Stars

The Wild Story Of ‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman—And Where She Is Today

You'll never guess who she took on in a boxing match!

In 2009, a California woman named Nadya Suleman gave birth to a set of octuplets. She quickly became known as “Octomom.” When people discovered she was a single mother who already had eight other children and no job, tempers flared.

But what has happened to Octomom and her brood since then?

Born Natalie Doud

Natalie Denise Doud was born on July 11, 1975, in Fullerton, California. Natalie was the only child of Ed Doud and Angela Suleman, who later divorced. She graduated from Nogales High School in La Puente, California, in 1993.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Father’s Day to my dad “Eddie” (a nickname he adopted to sound more American since emigrating from Jerusalem, Palestine fifty years ago). My dad was a chronic alcoholic for over 40 years, until a tragic alcohol related accident rendered him paralyzed from the neck down, unable to breathe on his own. Had my eldest son and I not been present to administer CPR, my dad would not be with us today (he will need subacute care for the remainder of his life). My dad is incredibly fortunate that although he is quadriplegic, he is more lucid and cognizant in his mind than he has been throughout all the years of his self-destructive numbing with chemicals. The kids and I love you with all our hearts grandpa. ❤️ Happy Father’s Day to all you loving, devoted, hard working dads out there. You are special and appreciated. #HappyFathersDay

A post shared by Solomon Family (@nataliesuleman) on

Trying To Start A Family

Natalie married a produce manager named Marcos Gutierrez in 1996. The couple planned to start a family. However, she suffered three miscarriages before she and her husband separated and ultimately divorced. She took to babying her best friend’s daughter.

Babies On Disability

In 1999, Natalie suffered a back injury while working in a state mental hospital. Over time, she collected more than $165,000 in disability payments. This money helped pay for in-vitro fertilization treatments for the now-single woman.

Six For Five

Natalie’s first five rounds of IVF resulted in six children. Elijah came first, followed by Amerah a year later. Joshua was born two years after Amerah. Aiden was born two years after Joshua. Twins Calyssa and Caleb completed the family of seven.

A Final Round

When the twins were only toddlers, Natalie decided to try again. She said this was because she still had some frozen embryos.

“There’s some left,” she told Ann Curry in a 2009 Dateline interview. “And, you know what, I knew in my mind that if it hadn’t worked, I’m done. Doesn’t work, it’s not meant. And I’m gonna let go and move on. So, the last try: (laugh) yeah, it worked. It worked a little too well.”

Getty Images | NBC

They Said Seven

The embryos certainly took. Her sixth round of in-vitro fertilization treatments resulted in more than twins. Doctors said she was carrying seven babies (yes, seven, more on this later).

Babies Born Early

Now going by the name Nadya Suleman, she threw out her back and was put on bed rest at 23 weeks pregnant. Soon, doctors discovered one of the babies was no longer growing and decided it was time to deliver them. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks before their due date.

Number Eight Was A Shocker

Suleman gave birth to six boys and two girls. The eighth baby surprised even the doctors. She named the babies Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Josiah, Isaiah, Maliyah, Makai and Nariyah.

Eight Angels

The octuplets all share the middle name Angel. All 14 children have the surname of Solomon. Suleman has declined to state who their father is.

Getty Images | Jason Mitchell

The Father Is Not Involved

Suleman says that all 14 children are full siblings.

“All the kids are from the exact same father,” she told Radar Online.

However, she said he was not pleased to discover she had octuplets after having already given birth to six other children.

She Always Wanted A Huge Family

Having several children was a lifelong dream.

“That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family,” Suleman told Ann Curry in her 2009 Dateline interview, “and — I just longed for connections and attachments with another person that I … I really lacked, I believe, growing up.”

Getty Images| NBC Newswire

Nadya’s Doctor Testifies

In 2010, fertility specialist Dr. Michael Kamrava testified that he had implanted 12 embryos at Suleman’s final appointment with him. The physician stated that he was apprehensive, but that Suleman had been adamant.

“She just wouldn’t accept doing anything else with those embryos,” testified Kamrava.

Getty Images | Mark Boster

The Specialist Lost His License

His apprehension was not enough to get Kamrava off the hook. The California Medical Board ruled that the doctor committed gross negligence. The Beverly Hills doctor lost his medical license.

Getty Images |Mark Boster

Finding Ways To Support 14

That same year, Suleman posed in a bikini for the cover of Star Magazine. She went on to auction off the swimsuit. When she appeared on “The View,” Barbara Walters asked her about it.

“The main reason is for revenue,” Suleman told the journalist, “and I’m open and honest about that.”

