Octomom Nadya Suleman to Oprah: 'I have a ridiculously huge family... for my own childish desires'

Oprah Winfrey said on today’s show she “had reservations” about interviewing Nadya Suleman and thereby joining the Octomom media coverage — until she got a letter from Suleman saying the Octomom wanted the world “to see her for who she is.”

Who she is, to my eyes after watching Oprah, is a woman with a shaky grasp on reality, to put it politely.

Oprah sent a camera crew to Suleman’s house, Winfrey getting laughs from her audience when she implied she didn’t want to get anywhere near Suleman herself. What we saw was sheer chaos and craziness: kids weeping and ignored for minutes on end (at the least), Suleman rushing around with the help of a few friends and nannies, trying to get them fed and bathed while getting no sleep in a 24-hour period when the Oprah crew was present.

Interviewed by Winfrey via satellite, Suleman said the 14 children came from “my own childish desires… selfish and immature.” She feels “a tremendous amount of guilt” for accepting $100,000 for a bikini photo shoot for a tabloid magazine. Suleman confirmed that she’d been offered a role in a porn film “three times,” something she said she found “disrespectful.” She deplored the paparazzi for following her and turning her life into “a carnival attraction.”

Yet there she was, running around in careful make-up and low-cut t-shirts, pushing giant strollers to a public park for a few minutes of playtime with the children. It’s a wonder ordinary citizens who aren’t pararazzi don’t follow her just to see whether she’ll drop a few kids when she crosses the street, talking nonstop. You’d think by now she’d have figured out that her ostentatious public displays — including appearing on Oprah, for which the host said, she was not paid “a dime” — just prolong the carnival atmosphere.

Suleman never really answered Oprah’s question about how she can provide for her brood. She said she was “not on government help” and had used “food stamps for one year” but no more. Winfrey asked whether she felt the only way she could support her family was to “make money through the media.”

Yes, said Suleman, “unfortunately.” Yet she also said she’d “never do a reality show,” which she labeled “borderline abusive.” But the income question was left unanswered.

As she proved when she appeared on The View and on last summer’s Fox special Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage, Suleman can talk rapidly and articulately… about nothing. She babbles. She speaks in jargon (“I journal at four or five in the morning”; “I face external stressers”), perhaps derived from the master’s degree she says she’s still trying attain in counseling (!). She repeats the same things over and over.

Ultimately, I think Oprah probably should have heeded her good instincts and reservations about interviewing Suleman. While Winfrey herself conducted a sensible, tough-minded interview, she was dealing with someone for whom common sense is as foreign as a good night’s sleep.

What do you think of Suleman’s Oprah appearance?

Comments (126 total) Add your comment
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  • Chet

    Her uterus is so big, Oprah can climb inside and still have enough room for Gabourey Sidibe.

    • darclyte

      Chet is here all week. Try the veal.

      • Zeddicus zu’l zorander

        Try watching LEGEND OF THE SEEKER as well so they don’t cancel it. I’m pretty sure Octomom is a sister of the dark, no woman could be so evil

    • Carlos

      Yes! A million times yes!

      • Nishii

        Oprah’s looking really bad these days. Tired and fat.

    • Jeff

      I have no laughed this much in months! Brilliant!

    • Dinjab

      And Kirstie Alley while Jamie Foxx munches on her jabba juice.

  • Ambient Lite

    Who pays for the nannies? I thought local agencies sent some nannies in when she first brought the babies home from the hospital, but that she’d “fired” her free charity help, which would make this a new batch.
    Oh, and if anyone can tell me why I cared about this/read this article, please let me know. heh

    • Terri

      Probably because you feel sorry for the children. I do and would love to see them in happy homes! It’s extremely sad!

  • gonesi

    I think the camera crew were trying to get the word out when they opened with one of the twins stomping on a baby.
    Oprah did get her to admit the kids dont get the love they need, at which point Oprah asked if she had considered giving up for addoption, then Octo started saying she needs money.

