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Entertainment behind the scenes

Octomom show — repulsive or sympathetic?

August 21, 2009


Is the public fascination with California’s Octomom running out of steam?.

A two-hour TV special on single mom Nadya Suleman’s life with her eight new babies and six other young children was watched by just 4.1 million American viewers on Wednesday night, while more than double that (10.3 million) tuned in to see the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent.”

Suleman, 33, has garnered wall-to-wall media coverage since giving birth to octuplets in January and the show compiled video footage approved by her not just of her chaotic life at home and with the paparazzi, but also film shot inside the hospital delivery room.

The Fox TV special appeared to have made few new friends for Suleman and her (mostly) screaming brood. Entertainment Weekly called it a “repulsively grim two hours of TV” while the New York Times said it “failed to produce a second’s worth of contrarian evidence that Nadya Suleman isn’t a self-obsessed, publicity-driven lunatic.”

But the New York Daily News was slightly more forgiving, calling the program “an oddly fascinating look into the life of a woman who alternates between totally dysfunctional and easily sympathetic.”

Suleman herself admitted in the show that she “screwed up my life, I screwed up my kids’ lives”, adding, “I have to pretend like I don’t regret it. I can’t regret it now cause I love them, they’re here. But what was I thinking?”.

However she has sought to trademark the name “Octomom”, has a thriving web site, and has signed on for a reality TV series, suggesting that she and her children expect to be in the public eye — willingly or not — for years to come.


I have no sympathy for this woman. She used her mother for her house and her babysitting then dumped her when she didn’t need her anymore. One scene I saw previously the kids were running up happy to see their grandma. At least there was once a normal person in their life.

Posted by ladyofargonne | Report as abusive

I think she’s teh hot. I’d marry her if I could get to know her better than I do already.

Posted by yie lee | Report as abusive

See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

Posted by Somniferous | Report as abusive

“Octomom show — repulsive or sympathetic?”

Only in America, when millions of hardworking Americans are struggling to keep food on the table, would an unemployed, irresponsible sideshow freak be glorified on national television.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

I have sympathy for the children they are truly suffering. They are angry and violent, one kicked a baby which was part of the show. They are all having great trouble expressing themselves. My opinion is they are being destroyed and in need of intervention, on going intervention.


Fascination??? The only fascination that existed was the damned media to get a freak story! Now, I hope the whole thing blows up in their faces. Sounds like reality has already set in to this self absorbed baby machine. I hope those who enrich this clown go broke doing so. There isn’t anyone interested in this story but she and the runaway media.

Posted by E | Report as abusive

This person decided to keep her unborn children and now that they are here I have only good wishes for them, their mother, and the grandparents. None of these people did anything wrong to humanity to give them a bad characterization or a bad name. I am a supporter of the children and the family. I believe it is not anyone’s business or the media’s to disregard the welfare of any of them.

Posted by Diana Nassaney | Report as abusive

Despite all my political and moral convictions against interfering with a woman’s right to control her own body, I still think we should rush this loon and hold her down while somebody ties her tubes.

Posted by dualienoted | Report as abusive

i think this is great. yes she made a mistake having that many kids but the creaters of the T.V show is helping her raise these kids so they have a good life and not making such stupid mistakes. she is getting a second chance to bring up her kids to be healthy and smart. and the show will make her alot of money to help her and her family. I hope she doesn’t mess this opportunity up. she can’t. its way to important.

Posted by dylan | Report as abusive

So, the simpsons did this when Apu’s wife gives birth to Octo’s and are taken advantage of by a lowlife publicity manager. Been there, done that. Thank you, come again.



Posted by joseph | Report as abusive

I have to say this. I can remember when women would have babies naturally in order to get a welfare check. They weren’t celebrated, they were chastised. They were called lazy, baby factories among other things. This woman has admitted that she did this in the hopes of securing a tv deal. My how times do change!


She is a mmmmmmmmilf!!!!!!!!

Posted by Tom Stevens | Report as abusive

Yes, I’m guilty, I watched the whole thing. Buy how could anyone not? It was like driving by a bad car accident, you had to slow down and take a look. Two words, dysfunctional and ironic. Her toddler son repeatedly called her a “bitch”, her pre-teen daughter seemed to be angry and humiliated about the fact a camera crew was following her family, along with serious anger issues from the rest of the kids. Nadya seemed to constantly blame her Mom for her problems and completely disrespect her, while her mother all along supported her, cared for her kids, and gave her “grown up” adult advice. The ironic thing, how can a woman with a degree in Psychology be so mentally unbalanced and narcissistic? Come on, what woman would apply lipstick to her unusually puffed up lips, (due to “toxemia”) while trying to shield her babies from the press. What a phony! What a shame for those women out there trying to have children while she (with no husband or job) has a litter and depends on tax payers dollars and exploitative TV shows to pay her bills.

