EXCLUSIVE: Jon Gosselin defends part-time TGI Friday's job: 'Why can't I work at a restaurant?'

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Jon Gosselin Defends Working at TGI Friday's: 'Why Can't I Work at a Restaurant?'


Jon Gosselin isn't letting all the noise over his TGI Friday's job get to him.

The former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star tells ET's Jennifer Peros that while his full-time job is DJing -- he has a residency at the Building 24 night club in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania -- he took a part-time gig at the restaurant chain "maybe a month and a half ago," because he likes to cook, and to help out a buddy.

"I only work there 8 hours a week, because I like to do it," Gosselin, 39, shares. "Why can't I work at a restaurant? I like to cook."

"My buddy needed help so I said OK, why not," he adds of how he got started working on the kitchen line. "I'll sautee!"

MORE: Jon Gosselin Explains Why He Worked at TGI Friday's: 'I'm Passionate About Cooking'

Gosselin lasted a month before a photo of him working in the kitchen was leaked on Wednesday. "I see the picture and I'm wondering who leaked it," he says. "They don't really understand how it works. How many people it affects and the chain reaction."

Thankfully, the reality star has plenty of experience with the media cycle and knows it just keeps moving.

"Today I'm a headline, tomorrow someone else screws up in Hollywood, and I'm off the front page," he says, noting, "But I didn't screw up this time, I'm just working."

WATCH: Jon Gosselin Admits He Knows People Talk 'S**t' About Him

Since leaving the TLC show, Gosselin has faced endless scrutiny over his choices and continues to, even though he doesn't quite understand why.

"They think I'm a joke," he says of the public's opinion of him. "I didn't do anything to be a joke! All I did was have eight kids and raise them on television. But then I quit. I partied for six months after that and they're going to hinge my whole life existence on six months of making appearances so I could pay my attorney fees during my divorce?"

Whenever the spotlight does fall on him, Gosselin just focuses on what really matters.

"My mom and I just look and each other and just laugh and say 'What is going on?!' he says. "But whatever. I just laugh. I have nothing to hide. I have a super supportive girlfriend, my family is great. My kids love me. I have a pretty simple life. I have guy friends now, which never happened. I didn't have time for friends — I worked. People bash me but I work more than most people."

As for if he'll return to the restaurant, he's taking a two-week break and hopes to return after that. "I'm so thankful TGI Fridays hired me as a cook -- just as me, not the reality TV me. They respect what I do," he gushes. "It's a passion of mine."

In the meantime, he's focusing on his main passion — music. Gosselin says that one benefit of DJ'ing is that it helps him spend more time with his children.

EXCLUSIVE -- Jon Gosselin Says He Didn't Mock Kate's Breakup on Facebook: I Wouldn't Trash My Kids' Mother

"It's awesome -- I get to be with my kids during the day, especially in the summer," he shares. "Why not do something you love, and make people happy?"

While he donated most of his TGI Friday's paycheck to charity, Gosselin also notes that a great deal of what he earned on Jon & Kate Plus 8, he used to make sure "my kids were taken care of."

"They're doing well," he shares, explaining that at times, there's "confusion with filming and what [Kate's] doing," but that ultimately, "They're older, they understand."

WATCH: Jon Gosselin Steps Out Holding Hands With New Girlfriend

"I try and integrate them as much as possible," he adds of keeping his children exposed to real life. "We'll go to the pool in the summer, or the beach."

Meanwhile, Gosselin and his ex-wife are still not on great terms.

WATCH: Kate Gosselin Says Jon Lives His Own Life

"I don't talk to Kate," he says. "I've almost been divorced as long as I was married."

"I'm not trying to stop the shows she's doing now," he shares, adding that when he speaks out, it's only because "It's kinda hard not to when people are throwing you under a bus."

More images of Jon Gosselin:

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Jon Gosselin through the years
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Jon Gosselin through the years
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - MAY 30: DJ Jon Gosselin performs at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Resort on Saturday May 30, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - MAY 30: DJ Jon Gosselin along with DJ Noah perform at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Resort on Saturday May 30, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Jon Gosselin attends Talent Resources Sports presents Maxim 'Big Game Weekend' sponsored by AQUAhydrate, Heavenly Resorts, Wonderful Pistachios, Patron Tequila, Touch by Alyssa Milano and Philippe Chow at ESPACE on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Maxim)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - MAY 30: DJ Jon Gosselin along with DJ Noah perform at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Resort on Saturday May 30, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)
TEANECK, NJ - JUNE 27: Jon Gosselin attends a press conference on Tax Deductible Marriage Counseling at Bergen Marriage Counseling & Psychotherapy on June 27, 2012 in Teaneck, New Jersey. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
TEANECK, NJ - JUNE 27: Jon Gosselin attends a press conference on Tax Deductible Marriage Counseling at Bergen Marriage Counseling & Psychotherapy on June 27, 2012 in Teaneck, New Jersey. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Television personality Jon Gosselin attends Toasting the 2012 NFL Draft Class kick-off at the Bounce Sporting Club on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Television personality Jon Gosselin attends Toasting the 2012 NFL Draft Class kick-off at the Bounce Sporting Club on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 04: Jon Gosselin attends the Launch Party for Virgin America's First Flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia at the Hotel Palomar on April 4, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Jon Gosselin attends the 2nd annual 'Night of a Billion Reality Stars' bash at SupperClub Los Angeles on March 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: Jon Gosselin arrives at THQ's E3 'Take No Prisoners' event at The Standard Hotel Downtown on June 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Jon Gosselin attends The Sky Suite at Sky Lodge on January 22, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 09: Television personality Jon Gosselin tapes 'The Insider' in Father Duffy Square on November 09, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: Television personality Jon Gosselin meets with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the West Side Jewish Center on November 01, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA. - OCTOBER 26: Television reality star Jon Gosselin (C) speaks with the media as he leaves Montgomery County Courthouse after a hearing regarding his divorce from wife Kate Gosselin, October 26, 2009 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Kate did not attend the hearing. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA. - OCTOBER 26: Television reality star Jon Gosselin speaks with the media as he leaves Montgomery County Courthouse after a hearing regarding his divorce from wife Kate Gosselin, October 26, 2009 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Kate did not attend the hearing. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08: Television personality Jon Gosselin leaves his Manhattan apartment to pick up his daughters on October 08, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
Jon Gosselin arrives at Los Angeles International Airport on October 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leandro DiCapua/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
Jon Gosselin launches his milkshakes at Millions Of Milkshakes on October 3, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: TV personality Jon Gosselin launches his milkshake at Millions Of Milkshakes on October 3, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
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