Jon Gosselin Girlfriend: “My Parents Love Him!”

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Jon Gosselin’s 22-year-old playdate Hailey Glassman is breaking her silence about her romance with the married star of TLC’s Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Hailey – who is the wildchild reformed lesbian daughter of the plastic surgeon who performed a tummy tuck on Kate Gosselin — told PEOPLE she began falling for Jon while he was on the mend at her parents’ New York City home recovering from his breakup with estranged wife Kate.

“He was so strong,” Hailey said in the new interview. “I admired him.”

Jon and Hailey were first stepped out as a couple earlier this month, when the 32-year-old father of the Gosselin child army brought his new armpiece along to the South of France for a meeting with Ed Hardy designer Christian Audigier.

Hailey — who was pinched on drug possession charges in 2005 — admits the romance caught her off guard.

“If you had told me a few months ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

And while their romance may be raising some eyebrows among Jon & Kate fans, Jon and Hailey’s love has a pair of strong supporters in the young woman’s parents.

“They love him,” Hailey said of her parents relationship with her much older boyfriend. “They think of him as part of the family. They think things happen for a reason.”

Jon & Kate Plus 8 resumes August 8.