Spike TV's 'Guys Choice 2013' - Backstage And Audience
Getty Images | Jason Merritt

The Worries Were Constant

Walters proceeded to ask about money. She wondered how Suleman would support 14 children once the money from interviews stopped coming.

“Every hour of the day, 24 hours a day,” Suleman told Walters, “I contemplate how I am going to do this.”

Getty Images | Donna Svennevik

Paid By PETA

She earned some quick cash as a PETA spokesperson. In 2010, the activist organization paid her $5,000 to hang a sign on her door. The sign read, “Don’t Let Your Dog or Cat Become an Octomom. Always Spay or Neuter.”

nadya suleman photo
Getty Images | Noel Vasquez

A Big Dose Of Mom Guilt

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Suleman admitted she suffered guilt because she could not possibly meet all of her children’s needs.

“I live every single day, every hour of the day, with a tremendous amount of guilt,” she told Winfrey. “And I’ll live with this forever. But all I can do now is keep on going, keep moving.”

Getty Images | Jason Mitchell

Never Gonna Give Them Up

Suleman went on to say how challenging the situation was. Winfrey asked Suleman if she had or would ever consider placing any of her children with a foster or adoptive family so they could be better cared for. Suleman said she would die first.

Getty Images | Jason Mitchell

Finding ‘Me Time’

Around the same time, Suleman engaged in another interview that sparked controversy. TMZ released an audio tape of the interview in which she stated that it had been difficult to bond with her babies. She also admitted to eating dinner in the bathroom to be alone.

Getty Images | Jason Mitchell

Celebrity Boxing

In November 2011, she earned more money in a boxing match. The 36-year-old mother faced Amy Fisher, known as the “Long Island Lolita.”

Getty Images | Joe Kohen

Round Three For Charity

Both women wore comical, oversized gloves in the ring. The crowd was largely rooting for Suleman, who won the match in the third round. She stated that proceeds would go to charity, likely one associated with autism, as one of her children is on the autism spectrum.

Getty Images | Amanda Edwards

Foray Into Adult Entertainment

Although she had sworn to Oprah that she wouldn’t do porn, even if “they offered $100 million,” Suleman apparently changed her mind. In 2012, she starred in an adult film.

Suleman told TMZ, “Any job I’m fortunate enough to get is for the kids.”

Getty Images | Beck Starr

Losing The Family Home

Her decision to be in a pornographic film came after the family’s home went into foreclosure. She had filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and hoped to use the money she earned to buy a house.

“I’m not supposed to talk about when or where we’re moving, but I’d love to find a safe, big house for my children,” she told the Daily News.

Getty Images | Robyn Beck

Debating Michael Lohan

Suleman’s next gig was as a work-at-home mother who was literally paid to argue. She worked as a professional debater for a site called Deeyoon.com. The company paid her several thousand dollars to debate anyone who wanted to argue about anything for 90 minutes, two times each week. Lohan (father of Lindsay) was one of her sparring partners.

Getty Images | Jeff Fusco

Fighting Criminal Charges

In 2014, Suleman found herself fighting charges of welfare fraud. Four criminal charges were brought against her. Deputy District Attorney William Clark with the public assistance fraud division filed the complaint, alleging that she had failed to report income she made as a topless dancer and adult film actress.

Getty Images | Jeff Fusco

Probation And Community Service

Suleman faced up to six years and four months in prison if convicted for the crimes. She settled the case by repaying $26,000. She also had to serve two years’ probation and work 200 hours of community service.

nadya suleman lawyer photo
Getty Images | Pool

Loss Of Emotional Support

In 2014, Suleman’s mother passed away from ovarian cancer. A year later, her father suffered a serious fall. He is now paralyzed.

View this post on Instagram

This is how I will remember you..both ❤️❤️

A post shared by Solomon Family (@nataliesuleman) on

So Many Schools

All of the children attend school now. However, few of them attend the same school, it would seem. In a recent Instagram post, she said that she has six drop-offs and pickups every day.

The Family Of 14 Today

The octuplets turned nine in 2018. Suleman’s oldest children are teenagers. The family lives in a three-bedroom townhome in California.

nadya suleman children photo
Getty Images | Toby Canham

Back To Natalie

Suleman has gone back to being known as Natalie. She began working as a counselor and says she has worked to put the “Octomom” persona behind her.

“I admit that I made many mistakes in my life, and that I’m imperfect,” she told Extra. “I make mistakes constantly. But my children were not a mistake — they were meant to be here.”

nadya suleman photo
Getty Images | Toby Canham