Octuplet Mom Fuels Media Controversy
Ordinarily the mothers of multiple-birth children are showered with admiration, gifts, endorsement offers, and publicity. Nadya Suleman, the woman who recently gave birth to octuplets, may be receiving plenty of publicity, but little of the rest. In fact, a publicist representing the mother said in a radio interview Thursday that a website set up to solicit donations has also been receiving angry messages from people incensed that Suleman, who now has 14 children, has been collecting public-assistance funds for them. The publicist said that Suleman has even been receiving death threats. Meanwhile, several sources said that Suleman had been demanding $1.2 million for an exclusive interview following the babies' birth and that while Oprah Winfrey's representative walked out of a meeting when that figure came up, NBC remained. (The interview was eventually conducted by Ann Curry and broadcast on Dateline and the Today show.) NBC has denied that it paid for the interview, but a new controversy erupted Thursday after reports appeared that ABC, through the website RadarOnline, paid Suleman's mother $40,000 for an interview in which she chastised her daughter for becoming pregnant without the means to support her children. ABC insists it merely paid a "nominal fee" to license ABC's footage.