    She WANTS MONEY..THE KIDS NEED LOVE.. she just doesn’t get it.

  • Kathy

    How can she keep up that pace and take good care of the children. Just in the half hour she was on Oprah the older one was stepping on one of the babies, and the nannies weren’t showing up. Where are social services, there is obvious problems in that home. Plese someone help that family, money is not all she needs.

  • Diane

    Oprah has lost her mind. Between giving the molester of a so-called friend (because a real friend would NEVER have done that) a forum and now this, Oprah is turning into Jerry Springette. What’s next for her? DWTS?

    • Bette

      I agree. And it’s sad for anyone who remembers the “old” Oprah Winfrey to see the price she’s put on her integrity.

      • Jon

        Which “old” Oprah do you mean?
        Do you mean the old Oprah who pimped gave publicity to people like Jenny McCarthy with quack remedies to problems with purported causes that had already be thoroughly by the time Oprah publicized them?
        Or the Oprah who gave James Frey publicity both before and after she discovered his scams?
        Or the Oprah who gave the Secret free publicity to essentially tell her viewers to think positively but pay for the book and movie so that they get what “think positively” really means?
        Or are we talking old Oprah as in the Oprah that competed on the same level as Geraldo Rivera, Jerry Springer, and Maury Povich with the same depressingly base programming.
        Or are we talking about the old Oprah from yesterday who allowed the Octomom to claim that she would have been fine with six or seven kids total despite having six kids before undergoing implantation of the eight embryos that made her famous?
        I’m just curious what phantom credibility we are assigning Oprah.

  • Alice Adams

    I think Ms. Suleman inadventently revealed she can’t handle these children and that social services will ultimately step in. I’m not sure what kind of “media” job Ms. Suleman expects to get but the reason we all watch her and her situation is that it all seems so unbelieveable. Also, Ms. Suleman is NOT someone I would go to for counselling just as I wouldn’t go hire a pyromanic to put out fires.

    Just my thoughts.


  • Not an Oprah Fan

    I never thought much of Oprah and her show… now I think even less, if that’s possible.

  • stevex

    I hope that someday NASA will send up a satellite to orbit Oprah’s ego.

    • chattypatra

      Hahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh.

  • matterlyb

    We would gladly take one of those poor children into our home. We lost a baby over a year ago, right around the same time this lunatic had all these children.

    • Bette

      Matterlyb, my heart goes out to you for your loss.

    • AliFran

      Sometimes things do not make sense. I hope you have a child in your home soon, I too, am so sorry for your loss.

    • Ruby

      I know, it’s so unfair. I always wonder why people who shouldn’t have a shit load of kids and sometimes people who should can’t. Best wishes, Matterlyb.

    • chattypatra

      How sad, matterlyb. It must have been especially painful for you to watch this episode, then. My condolences to you and your family.

    • Carla

      matterlyb, I am childless myself, and my heart goes out to you. It amazes me that decent people who want children have so much trouble with the adoption system, yet clearly unqualified mothers like Nadya Suleman and Kate Gosselin can crank out insane numbers of multiples and basically wh0re them out for their own selfish gain.

      • wendolyn

        Beautifully said Carla.

  • Jo

    Decreased need for sleep, pressured speech, impulsiveness, grandiosity … is this woman manic?

    • Pinnie

      No. Axis 2, all the way. Personality Disorder.

      • jj11

        No kidding. I just got out of my psych disorder class and I would prob diagnose her with a personality disorder as well. Borderline Personality Disorder. Is it right?

  • Lorelei

    I thought she had already filmed several episodes of a reality show for a british production company? She’s clearly trying to appease the public with her admission of childish desires. If she weren’t still being ruled by selfishness, she would stop asking for money to fund her fantasy and look into placing some of the children in good homes.

    • Jess

      yeah, she did have a one off reality programme. i watched it and i had to turn off after 15 minutes it was too horrible to watch. her elder son threw a screwdriver at her face, making her bleed and she did basically nothing. there was no punishment. i feel so sorry for those poor children.

