Nadya Suleman — who was dubbed Octomom when she welcomed octuplets in 2009 — is opening up about her life now, from her scandalous past to her beef with the doctor who implanted the fateful embryos.
In a New York Times profile, Suleman, who now goes by Natalie, talked about her current situation — living quietly with her 14 children in a three-bedroom townhouse in Orange County, California nearly a decade after her shocking pregnancy made her a subject of national interest.
Suleman discussed her shaky past, which included a nude photo shoot, a sex tape and time in rehab. “I was selfish and immature,” she said. “I never wanted the attention.”
The 43-year-old claimed to the New York Times that she entered pornography because of her manager, an adult film actress. “I wanted to quit, but my manager said, ‘If you do, I’m reporting you to welfare for fraud,’ ” Suleman said.
She also said that she does not have secrets from her kids. “We talk about everything,” Suleman told the Times of her relationship with her children.
“They know, they went through it with me,” she continued. “It’s a huge weight lifted off of all of them when I went back to who I was. We were struggling financially, but it was such a blessing to be able to be free from that. Those were chains.”
In 2016, Suleman explained to PEOPLE why she opted out of the spotlight in 2013.
“I had stopped wanting to do it from day one,” she said. “I was violating my boundaries and my value system and my own self. I didn’t think of it at the time because I was in survival mode, and I was doing whatever I possibly could to provide for my kids.”
“There was definitely a catalyst — my girls, particularly my oldest daughter Amerah. She was about 10, and she started integrating my traits and behaviors,” she added to PEOPLE. “After I had observed my daughter beginning to emulate me, I saw her going down that same potentially destructive path, and I realized at that moment I’d rather be homeless in my van with all 14 kids than continuing down this path. It was not what I wanted for my children.”
In the Times profile, Suleman also got candid about her medical history. According to Suleman, Dr. Michael Kamrava, who has since lost his medical license and moved out of the United States, is the reason she has so many children.
“I was misled by my doctor,” Suleman asserted.
She claimed she hoped to have twins but that Kamrava allegedly made her agree to implanting 12 embryos as she was on narcotics and in a gurney. “He told me we lost six embryos, he said they were expelled out of me, and that’s why he wanted to implant another six,” Suleman claimed.
Kamrava’s friend Rabbi David Shofet said the opposite was true. “He told me he suggested to her not to keep all of them, but she said no,” Shofet said to the Times.
Kamrava was not able to be reached by the Times.
Despite the drama that has clouded their lives, two of her older children spoke approvingly of their unusual upbringing to the Times.
“Some of my friends don’t have any siblings, so they want to know what it’s like,” Joshua commented. “It’s nice to have someone to play with, but it can be overwhelming at times.”
“She’s been fighting for our family for 10 years now,” Amerah said of her mother. “No matter what, she’s never going to give up and I know that.”