|Born||Natalie Denise Suleman
July 11, 1975
|Known for||Suleman octuplets|
(m. 1996–d. 2008)
|Partner(s)||Denis Beaudoin (1997-1999) Frankie G (2012)|
|Children||14 (four daughters, ten sons)|
Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman (born Natalie Denise Suleman; July 11, 1975),[a] known as Octomom in the media, is an American woman who came to international attention when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009. The Suleman octuplets are only the second full set of octuplets to be born alive in the United States. One week after their birth, they surpassed the previous worldwide survival rate for a complete set of octuplets set by the Chukwu octuplets in 1998. The circumstances of their high order multiple birth have led to controversy in the field of assisted reproductive technology as well as an investigation by the Medical Board of California of the fertility specialist involved.
Public reaction turned negative when it was discovered that Suleman already had six other young children and was unemployed and on public assistance programs. Suleman conceived the octuplets and her six older children via in vitro fertilization (IVF). Although she initially denied ever having used public assistance, she confirmed in April 2012 on NBC's Today show that she was indeed on public assistance.
Marriage and divorce
In 1996, Suleman married Marco Gutierrez. They separated in 2000. Gutierrez filed for divorce in November 2006, which was finalized in January 2008. In an interview with Inside Edition, Gutierrez explained their divorce was due to failed attempts to have children. Suleman was desperate and wanted to try in vitro fertilization, but Gutierrez disliked the idea of "test tube babies" and refused to take part in the procedure. Gutierrez said he is not the father of any of Suleman's children and that he wishes his ex-wife the best.
Suleman began IVF treatments in 1997, when she was 21 years old, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Kamrava, who was later (October 2009) expelled from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
In 2001, Suleman gave birth to her first child, a son named Elijah. After her first daughter, Amerah, was born in 2002, she received additional IVF treatments, which resulted in three further pregnancies (including one set of fraternal twins) and a total of six children (four sons, two daughters).
In 2008, Suleman stated she had six embryos left over from her previous IVF treatments. She explained at the time that she requested that all of the remaining embryos be transferred into her uterus at one time, despite the norm for a woman her age being two or three transferred at the most. Suleman states that part of her reasoning for attempting a sixth pregnancy was so that the frozen embryos would not be destroyed. Dr. Kamrava stated recently that she insisted on all 'fresh' cycles, and in fact that she still has embryos stored with Dr. Kamrava. In June 2011, during a California Medical Board investigation, it was found that Kamrava had transferred twelve embryos, which the board found to be an "extreme" departure from standard of care. After reviewing Suleman's case, in combination with three other cases, the Medical Board of California voted to revoke Kamrava's medical license, effective July 1, 2011.
News of the octuplets caused an international media sensation. Public response was largely negative, including death threats. There has been much public discussion about Suleman's decision to have the octuplets, including a minor protest outside the Suleman home. Many expressed concern that Suleman's decision for more children would burden taxpayers via public support. Suleman claims to be able to independently support her children, saying that she is planning to return to school to complete her master's degree in counseling, but records show that Suleman is currently unemployed after having received disability between 2002 and 2008 as payment for a back injury suffered during a riot in September 1999.
As of March 2009, Suleman bought a new house in La Habra, and many stories questioned that the octuplets would be released from the hospital, while Suleman expressed concern about losing custody of them. In the early morning hours of April 1, the day she would bring home the seventh octuplet, vandals threw a baby seat through the back window of her Toyota minivan. As of April 14, 2009, all of the children were home with their mother and grandmother. The octuplets celebrated their first birthday on January 26, 2010. Suleman told People magazine, "I don't get much sleep, about two or three hours a night. But I'm continuing to move forward with my life and trying to be the best mother I can be."
In a June 2011 interview, Suleman purportedly told In Touch Weekly: "I hate babies, they disgust me... Obviously, I love them — but I absolutely wish I had not had them." Suleman later stated she did not give an interview with the magazine, but a recorded audio tape surfaced three weeks later.
Suleman quickly captured the public eye with the birth of octuplets. Within the first week, the media dubbed her "Octomom". Suleman hired the Killeen Furtney Group as her initial public relations company, with Wes Yoder providing a small amount of pro bono advice. Both groups soon ended their involvement after receiving death threats. Her next spokesman was Victor Munoz, who quit on March 6, 2009.
Suleman has appeared on many television shows, starting with a February 2009 interview with Ann Curry. Suleman rejected suggestions that her decisions have been selfish or that she may not be able to care for her children, stating, "I know I'll be able to afford them when I'm done with my schooling. If I was just sitting down watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered, to a certain degree, selfish". Suleman would make another appearance later in March on Dr. Phil alongside fellow guest Gloria Allred. Allred had a list of criticisms regarding Suleman's performance as mother and homemaker.
