Octomom to turn porn star?
US woman who gave birth to octuplets in 2009 looking to porn to make ends meet
LOS ANGELES (AP)
From 'Miracle Mom' to 'Octomom' and now, perhaps soon, 'Homeless Mom', the bizarre life of Nadya Suleman and her 14 children has been a subject that rarely fails to hit a nerve among those who have followed her personal soap opera.
Now, with Suleman on the verge of losing her home after filing for bankruptcy this week and revealing she owes as much as $1 million to everyone from her parents to her babysitters, could the 'Octomom Odyssey' finally be grinding to an inglorious halt?
And if it is, what might be the fate of the children borne from her zeal for in vitro fertilisation?
Suleman has said three of her six older children have disabilities for which she receives government financial support.
One is autistic, another has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the third a speech impediment. The older children range in age from five to 10.
One thing that keeps driving interest in her is whether authorities should step in and take the children. There's also a fascination with watching her very public foibles. As she struggles to stay afloat, Suleman has posed topless for an obscure British magazine and said she would make a porn film.
Not only is she broke, but it has come to light in recent weeks that the Southern California home where she and her children have lived the past two years is going on the auction block tomorrow.
Child welfare officials visited the La Habra home last week following a complaint that her children were living in squalor.
They took no action, and Orange County Social Services spokeswoman Terry Lynn Fisher said last Thursday the law prevents her from even confirming or denying the visit.
Speaking in general terms, however, Fisher said it's not illegal for families to be homeless, to live in dirty homes or even in their cars, as long as that doesn't place their children in danger.
If the Suleman saga is wrapping up, it would mark a sad end to something that, if only briefly, once seemed to some like the feel-good story of the year.
That was on January 26, 2009, when Suleman's octuplets were born at a Southern California hospital and made medical history when they all survived. In the days that followed, she was reportedly showered with offers for book and movie deals, reality TV shows and a mountain of free baby stuff.
Things changed quickly, however, after it was learned that Octomom was also 'Single Mom' and 'Welfare Mom'. And that she already had six children under the age of eight and was living on a combination of welfare checks, food stamps, student loans and her parents' largesse.
The movie, book and TV deals faded, and Suleman, now 36, turned to increasingly bizarre means of making money.
She endorsed birth control, but only for dogs and cats. That earned her $5,000 and a month's supply of vegetarian hot dogs and burgers from the animal rights group People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
She once told Oprah Winfrey that she hated the term 'Octomom' but then had it emblazoned on the back of the robe she wore into a boxing ring last year for a 'celebrity' match against Amy Fisher, who gained fame in the 1990s as the 'Long Island Lolita' when she shot the wife of her much older lover in the face.
Over the years, numerous people tried to help and offer advice to Suleman, including such TV personalities as Dr Phil and money guru Suze Orman.
Instead, she went through one publicist and attorney after another. At one point, she even spurned six months of free child care by the group Angels in Waiting that had been arranged by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.
The group's co-founder, Linda Conforti-West, said at the time that Suleman seemed more interested in lining up a reality TV show than caring for the kids.
Suleman declined to be interviewed for this story.
"She is not interested in having any filming or doing any interviews of any sort, especially entering her home and filming her kids for no compensation," said her current spokeswoman Gina Rodriguez, whose other clients have included Tiger Woods mistress Joslyn James, reality TV star Tila Tequila and Lindsay Lohan's mother, Dina.
Documents filed in court last Monday for Suleman's bankruptcy case list assets of no more than $50,000 and debts of $500,000 to $1 million.
Her creditors include her parents, her gardener, a babysitting company, private school, pest control company, mortgage holder and state Department of Motor Vehicles, among others.
Orange County businessman Amer Haddadin, who sold Suleman's father the four-bedroom home that's about to be auctioned, said he's owed $483,000, including 11 months of unpaid rent and a $450,000 note that Suleman never paid off. He says he has no sympathy for her, adding her actions led his mortgage holder to foreclose on him and destroyed his credit.
"She's not only using the system, she's abusing the system," Haddadin said.
Lately, Suleman has made money posing topless for the British magazine and has a possible porn deal in the works, although the latter comes with a catch. She had said she'll only do it if, to put it delicately, she is the only one being filmed. It would be what the industry calls a solo tape.
That led Vivid Entertainment Group co-founder Steven Hirsch, who once offered Suleman $1 million to do a porn film, to say he doubts his company would be interested in working with her in the future.
"I'm not sure that after that's released that it would make sense," he said.