The name Nadya Suleman will likely ring a faint bell somewhere in the back of your head, or maybe you don’t remember it at all. But how about ‘Octomom‘?
It’s been nearly nine years since media coined the naff nickname for the Californian woman, after she gave birth to the world’s only set of living octuplets.
What could have been a pun in a passing headline, a few magazine spreads, maybe a product deal, became that caricature that’s still got resonance years later. Because Nadya, or Natalie as she now prefers, wasn’t just a thrilled if slightly overwhelmed new mum. She was an unemployed single mother of six, who sought IVF to have more, then invited the world to watch her live with the aftermath.
Now 42, the mother of 14 can admit that while she didn’t create Octomom, it was a role she was willing to play at the time to provide for her children.
After the two-hour television special came media appearances, interviews, but as time went on, perpetuating her ‘brand’ became more and more difficult. Facing foreclosure on her home, she accepted $8000 for a 2012 porn film, then a nude photoshoot, then a job as an exotic dancer at a Florida adult entertainment venue.
By 2013, she was medicating herself with prescription benzodiazepines and alcohol just to get through it.
“Every day I would wake up with the most ugly, dead, visceral feeling inside of me. I didn’t want to live. I felt less than human as that character I was pretending to be, to survive and provide for my family,” Natalie recently told The Daily Mail.
“What she was disgusted me and I did not want my children to remember me like that.”