Nadya Suleman, Octomom, calls herself ‘a classic victim… misled by my doctor’

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Octomom Nadya Suleman has a new profile in The NY Times. To her credit, we haven’t heard about her in years, her kids are still in her care, all 14 of them, and the octuplets are in fourth grade and thriving. Nadya has a very slippery relationship with the truth. I’ve covered her since she shot to fame and she regularly lied, grifted and scammed. The author of this profile alludes to Nadya’s slippery relationship with the truth without calling her out. In Nadya’s mind everything is someone else’s fault – it was her doctor’s fault for implanting her with more embryos than she knew about (her former publicist swears it was Nadya’s idea in a bid to get famous), she was a caricature created by the tabloids and she has a bunch of health problems but she won’t take medication because she is vegan and considers pharmaceuticals poison. It’s hard to follow her train of thought, but that’s how she’s always been. Here’s some of the interview, with more at the source.

Public interest eventually waned, and tasked with caring for so many, Ms. Suleman said, she turned to booze and Xanax from 2011 to 2013, before briefly checking into rehab. During this time, friends and family helped take care of the children.

She was pretending to be that person
“I was pretending to be a fake, a caricature, which is something I’m not, and I was doing it out of desperation and scarcity so I could provide for my family,” she said on the phone in October. “I’ve been hiding from the real world all my life.”

“I was the classic victim,” Ms. Suleman said at her home in November, a day before the worst wildfire in California history turned the skies red. A victim of having an alcoholic father, she said, a victim of having been an only child, hungry to fill that void. A victim of fate since she couldn’t conceive naturally. Most of all, she said, “I was misled by my doctor.”

“He told me we lost six embryos, he said they were expelled out of me, and that’s why he wanted to implant another six,” said Ms. Suleman, who grew up in nearby Fullerton, Calif. She has a B.S. in child development and worked for a state mental hospital for three years before suffering an injury that resulted in over $80,000 in disability payments. A subsequent family inheritance of $60,000 helped fund her IVF.

Dr. Kamrava has said she pressured him into the multiple rounds of implants, an accusation echoed recently by David Shofet, a rabbi and a childhood friend of the doctor.

She claims she never wanted the attention
“I was selfish and immature,” said Ms. Suleman, now 43. She doesn’t admit fault, she wouldn’t change the past, she loves her angels too much. But she admits to an ever-consuming “need for more.”

“I never wanted the attention,” she said, somewhat contradictorily. She said that hospital staff breached her records and sold her out to the media: “There were helicopters flying over the hospital while I was giving birth.”

Her answers kept zigzagging.

“I have PTSD from all the reporters coming in over the years. I would take whatever I could back in the days, and I would let them in. I was spiraling down a dark hole. There were no healthy opportunities for Octomom. I was doing what I was told to do and saying what I was told to say. When you’re pretending to be something you’re not, at least for me, you end up falling on your face.”

“Octomom was media created. I believe most media is filtered and fake. They created this caricature…”

“I’m a raw vegan, and I perceive pharmaceuticals to be poison.” she said. She relies on prayer, and home exercise. “If I didn’t climb 40 miles a week on the StairMaster, which acts as a buffer, then I’d be completely incapacitated.”

[From The NY Times]

I came away from this really wondering how she copes on a daily basis. It sounds like her 16 year-old daughter does a lot of the work and like the 9 year-old octuplets fend for themselves too. She doesn’t sound like she’s changed too much, but given that we haven’t heard from her in so long she must have. She went to rehab in 2013 for alcohol and Xanax so maybe much of her abrasive personality was due to addiction and pills. I didn’t miss her. I’m just glad her kids are ok.

The caption on the post below where she’s on the stairmaster (I’m not including it, you can see it on Instagram) goes into her physical ailments. She is such a pretentious writer.

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47 Responses to “Nadya Suleman, Octomom, calls herself ‘a classic victim… misled by my doctor’”

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  1. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but those kids look great. The boys look better put together than my one 13yo lol.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      They look pretty happy, that ‘s what matters.

    • Esmom says:

      I was going to say the same thing — they look healthy and happy, like typical fourth graders. Very sweet.

    • Killjoy says:

      I dislike her intensely, and photos are fantasy, but I’m getting some good vibes from these pictures. Hope it’s real.

    • charo says:

      Yes; her kids look better than the Gosselin kids apparently are doing with TWO parents.


      Resilient kids manage to partially raise themselves. She may have some skills, too; and did some of the work.

      • SK says:

        I never followed this story. Did she have a partner? Or we these all
        Sperm donor babies? Did she use the same sperm donor for all 14 (14!!!!!!!) kids?