Posted by JB | Report as abusive

This womas is repulsive. She is a leach on society. I really feel sorry for her mother. Her mother needs to know she did nothing wrong but to love a child that is so selfish and lazy. Her daugher had those kids to fulfill the dream that she could not do herself.

Too bad that DOCTOR can’t be put in jail for this. I can’t believe that in this society we now celebrate this by giving this woman a home, car, etc. and Please a tatoo? Here’s a news tip for Ombamas health care. Start with this mess of a woman and tie her tubes! Put these crimminal doctors in jail.

Posted by sam | Report as abusive

This story is the one that wouldn’t die, because of media outlets constant need of some kind of story for 24hr. feeds, and because of the some in the publics’ need to live vicariously through others on television. Not sure who begat whom. However, i can say that “dylan” at 1:27am GMT is a good indication of the kind of person that is.

Posted by steveinohio | Report as abusive

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THE DOCTOR — Michael Kamrava — who is responsible for this Suleman pregnancy WAS NOT PROSECUTED. He ABSOLUTELY should. Suleman has clearly big mental/psychological personal issues that were dismissed or ignored when she pursued her pregnancies. This doctor is no different than doctor(s) in M. Jackson case: ANOTHER ENABLER. These poor kids are the true victims.

Posted by light | Report as abusive

They say this woman has far more kids than she can support, which is true.

But why aren’t people equally repulsed by world annual population growth that exceeds 75,000,000? That’s 1,000 football stadiums worth of people every year, all needing land, water, energy, timber and mineral resources, many of which are finite and shrinking.

The U.S. population is growing by about 3,000,000 per year and Suleman’s kids are a tiny fraction of that. Why the outrage over her and the sheep-like acceptance of overpopulation in general? How did growthism come to be accepted as natural, let alone sustainable?

The planet is finite. No economy can grow forever. The debt-ridden money supply (as evidenced by this recession) is already unstable. Housing starts cannot continue as if land acreage is infinite. Endless, mindless population growth is NOT progress.


Look, these 14 kids are screaming and cursing. so what? that’s what all kids do. When they grow up, they will eventually become sober and serious, and they will look for opportunities through education. they will then realize that their mom was a good person. they will make something of themselves and survive. why? because even if you might think they are living in crowded conditions, and with not enough attention, when they get older they will overcome this adversity of their childhood. this adversity will make them stronger. what does not kill you will make you stronger.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

I think Octomom should have had a PR person before filming this documentary and a good attorney. I don’t much care for her but I’m pained for the children. I don’t think the toddler kicking, slapping and calling her a B* is all that extreme or as hype as everyone is making it when you consider the enviroment the poor child was placed in. Nadya needs an intervention, she’s not stable in the least bit and my heart just aches for all of the kids and the grandmother, who in there right mind would do what she did to her mother and then later brag about it and think it’s an endearing story to tell?

Basically what I’m saying is that yes she’s a lot of horrible things times two but she was filmed and edited in the most unflattering way. She allowed herself to be OWNED, what an idiot

Posted by Concerned | Report as abusive

I watched the special and came away feeling the older children are miserable and the two year old boy is acting out in a manner that needs professional attention. Calling her a “bitch” and slapping her is not okay. She appears to be very paranoid which perhaps is totally natural given the fishbowl life she has. I feel very sorry for all of the children and hope someone will be appointed to represent and watch over them. No, I don’t feel any sympathy for her but a great deal of sympathy for the children.

Posted by Tanner | Report as abusive

There are thousands of children in this world that are not cared for or provided for nearly as well as these children. Please stop wasting your time and efforts here and focus them where they are really needed. Having a large family is not that uncommon. There was even a point in time when large families were the norm. Yes, it is difficult raising so many children but it is not impossible. I think she is truly doing the best she can to raise her children in a home filled with love. After watching this special I don’t doubt for a minute that she loves her kids and is doing everything she can to provide for them. I understand that she was irresponsible in having more children than she could afford to provide for at the time but she is now working to rectify the situation. Leave her be. Leave her kids be. Let them live their lives. Move on to worrying about homes where the children are not being fed, are being abused (physically, verbally, sexually)or are truly being neglected.

Posted by Time To Move On | Report as abusive

yea you’re right john. that’s why there are no criminals, delinquents, and crazy people in this world. because all kids overcome their adversities no matter their upbringing. yea

Posted by what? | Report as abusive

Amazing, I for one did not watch this train wreck, but I was curious as to how many people did. The sad part is the kids of course and what they have to endure for the sake of a self-absorbed, dysfunctional excuse of a Mother. There are no guarentees in life, you can come from the best of all possible upbringings and be a total societal reject, or you can come from the bottom of the barrel and thrive and be prosperous. Unfortunately for these kids, I doubt they will be given that opportunity. They will always be associated with this circus they call their lives.

