LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California mother of octuplets dubbed “Octomom” defended herself on Thursday against pictures that showed the house she shares with her 14 children in disarray, saying she was the victim of a “set-up” over the leaked photos.
Nadya Suleman appeared on the ABC television program “Good Morning America” on the same day celebrity website TMZ posted video of a second child welfare visit to her home after a similar check earlier this week.
She told the website the latest visit ended well. Local police said that in an earlier inspection on Tuesday, “No signs of neglect or maltreatment were noted and no further actions were taken.”
In explaining the earlier visit to the home, Suleman blamed photos taken by a hairdresser that showed conditions at her home in the Southern California suburban community of La Habra for prompting the visit. The images included one showing her children sitting on potties just outside the house.
“She thought it was unacceptable that they’re, you know, half-naked, going potty,” Suleman said in the ABC program view that aired on Thursday.
“I mean, moms out there, come on,” she said, adding the potties had to be used because the indoor toilet was broken at the time. It had since been fixed, she said.
Another of the photos, posted on TMZ, showed a chair jammed under the doorknob to block the door from being opened or closed. Suleman told ABC that no children were locked in any room, as some had suggested.
“We were set up,” Suleman, 36, told ABC. “I think maybe me and my kids were set up.”
Police and social services workers visited Suleman’s home on Tuesday, after a woman expressed concerns over the well-being of Suleman’s children, La Habra police said in a statement.
Suleman has been criticized for undergoing fertility treatments when she already had six children. She gave birth to the octuplets as a single mom in 2009.
She has since struggled to make ends meet. She posed semi-nude for an issue of British magazine “Closer” that came out earlier this year. She told ABC she had received $4,000 to $5,000 a month in public assistance.
ABC News reported that when it visited Suleman’s home, it found holes in the walls, water damage and scrawls on walls.
Suleman said she “never, never, never” wants to have any more babies.
Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney