« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

UPDATED: NBC says 'absolutely no money has changed hands' for exclusive with octuplet mom Nadya Suleman

“Today” co-host Matt Lauer — who twice congratulated Curry for landing the exclusive — pressed her about how the single mother, who has six other children, is going to be able to afford her large family.

“She says that when she finished her schooling, she knows she’ll be able to support them,” Lauer said. “But in the near term, immediately, how are these children going to be cared for in terms of the financial costs that it will take?”

“She’s trying to figure that out,” Curry responded, appearing a bit caught off-guard by the question. “I think it’s fair to say that it’s all, uh, hit her. She’s trying to figure out — she’s worried about how she’s going to be able to pay for all of it. But she believes that even though it’s difficult to accept help, that her family and her friends and her church will step up.”

Left unspoken was the question dogging NBC as it promotes Curry’s interview with Suleman: Was the mother of 14 compensated in any way for the sit-down?

The network — which is making the most of the exclusive, stretching the interview over three days, including a “Dateline” special on Tuesday — maintains that the news division does not pay for interviews and bristled at the suggestion that it secured the interview with money.

"NBC News does not and will not pay for interviews," said "Today" spokeswoman Megan Kopf. "This interview is no exception. Any reports or so-called sources that suggest otherwise are totally wrong."

But in recent days, Suleman’s representatives have said that she has been deluged with offers for her story and wants to use the opportunity to provide for her children. And her family apparently indicated to the networks seeking to interview her that she needs financial help.

According to an executive at a rival media outlet, Suleman’s father made it clear to those asking for the interview that he anticipated it would cost as much as $1.2 million to cover Suleman's expenses. After NBC secured the exclusive, Suleman's father told other media outlets that the network had approached them with "a real proposal," the executive said.

On Thursday, Suleman’s publicist, Michael Furtney, initially said that whether she is being paid is “between her and NBC.” He later said he misspoke and insisted that she was not compensated for the interview.

Kopf said Suleman's father never approached the network for compensation and neither did any of Suleman's representatives.

"Absolutely no money has changed hands between NBC and Suleman or any member of her family," she said. "It's unfortunate that our competitors' sour grapes are so evident."   

While network news divisions have policies that strictly prohibit any payment for interviews, it’s a common practice in the fiercely competitive world of morning television to compensate sources with hotel rooms, first-class plane fare, Broadway show tickets and so-called licensing fees for personal photos and video footage.

The practice came under scrutiny in 2007, when Paris Hilton sought a lucrative payment for the first interview she granted after spending 23 days in L.A. county jails for violating terms of her probation for alcohol-related reckless driving charges.

At the time, ABC executives said they were told by Hilton's family that "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira had won the interview because NBC had offered to pay close to $1 million to license Hilton's personal videos and photos, besting ABC’s offer of $100,000. NBC denied that.

After the negotiations became public, both networks backed out, and Hilton ultimately described her jail experience to Larry King on CNN, which said she was not compensated for the interview.

— Matea Gold and Jessica Garrison

Comments () | Archives (51)

She is not sane, this is a tragedy.
I hope the best thing is done for the children, and that may well be adoption into loving homes.

I have ONE baby, work full-time, am married, and can almost not afford formula and diapers or spend a lot of time with her! This woman is a joke!

I watched the video on MSNBC and the poor woman is not all there. She's definitely crazy, as you'd expect someone with no job and single who wants 7 kids would be. Unfortunately she has double the 7 kids she said she planned to have. This lady needs psychiatric help and her kids need to be adopted to good homes and families. Talk about dysfunctional!

Nice going, NBC. I'm boycotting your news programs. Quit exploiting the mentally ill.

Can this woman just go away!! Now we are forced to see her ugly mug on the front page of every newspaper, or news page on the internet. The more I read about her beyond selfish ethical behavior, the sicker I feel. People like her is why this country is in an econimical disaster!!

If this delusional person ever gets compensated for anything at all she should be held to paying back the State of California and the hospital for any and all expenses incurred. Who's paying for her schooling, the premature infant care, the birthing procedure while she's fantasizing about her not-quite-yet profession? This is insanity and should NOT be legitimized by the media.

Then there is the state of global overpopulation to consider.

Media, you can't spin a positive twist to this. This is just beyond terrible. You can tell she glamorizes Angelina Jolie by the plastic surgery and the hair. I wish CSP would step in and hope no money pours in to support this freak. Take the kids away and support them away from her!

You know she was paid. There's no way this lady can afford these kids without getting a big paycheck from the networks.

Thing is that even if she makes millions- Medi-cal still pays their medical expenses. The law needs to change to prevent this kind of abse.

