Kate Gosselin Loses Control

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On camera, TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Kate Gosselin tries to portray herself as a supermom who can handle taking care of 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old sextuplets. These exclusive new photographs show that Kate’s composed demeanor may just be a facade. Behind the scenes, she seems to be unraveling. Around 11 a.m. on June 13, a witness spotted Kate, 34, and the children playing outside of their Reading, Pa., home. When Leah, one of the sextuplets, started blowing a whistle loudly, Kate told her to stop because she was on the phone. But as soon as Leah blew on the whistle again, Kate “seemed to lose her temper” and said, “Did you not hear me?” Then she stormed over to her daughter, grabbed her and hit her. “The girl was screaming and crying,” the witness adds. “Kate just pushed her away and walked off with her coffee. Her older sisters were trying to make Leah feel better.”

For years, spanking has been one of the most controversial issues in parenting. Most childcare experts now agree that hitting is not an effective form of discipline. Although spanking is not against the law, Jordan Riak (who does not treat the Gosselins), executive director of Project NoSpank, who has studied the effects of physical punishment on children for more than 30 years, believes it should be. “Spanking can be child abuse,” he tells In Touch. “It has many long-term, lasting effects. It damages brain development in children under 7 and can lead to poor life decisions down the line. It can cause behavior problems, health problems and issues managing emotions.” But in a public statement, Kate shows no remorse for the incident, saying how she disciplines her children in public or private is her decision.

For more photos of Kate’s outrage and all the latest celebrity news, check out this week’s issue of In Touch, on newsstands now!

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Us Weekly, Baby Swags & Jessica Alba