Los Angeles - Octomom Nadya Suleman did porn films, boxed
D-list celebrities, even endorsed birth control for dogs after giving birth in
2009 to eight babies after she received in vitro fertility treatments.
Through it all, she never ran afoul of the law. At least
On Monday, the Los Angeles County district attorney's
office announced Suleman has been charged with three counts of welfare fraud.
Authorities say the 38-year-old single mother of 14 children
failed to report $30 000 she earned while collecting public assistance money.
Suleman, who was charged 6 January, was not immediately
taken into custody but was ordered to appear in court on Friday. Prosecutors
planned to ask that bail be set at $25 000.
If convicted, she could be sentenced to nearly six years
"While applying for public aid, the mother of 14
children allegedly failed to disclose that she was also getting cheques for
personal appearances and residuals from videos," the district attorney's
office said in a statement.
Authorities didn't say what the personal appearances or
videos involved, but it's no secret Suleman has made at least one porn video,
posed topless for various publications, danced in a Florida strip club and
taken part in so-called celebrity boxing matches as she's struggled to support
One of her boxing opponents was Amy Fischer, the former
"Long Island Lolita" who was 17 when she shot her much older lover's
wife in the face in 1992.
Suleman, whose real name is Natalie Denise Suleman, could
not be located for comment on Monday. There was no phone listing for the Orange
County home where she has recently been living.
Lawyers, publicists and others who have worked with her
over the years either did not respond to requests for comment or simply refused
to talk about her.
All of Suleman's children have been born by in vitro
fertility treatments. She's never named a father of any of the babies.
She's also been careful about shielding them from media
attention, but occasional video and print articles seem to indicate they are
growing up healthy, even though the octuplets were born nine weeks premature.
Her older children range in age from 7 to 12.
After the octuplets were born on 26 January 2009, it was
discovered that her physician, Dr Michael Kamrava, had implanted 12 embryos in
The medical community reacted with outrage, saying he
grossly violated professional standards, and the state Medical Board revoked
Initial offers to help quickly dried up as outrage spread
about the births and knowledge that Suleman was unemployed and had been
collecting welfare before the children were born.
In 2010 she defaulted on a house she had bought with a
$115 000 down payment and it was sold at auction. She moved to a rental house
in the Los Angeles suburb of Palmdale but left last year, soon after checking
into a rehabilitation centre.
At one point child welfare officials investigated
allegations that she wasn't properly caring for the children. No charges were ever
Family law attorney Steve Mindel said on Monday that
unless Suleman goes to jail for a long time, it's unlikely county officials
would try to take her children now.
"If there was a dad or somebody trying to take
custody, then that could be somewhat important to the court," he said.
"But even in that case, courts don't like to punish children for the acts
of their parents."