Lawyer seeks guardian over California octuplet assets

Mon May 4, 2009 8:01pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles lawyer on Monday filed a court petition asking that a guardian be appointed to protect the earnings and assets of octuplets recently born to a woman in California.

Saying that Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to the eight babies on January 26, has been paid for pictures of them and will take part in a reality TV show, Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred filed the petition in Orange County Superior Court.

"In the case of the octuplets, rather than choosing to provide her children with a normal life, their mother, Nadya Suleman, has chosen instead to commercially exploit them and it appears she plans to continue commercial exploitation of them in the future as well," Allred said at a news conference to announce the legal action.

"Since she has chosen this path we believe the babies are entitled remuneration since much, if not most, of the compensation appears to be for the use of their images in print, on television and on the Internet," Allred said.

Allred, who often becomes involved in high profile legal cases, filed the petition in the name of Paul Peterson, a former child star and advocate for young entertainers who joined her at the press conference.

Suleman, who has come under withering criticism in the media for undergoing fertility treatments when she already had six children, has had several run-ins with Allred since the babies were born.

Allred represents Angels in Waiting, the nonprofit foster nursing group that offered to help care for Suleman's 14 children but also had a falling out with her.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Sandra Maler)