she thought people had the wrong impression of them, Mady responded again.
"I wouldn't say wrong, I would just say not like the full story," she stammered. "Like a lot of people think that filming our show has damaged us but it's only really helped. It's not really done any damage."
Their mom jumped in again.
"They're more aware of what is out there -- the inaccuracies, things that are said by the general public, their father, whoever in general -- because their friends talk about it at school. So I sort of am forced to kind of inform them. And I think, we talk about it a lot, and the most upset they are is because they get really frustrated that people assume certain things in our house and they always say 'but that's not how it is, Mommy. Why do they say that about us?' "
But Guthrie wondered whether the "continued exposure" was helpful or caused more "injury."
"There is no injury to begin with," Gosselin insisted. "And any TV things we do, obviously, I can't get them to do at this age, at 13, anything they don't want to do. I can't force them. ... It's a family decision so I think that it's really frustrating when there is so much out there that is not true. I'm getting to the point that I'm extremely frustrated, and I don't spend time worrying about it because I'm busy raising my kids, and we know the truth, and that's why they're here, even though they're tongue-tied this morning, to say 'Hey we're OK. We're doing well.' Would that be accurate to say, girls?"
The "tongue-tied" Mady agreed and spoke up on behalf of her taciturn sister, saying they would be up for doing more TV.
"It was fun. I really miss it," Mady said, coming out of her shell a little later in the chat.
A few hours after the interview, Gosselin took to Twitter to defend the live television exchange and say how proud she was of her daughters.
"Thanks to @TODAYshow for having Cara, Mady and me on the show today! 1st live interview can render even the gabbiest girls speechless :)," she wrote.
But she wasn't without her critics. One tweeter got on her case for already doing "damage control."
Gosselin answered that there was "no damage done. They wanted to do interview with me, I said 'go for it' #morelifeopportunities #proudmomnomatterwhat."
Another user said the twins appeared "scared of saying the wrong thing" and that's why they kept exchanging glances with their mother during the interview, to which Gosselin replied, "there were no right or wrong answers. ... They just had a case of 'stage fright' #notactors."
Still, the controversial mom received some sympathy from a few followers and was told to "ignore the negative people," which made Gosselin go back into mama bear mode.
"Ha. Do any of these people have kids? At 13, to be poised and 2 want to do such amaz things! #SupportiveMom," she wrote.
But maybe it's about time she clam up, step out of the limelight and go about letting her kids live their lives away from the limelight ...