Threats send California octuplets mom into hiding

Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:12pm EST
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California's octuplets mom, already jobless and receiving food stamps, has gone into hiding with her six older children because of death threats, her spokesman said on Wednesday.

Nadya Suleman, 33, has come under mounting public ridicule for expanding her already large family via fertility treatments that led to the January 26 birth of six boys and two girls at a Los Angeles-area hospital.

That criticism has mushroomed as it was reported that she was divorced, living with her parents, unemployed for several years, receiving disability checks for three of her children -- one of whom is autistic -- and collecting nearly $500 a month in food stamps.

She acknowledged those circumstances in a series of NBC television interviews but insisted in a segment aired on Tuesday on "Dateline NBC" that she was "not living off any taxpayer money" and that assistance she now receives is temporary.

The broadcast drew the highest "Dateline" ratings since a 2007 interview with Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry.

Suleman, who was working toward an advanced degree in counseling, said she owes close to $50,000 in student loans, which also are her sole source of non-government income.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Kaiser Permanente hospital where the newborns remain is seeking reimbursement for the cost of their care from Medi-Cal, the state's health care program for the poor. Those costs are expected to reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the newspaper said.


<p>Nadya Suleman (L), mother of the octuplets born January 26 in Bellflower, California, is shown being interviewed by NBC correspondent Ann Curry in this publicity photo from NBC released to Reuters February 6, 2009. Suleman said she had long craved a "huge family" and tried for years to get pregnant before conceiving her first child through in vitro fertilization. REUTERS/Paul Drinkwater/NBC/Handout NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.</p>