Of the 6 original children some are already receiving aid for handicaps, how many of the octuplets will have the same issues. It is too early to tell for some handicaps but guess what, she doesn’t care if she brings in more dysfunctional children. This just PROVES she could care less about them. She professes to love her children and I am sure in her own sick sad way she does, but she is willing to risk more profound issues with these kids just so she can have more pups.

I really do hope they prove me wrong, for their sake. But I can feel nothing but sadness for them at this point.

Posted by KB | Report as abusive

does anyone not see how she is trying to get our sympathy by saying she realizes she screwed up? She is so pathetic—those children are really going to have a hard time in life. They are so uncontrollable and have no discpline what so ever. And she has the gall to critize Kate(although, she isn’t exactly charming either).Totally disagree with John, These children need the right behavorial direction to grow up as decent.That is what parents are suppose to do—to teach them—-they can’t learn by themselves. Sorry, most kids don’t go around calling their Mother Bitch especially at that young age. Granted he probably doesn’t even know what it means, but it won’t be long and the pattern and habit has been established.

Posted by likeacat | Report as abusive

This has turned into a complete media circus freak show, I’m so sorry for those kids.


I’m currently taking classes in preparation of becoming a foster parent and can tell you unequivocally; NO, kids do not just magically overcome emotional and psychological damage from a bad upbringing. YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

Posted by Duh | Report as abusive

Radaronline has destroyed this family yet, by demanding nasty fake stories and selling them. Now soil is burnt and Nadya Suleman should take her kids and move away, emigrate and restart a happy, natural life, Nadya!

Posted by Motheroffive | Report as abusive

when i heard this woman was going to have a show i just had to watch it. i could not believe this woman she is having kids just so she can finally have what she missed in her childhood! i feel sorry for these for children who have to have this crazy lady as a mother at least there is one normal person in these kids life..the grandmother. what she needs to be doing is discipling her kids who in the world lets there kid call them a b***h and kick the new baby and get away with it!

i cant believe she compared herself to kate gosselin saying that she is better than her and is better t. Hello Nadya just because you found a stupid doctor to implant you with these embryos doesnt make you better than her!!!

i just hope someone can interven before it gets anymore out of control!

Posted by jenny | Report as abusive

I was disgusted. I had 2 wonderful children, then their father (my legally wed husband) left. I would have loved to have had more children, but I felt it would be selfish to have children without a father. By the time I met my second husband I was already in my late 30′s. I had my third and last child 2 months before my 38th birthday.

Although I would have liked to have more children after that, the risks associated with advanced maternal age discouraged me.
As a former Labor and Delivery RN (for 16 yrs) I was alarmed by the videographer and her disregard for the running of the OR. The circulating nurse has the responsibility for running the or, keeping it safe for the patients and staff, and tons of documentation. I would have called security on her and had her removed.

I have a good suggestion for the state of California. Octomom should start repaying the state for the enormous burden of the medical bills for mom and babies out of any profit she makes off of her children.

Posted by Kelly | Report as abusive

i think shes a great gal doing a magnificent job most women could not handle because they do not have the maternal skills that she has for a large number of kids.many women can do it and raise more than that, always have.the only screaming going on worth looking at is the totally dysfunctional response of press and society towards this woman’s choice to have kids despite her income.excuse me?poor women all over the world have larger families than richer ones.leave them alone and stop going on about the bill.each of us costs more to the state than we can ever repay in a lifetime because taxation does not bill us literally, only as a token contribution.we’d all have failed to have been born we had to pay the true costs in medical care, breathing clean air, and the endless hidden costs of running our society.not a single argument against this family works but only shows up those whose value judgements are deeply suspect.its an emotional response to a lot of issues, like, single parents, economic class, recession, sperm donation, ivf, faith, etc.that poor woman is bearing the brunt of a highly dysfunctional society that has total disrespect for motherhood deep in its soul.blame the mom, go on, what’s new.