  • Sue1

    If this show proves that she can’t handle her situation and child services does step in, then it was worth it.

    • Jacey

      I agree with you 100%. Social Services has got to step in. Those poor little kids.

  • J

    I know Octomom is crazy. I agree. BUT if we started judging every crazy person who thought they could be a parent we’d never be finished. I don’t agree with what she did, but i think when people want to start mandating reproductive practices on others that’s just too weird. What’s the difference between her and the Duggards? that they’re doing for God? And, hello Kate and John Gosseling! is either of those media whores qualified to be a parent? Yes, no, maybe, but it’s not my place to judge. i don’t want you telling me how many children is ok to have, so I won’t tell you (what are we, china?).

    • crt

      Aren’t the Duggards married? Aren’t they able to afford all the children they’ve had? Two big differences between them and this poor woman.

    • Val

      You ruin your argument by not even knowing the last names of the families you’re insulting, J.

      The difference is that the Duggars can afford their ridiculousness. They aren’t drowning in debt, and burdened with 14 special-needs children. There is plenty wrong with that family, but at least they have the capability to provide the basic needs for their hoarde, as well as a good deal of comforts. Even the Gosselins were capable of providing financially for their brood without *having* to go on television and sell their kids’ lives. Nadya Suleman is mentally unstable, and incapable of caring financially for her children. For me, it’s not that she’s got all the kids, it’s that she’s obviously incapable of caring for *any* of her children, let alone *all* of them. And by that, I mean financially, emotionally, and physically. Not to mention all of the laws and codes of ethics that She and her fertility doctors broke stretched to the snapping point in order to bring those kids into the world. That’s a completely separate subject.

      Now I have to go sit in a dark corner and cut myself because your ignorance forced me to defend the Duggars.

      • JC

        OMG, Val. You almost made me spit out my tea with that last line. Good argument.

      • hypocritemuch

        How does misspelling a name ruin an entire argument? It doesn’t.

      • Val

        If you can’t even get their names right, then you can’t know much about them. Lack of knowledge of your example material invalidates your argument. That’s like… freshman (in high school) speech class knowledge.

        And I feel the need to add to what I said above, very few people (on this board, anyway) are saying that her children shouldn’t have been born, they’re saying that now that it’s so glaringly obvious how ill-equipped for motherhood Nadya Suleman is, the state should step in and relieve her of her rights. At least until she can get her act together.

      • Aria

        Oh, Val, I miss the old forum! You’re right though, 100% right. The day the Duggars are worth defending means hell’s frozen over. But at least their kids get discipline and don’t doubt they’re loved. Nadya admits the kids don’t get the love thy need. From anyone.

    • Cynthia

      Nadya is that your?


    I’m at work while my DVR is recording Oprah. Don’t think I can bear to watch this one.

  • Jeff W.

    Getting angry at Octomom is like getting angry at the retarded kid who knocks over a vase. She’s obviously mentally ill and most likely has borderline personality disorder among other things.

    • melissa

      Thanks for the wonderfully PC comment. “Retarded kid”— yes that is what we say in 2010. Shut up! Yes, I agree that I THINK this woman has some issues. You don’t even know what borderline personality disorder is. I’m sure you’re not a psychiatrist.

      • yomama

        How PC is it for YOU to tell someone to shut up? You invalidate your argument by being just as ignorant. Why not take the time to educate someone rather than insulting them??

      • ohplease

        Melissa, it may not be PC but it is fairly accurate. All the people who were involved in helping her achieve her pregnancy deserves quite a bit of blame – though she certainly deserves her fair share. No one with any common sense can deny the woman has mental health issues. And, how do you know Jeff doesn’t know what borderline personality disorder is? Or, for that matter, what his profession is or is not? Also, in a PC world,you don’t tell people to shut up, as yomama indicated.

      • the_payne

        I thought what he said was funny. It’s a message board on ew.com, people! Probably not the place for serious conversation.

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