Inside the Octo-Family Circus

A behind-the-scenes look at Nadya Suleman as her TV special films
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 10:05 AM CST
This image made from a 2006 video provided by KTLA shows Nadya Suleman looking at a ultrasound of her unborn twins at an in-vitro fertilization clinic in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/KTLA)
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(Newser) – As the paparazzi follow Nadya Suleman around, a film crew shooting OctoMom: Me & My Fourteen Kids films them filming her…and John Bowe records it for the New York Times Magazine. From the British film director to the children’s welfare representative ensuring labor law compliance, people who expect to dislike Suleman end up finding her surprisingly likable: “These kids are very sweet,” says the labor law rep. “And the mom is very sweet.”

Bowe totes up the toys—"trucks (dozens), balls (hundreds), books, monkeys, bears, babies, Ernies, Berts, trolls"—and nannies (one to four, depending on the time of day) that make Suleman’s home seem like a daycare center, realizes the impossibility of getting a picture of mother and babies without most of them in tears, and hears Suleman explain why she agreed to sell exclusive filming rights for $250,000: “It’s a Catch-22,” she says. “I’m damned if I do what I need to do with the media to support my kids, and I’m damned if I don’t. If I don’t, I can’t take care of them. I think 99 percent of people would have made the same decision.”