Posted by myguy | Report as abusive

Those children are some of the most miserable unhappy looking children I have ever seen – aside maybe from videos of babies in Romanian orphanages I saw once. It was heartbreaking, and telling, to watch. I think every parent’s heart broke some at the lack of eye contact those babies had with their Mother, and their negative reaction to her. Those poor babies are going to be in trouble down the road. She lays them down to scream and cry it out apparently…she doesn’t seem to want to comfort or bond with them. Too busy with her ‘career’ I guess. The older children are out of control. The 2 year old that hit her in the face, bites her, and calls her ”bitch’ is acting out based on how he’s been treated. It’s pretty obvious to me there has been abuse in that home. I shudder to think what has went on in that home behind closed doors…but judging by the children’s behavior it’s very very bad, and will likely get worse. I’ve heard she currently has 11 children on disability (3 older ones and the 8 babies due to low birth weight), collecting over $600 per month cash for each. Do the math. As lon as they stay ‘disabled’ they are bringing in a ton of money for Octo. I don’t know why CPS has not intervened. What she’s doing to poor innocent children, for the sake of greed and vanity, should be criminal.

Posted by Keely | Report as abusive

What is being done about the Dr. who did the IVF. And how was it paid for? Did the insurance company not dispute the need for IVF for a mother of 6? Did the govt actually pay for this? Is the Dr being prosecuted for negligent behaviour? Are there no qualifying tests for IVF? How did Octo-Mom convice the Dr. she needed more children?

Posted by Carol | Report as abusive

To GMT: No insurance paid for her IVF, she paid herself. Each IVF costs atleast $15000 with medications. The question then being, of course, how did she pay for so many IVF procedures while qualifying for public assistance? There’s only one way. Fraud. I would like to see them go after her to repay welfare for all the money given her to date. She also admits in a radar video that along with the 7 IVFs that we know of, she had some that did not work. So hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent while she was on public assistance. The Doctor’s job is not to screen recipients of IVF. I don’t think any IVF clinics across the Country screen their potential clients for financial ability to provide for children or even if they are single, partnered, or married. Octo is the one who decided to do this and how many embryos she wanted implanted, and I don’t believe for a second it was only 6 (when she conceived the octuplets). It certainly does not look like there are 2 sets of identical twins in the group which would have to be the case to conceive 8 babies from 6 embryos. I believe she was shooting for the record and transferred more than 6, perhaps many more. The Doctor is governed only by ‘guidelines’ but when it’s all said and done the patient’s demands can overrule, especially if she initially agreed to selective reduction. He can only advise. No one knows for sure becuase that medical information at the clinic is confidential…we only know what she says..and we all know by now she’s a pathological liar.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

I’m not watching!
Why does the media (including news) take the absolute dumbest people and incidents to make into television stories and follow endlessly on the news?
I would love to hear about smart & successful people for a change!
I want to know how to be like, admire and follow, not who is doing the dumbest things out there.

Posted by Bev Mabry | Report as abusive

I could not believe that she got a tatoo and how she held some of the babies. Her lips leave something to be desired i can not watch her talk makes me gag.

Posted by Flo Vasquez | Report as abusive

Okay, so I was not one to watch this fiasco. I couldn’t bring myself to do so. There are so many people on here tearing “Octomom” down. Then there are the few that thinks she’s “terrific.” Well, the way I see it, this woman is sick. I am one of the last people in the world to think that everything is a medical or psychological condition, but there just is something missing with this woman. I feel sorry for her. She is doing this for attention, not the love of her children. She probably really does love them, in her own way, but it’s not healthy. It’s like the mother that does drugs and constantly goes back to her addiction and tries so desperately to stop. She wants to because she loves her children, but she also loves her drug, thus she isn’t fit to take care of them the way they need to be. The same with “octomom.” She loves them, but has too many emotional things she is dealing with to be able to take care of them properly. I don’t care about the bill (even though it ticks me off that she was given a handout to do IVF). I don’t care that this television show is probably paying for everything. I just care that those children are not getting the right kind of love. I’m worried that one day she will snap and hurt herself or them. I care that those children will be followed by the media for the rest of their lives and have every mistake they do in the limelight. I hate the fact that they will not be able to grow up as well-rounded and stable as other children have the opportunity to. It’s not fair to put them in the public view. It’s not fair that that child can cuss at his mom and people think it’s repulsive but they still watch it. I think it’s horrible that everyone is cutting her down but no one is offering her real help, they are just offering her the limelight and money. It’s sick that those types of shows can interest so many people because then family value shows go out the window…My advice, if you really think it’s so repulsive and that she’s a horrible mother, stop watching it. Because everytime she gets a viewer, it’s more reason for them to keep airing it. It may make you feel good about your parenting skills, but the ratings give it all the more reason to stay on and for the horrible behavior to continue. And as for the people that think that people just cut her down because we have a warped view of motherhood, give me a break. I am a mother. I would never allow my daughter to talk to me that way. And if I was unable to take care of my children in the way they should be taken care of, I would find someone that could. Or, how about this, I would never go get IVF in the first place if I was living off the state and my mother. That shows complete selfishness.

Posted by children need love | Report as abusive

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