        I always feel sorry for eldest daughters in big families. They so often end up as some kind of quasi maid and nanny with a tonne of pressure and responsibility. Unpaid of course, and it is never their choice to essentially become a parent.

  2. Erinn says:

    I’m impressed that she’s at least letting her kids eat what they want at some level. I expected her to be one of those parents who bash pharmaceuticals and don’t let her kids have healthcare or food that they want to eat.

    • Esmom says:

      My first thought was the opposite, that she’s so self absorbed she lets them eat as unhealthily as they like while she reserves all the healthy stuff for herself. Lol. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

      • Erinn says:

        Ha, never thought of that. I think probably it is somewhere in the middle, though neither polar opposite would surprise me.

  3. Barfly says:

    Why is anyone even paying attention? She must be getting paid, right? I don’t feel like anyone was eager to see what she’s been up to

  4. Mego says:

    The children look bright and beautiful to me – so nice to see.

  5. LORENA says:

    Are her kids from the same donor?

  6. LORENAA says:

    double post sorry

  7. Meowuirose says:

    Maybe this is a rude question but did they use more than one sperm donor? Those kids have quite the range of features and shades. I’m genuinely curious. They all look well fed and cared for physically but I hope mentally they have support too. She seems like someone who is not in touch with reality.

    • Bros says:

      Yah, I don’t know. It does look like her doctor heard ‘sale on aisle 6!’ And implanted her with whatever he could take off the shelves. She obviously is making money on instagram, but I can’t blame her. 14 kids is a ton of mouths to feed.

      • Swack says:

        She should have never had 14 on her own (and she was on her own at the time) when she couldn’t take care of the six she already had when she dedided to have more. And the excuse the doctor told her 6 were expelled out of her is a BS story. She would have known if they were expelled. My last child began as twins, one never developed and was absorbed by my body. The only reason we knew is that I started bleeding (after having a miscarriage 6 weeks earlier) and they did an ultrasound. Dr. saw 2 sacs but only one baby. The bleeding was because the placenta for that fetus was over the uterus opening and was disintegrating. I was put on shots for the next 8 weeks to make sure I kept the surviving fetus. She did it for the fame and money, when that ran out she was then on her own to raise 14 children. Her doing, no one elses.

      • Cranberry says:

        Didn’t’ there mother go bankrupt try to support her with her first six children?

    • s says:

      She’s of Arab (I think Iraqi?) descent – that covers a whole lot of skin-tones and features by itself if you look into family trees. I’m Arab and my family runs the gamut of features and skintones, so it could be her genes responsible for that too.

      • Amelie says:

        Her mother’s also Lithuanian which… I don’t know what that means ethnically speaking but I’m guessing it contributes as well. But it is funny that one kid is fair with blond hair and blue eyes and the rest are more dark in complexion.

      • Esmom says:

        Amelie, I’d guess that’s where his fair coloring comes from then. Many Lithuanians have blond hair and blue eyes. Geographically they are nearer to Scandinavia than many people realize.

      • Swack says:

        Amelie, genetics is weird sometime. My parents, both dark hair, one brown eyes, one green eyes, produced 3 blond, blue eyed children (out of 4). So, the blonde, blue eyed child doesn’t surprise me. We also don’t know the hair color and eye color of the sperm donor (at least I don’t think we do) and half the dna comes from him.

      • BorderMollie says:

        I’m Arab and Native Cdn, and these pics are the range of skin tones you’d see at a reunion on either side of my family. It can be a toss up, looks wise lol!

        Her kiddos are adorable, but she’s still sketch to me.

      • Malificent says:

        My high school boyfriend was Filipino, Polish, and Irish. The five boys in the family all had dark hair and eyes. The one girl was blond and blue-eyed.

        In our family, we have one kid who is blond and blue-eyed like my dad and four who have dark brown hair and eyes like my mom. We always teased my dad about having weak genes….

      • CoffeePot says:

        Sicilian descent here, and the same thing. My extended family ranges from straight up Corolone family to Irish red hair and green eyes.

        And, yeah, she is Iraqi. I remember her father actually returned to Iraq to act as a translater to support her. Imagine being so shitty that your dad either goes to a warzone to escape your clusterfuck or help pay for your clusterfuck, or likely both.

      • Snowflake says:

        Oh, here, I’ve got one for you guys. A lady had twins. One looks all Caucasian from the hair to skin tone and features. The other looks all African American. Both are mixed and cute!

      • SK says:

        @Snowflake – I recall that family! Those twins were such an interesting twist of genetics. They looked alike but totally different racially.

        Just a note: I don’t believe that black people outside of the US like being called African American. That family with the twins is British.

    • CharliePenn says:

      My two kids are half Puerto Rican and half Irish/English. One looks 100% Irish. People have literally laughed out loud when I said he’s half Puerto Rican. The other has black hair, dark eyes, Hispanic facial features. Same two parents!

  8. Notanotherpostcard says:

    All her children are beautiful and look happy amd well-cared for. Maybe things did work out ok in the long run.

    I hope she has turned her life around. People can change for the better if they want to.

  9. KJ says:

    The NYT piece was so strangely thin — it seemed to end just as it was ramping up into actual reporting. How does she make money? Does she have a job? Are the kids healthy besides a tossed off bit about how they are small for their age? Why not dig deeper into the competing claims from her and the doctor? Shoddy reporting.

  10. minx says:

    She’s nuts.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      MINX I’m with you. She always WAS nuts. Remember how she changed her face to look like Angelina Jolie? And how she went into p0rn? And how to she required zillions of dollars in infant medical care and child benefits – that we pay for? There was no alternative once the kids were here, but I am deeply resentful that one woman felt entitled to put 14 children on the planet with no father/partner and no way to support them. I can’t stand her and I’m sorry she’s back.

    • Pandy says:

      Yes, would definitely agree she has mental health issues … and I remember her porn foray as well lolllll.

  11. Busyann says:

    Rings true to me

  12. Anastasia says:

    A victim of being an only child?

    Girl PLEASE. Give it a rest.

    • elimaeby says:

      RIGHT? I’m my dad’s only, and my half-sister was quite a bit older than me, so we never lived in the same house. I was raised as an only. I feel in no way victimized. It just meant I had my own room and my birthday and Christmas hauls were AMAZING! I was lucky enough to have tons of little friends in the neighborhood and was never really lonely. Plus, having to entertain myself sometimes bred a lot of creativity in me. It takes some real mental gymnastics to feel victimized by not having siblings.

      • Tourmaline says:

        As the mom of an only, thank you. I am always happy to hear stuff like this from grown-up only children :)

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Thanks to each of you above regarding only child comment.I was raised the only (only one at home by years)and our daughter is an only,she’s outstanding in every way,very well adjusted girl.
        Victim of being an only child-right….Should I go out and have 13 more😕

  13. Carmen says:

    It’s a miracle all eight of the children survived early infancy, let alone thrived. Someone took very good care of those kids.

  14. Cranberry says:

    Children are resilient and they have each other. The older siblings probably have a lot of responsibility looking after the oct-tuplets. My mother was the eldest of five, and they had very little money. She had to watch over her siblings like a second parent cause her mom always had a baby to feed etc.
    It’s likely octomom had a lot of assistance when the kids were babies and toddlers. Now that they’re older, the older siblings are probability in charge of the younger much of the time. I think the kids are happy cause they have each other, but I bet the older kids are not that secure, emotionally at least. It must have been very stressful for them to go through the scandal and then to have eight baby bros/sisters all needing full attention.

  15. Rocky says:

    Unless she held a gun to the doctors head to get him to implant him with that many eggs it is the doctors fault. No matter how many she asked for it was his responsibility to do what was ethical and safe. To me this is just one of the pitfalls of the American medical system. When profit is the goal you end up with unethical conn men who will do medical procedures against the guidelines of any medical field.

  16. me says:

    I saw this on the news yesterday. She’s a counselor now. I don’t know how she supports 14 kids with just that one income. I’m guessing she’s trying to get a reality show or something. They said on the news she lives in a 3 bedroom home and that most likely some of the kids have to sleep on sofas. That is sad. I feel bad for those kids, but in the pics they do look happy so who knows.

  17. Original Jenns says:

    I think the kids look happy and healthy because they are close and love each other. I think they are also protective of mom, who is still not all together stable. Some of the kids sleep on couches, the 16 year old seems to take care of a lot in the house. During the interview, the 9 year olds were cooking dinner with her supervision (legit cooking) as Nadia mentioned she hates cooking. There are only 2 chairs in the dining room so they eat in shifts. The 16 year old mentioned she doesn’t have friends over because she doesn’t want the attention of it all, I think. I di worry as the article also mentioned that some of the children have some disabilities, and with Nadia’s claim of medicine being poison, I wonder if they are getting proper care there. I don’t think they are neglected but may be missing out on some helpful treatments. I think if they are thriving it’s because of each other.

    • CoffeePot says:

      That’s the thing. As a child of a dysfunctional family, I understand that most people might be shocked at how well crazy families can lock it up and give a happy appearance for the outside world.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Thank you for this comment!
      The kids may look “happy”, but we shouldn’t assume that is because of anything Nadya has done. She has been irresponsible since day 1, and clearly that pattern has continued.

  18. Nichole says:

    Wow, I’m surprised how well-written she actually is. I feel like such a jerk saying that, but…