April 21, 2010 in Nation/World

Suleman decries ‘Octomom’ label

Name suggests carnival attraction, she says
Caryn Rousseau Associated Press
 

Suleman
(Full-size photo)

CHICAGO – Nadya Suleman, the California woman who became known as “Octomom” after giving birth to octuplets last year, said the moniker makes her feel like a “carnival attraction.”

In an interview broadcast Tuesday on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Suleman told Winfrey she never wanted more than six or seven children, “not double that.” Suleman already had six children when she gave birth to the octuplets – six boys and two girls – in January 2009.

Suleman, speaking to Winfrey via satellite from Studio City, Calif., said she takes full responsibility for providing for her children, the oldest of which is 8. She called “Octomom” a fictional character that “completely is the antithesis of who I am as a person.”

“That’s exactly what Octomom is, a carnival attraction,” Suleman said.

Suleman told Winfrey she would never participate in a reality television show.

“That robs them of their childhood and I think it’s borderline abusive,” Suleman said.

Suleman said she does not take government assistance and she canceled food stamps because she does not want to be a burden. She said she would do anything to secure enough money to care for her children without exploiting them.

“I have been ashamed of myself for going through certain, let’s say, media outlets to provide for my children,” Suleman said, adding “it has helped.”

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