On April 16, 2009, Suleman revealed she struck a deal for a reality TV show in the UK, though The Hollywood Reporter said some U.S. networks were reluctant to pick up the show. Suleman signed an agreement with the Los Angeles Superior Court on July 24 to have each of her children earn $250 a day to star in a reality show; filming was set to begin on September 1. On May 4, 2009, it was announced that Allred had filed a case with Orange County Superior Court requesting that a guardian be appointed to protect the rights of the infants. Later Fox aired their own two-hour special titled, Octo-Mom: The Incredible Unseen Footage. There were many parodies and other media events based on the story, including a 2009 musical performed in Los Angeles, although she was not involved in its production.
In April 2010, Suleman was on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Idol Gives Back, in which she denied claims that she had received plastic surgery and stated that she refused to star in pornographic movies. She added that she had seriously rethought her decision to give birth to and raise her children,[clarification needed] and that she hoped to become a teacher. She made another appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she asked and received help from Suze Orman about financial issues that she was then facing with her children and discussed her compulsive hoarding disorder developed from childhood.
On April 30, 2012, Nadya Suleman filed for personal bankruptcy in Orange County Superior Court. Suleman said she had $50,000 in assets and up to $1 million in debts. Her home in La Habra was set to go up for auction. Earlier, she was accused of neglecting her children while spending hundreds of dollars on herself for services such as Brazilian blowouts. However, after visiting her house, social workers determined that the children were not in danger and should not be removed.
Suleman checked herself into Chapman House Treatment Center in Los Angeles on October 23, 2012, for 28 days or more for rehabilitation for anxiety, exhaustion, and stress. She had been taking Xanax under a doctor's care for her problems.
On January 13, 2014, Suleman was accused of welfare fraud by the state of California for failing to disclose nearly $30,000 in earnings. On 14 July she pleaded no contest to a single count of misdemeanor welfare fraud for failing to disclose income she was receiving from videos and personal appearances while collecting more than $26,000 in public assistance funds to care for her 14 children. Suleman was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and two years of probation, and ordered to pay a small fine. Her attorney, Arthur J. LaCilento, said that with financial help from friends, his client has already repaid the county welfare system. Before making her plea Monday, Suleman had been facing four felony charges, including perjury and welfare fraud, in the case.
Suleman continued efforts to raise money to support herself and her children. In June 2012, she announced that she would be recording a new single with recording artist Adam Barta after she appeared in an alternate cut of his "Q&A" music video, where she was heard saying, "Let's do a duet, on my new album!" In Summer 2012, Suleman appeared in the adult film Octomom Home Alone produced by Wicked Pictures. The film is solely of Nadya Suleman in solo scenes with the aid of sex toys; there are no male actors. The film was released on June 20, 2012. (In December 2012, Home Alone received four AVN Award nominations, and won for Best Celebrity Video.)
|2013||AVN Awards||Best Celebrity Sex Tape||Octomom Home Alone|
She has also begun work as an adult entertainer dancing in men's clubs. She released a single called "Sexy Party" with Adam Barta in September, and caused a controversy when he was seen holding her breasts surrounded by crucifixes on a bed on the compact disc artwork. She claimed she was inspired by the work of Madonna. In October, 2012 she was paid to participate in the launch of an internet debate site, Deeyoon.com, including doing an online debate on parenting with Michael Lohan.
Before knowledge of the octuplets became public, Suleman had been living with her six older children and mother in a small three-bedroom house in Whittier, California. Property records show the Suleman house in mortgage default, scheduled to be sold at auction in May 2009. Suleman's parents filed for bankruptcy in 2008, citing nearly $1 million in liabilities. In March 2010, it was reported that Suleman's own La Habra house was facing foreclosure.
Suleman's father, Edward Doud Suleman, identified himself as a former Iraqi military man and said he would be returning to his native Iraq as a translator and driver in order to financially support his daughter and her fourteen children. Suleman's mother, Angela Victoria Suleman, a retired high school teacher, has helped to look after the first six children. She has indicated that she is overwhelmed looking after them, and has been critical of her daughter in her earlier public statements. Amongst similar interviews, she revealed that her daughter never expected to give birth to the large number of children, nor did she expect to be unemployed and use public assistance.
- She was born in Orange County, which supports Fullerton as her place of birth vs. Bellflower (Los Angeles County) which is sometimes reported.
- 666 the Devil's Child (movie starring Nadya Suleman)
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- Video at 1:20
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