Why won't anyone ask the hard questions, like how did she pay for the first 6 when she had been unemployed since 1999 with a severe back injury?? If she couldn't pick up one 3 month old infant, how did she get through other pregnancies and care for the others? Who paid for her schooling? Is she a legal US citizen????? Who was the incredibly unethical doctor?? Come on, ask REAL questions for Gawd's sake! NBC, you disappoint me.

Naughty, naughty, naught, NBC is lying....they don't cover stories they don't pay for, which is why Curry was caught off guard. They pay, just like they pay for the continuing coverage of the Casey Anthony saga.

For some reason, NBC feels they need to be one up on Katie Couric in getting these interview exclusives. They just can't compete with Couric. Matt Lauer and Curry are so beneath Couric and that is why they have to try so much harder. I don't care what the ratings tell you for NBC vs. CBS, that is neither here nor there. They lost a very good thing in Katie Couric. NBC needs a new cast of characters and a new look.

And they need to stop lying about paying for interviews. Do they really think that the public is that stupid? Stop patronizing.

Any body would be stupid to be jealous of that woman, I definitely do not want to take care 14 kids. She wickedly plotted to have those kids for money. Why family, friend and her church have to step up this is her decision to have those babies to financially take care of her kids was any family friend and her church around when she made that decision. She is clearly trying to prey on viewers to help her take care of her children she sound stupid and looks stupid too and seems confuse. She want to sit at home and probably gained a house and some money also free products,pampers. She made her bed let her lied in it who want babies and people must be obligated to help she is going to sucker people in taking care her so she do not have to work to care of six kids she plan it so good

It is less important if Nadya was paid for the interview or not Important is to respect her right to choose even if she wants eight babies or none. No one has the right to impose moral norms in this situation. Otherwise we risk to transform a freedom into an obligation. ... by the way, do we have the freedon to reproduce? It is not written in the constutution...

I would like to know if NBC paid for the interview- if so NBC has lost me as a viewer. This poor woman is delusional and needs some kind of mental/emotional therapy. If NBC paid, then they are responsible for feeding her delusions.

The taxpayer and members of KP will end up paying for these babies. How very sad.

This woman has a publicist. Not just one publicist, but a team of publicists. Publicity firm fees can run as high as $5,000 per month. Who is paying this bill?

Of course NBC is paying her, probably for the "photos" and "video." I intend to boycott NBC and any other coporation that enables this sick sick woman. Children's Services needs to do a psych evaluation and have those kids adopted to decent homes.

Is it just me or is she delusionally attempting to channel Angelina Jolie? Are those "enhanced" lips, too?

hahaha! Nice move NBC. most likely, it's true. they didn't pay for the interview. it's not the interview part that she makes money on- it's the continuous use of her image! and potentially the right to use her voice in other pieces of reporting.... herein lies the payment... she didn't do it for free.

I agree with some of the posts here. I really think that Child Protective Services needs to get involved with this. This woman doesn't seem to be all there. Is she even a fit mother? I think that there are better, stable families, out there who would love to adopt some of these kids. I worry about their future with this nut.

nice dreamer....she is only fooling herself. I feel sorry for the children.

this woman told the Workman's Comp board back in 2001 that pregnancy exacerbated her back injury. They should have shut off the WC teat -- the very next time she went through in vitro AFTER that 2001 hearing -- for WILLFUL exacerbation of a work related injury.

That's like a guy with a WC back injury claim getting caught on video tape carrying sheetrock into his house.

She knew pregnancy exacerbated her injury, yet she kept on going through the very expensive procedures to have more kids -- so many times that she bankrupted her own parents when the $165K from WC ran out!

I wonder how much she's going to "love kids" when she has no more darling little kids, just a house full of teen/tween angst and raging hormones (?)

What will she do (if the state actually lets her keep all of her kids) when the last 8 all clear out of the house the same year? That's gonna be like an atomic bomb of empty nest syndrome. Well, I guess maybe not, since her autistic son MIGHT still be home at 21 when the octuplets turn 18.

I too have a back injury and wouldn't dare risk my ability to walk just to gestate my own kids. There are THOUSANDS of kids in America DESPERATELY in need of adoption!

I really hope the state steps in here. The WC board needs to do a serious investigation too! I think she owes the good people of California some WC money. I think each and every one of those kids deserve a loving home in a small enough family that they don't need the community to donate everything under the sun, book royalties, video licensing, etc., and each can get one-on-one attention from their parents whenever they need it, NOT by timed appointment!

Perhaps she should be one of the psych patients, not staff.

1 2 3 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: