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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)

Well, why do you think they sent lowly Ann Curry to interview Suleman? Because they KNOW she's pretty toxic and interviewing her would bring down your "street cred". Fortunately for Curry, she doesn't HAVE any street cred to lose. So they sent her into the shark tank to test the waters. Somewhere, Walter Cronkite's rolling over in his grave!

NBC--we know made a "donation" to a separate entity. We are not stupid. It is no accident that Ann Curry was chosen for the interview. It is evident to everyone that Curry is not a true interviewer or journalist and cannot formulate a decent probing question. "Octo-mom" should be held responsible for co pays instead of putting these costs on the backs of private Kaiser Permanente Members. I just got a 30% premium increase and an extra bill for a service which should have been included in my fee. Now I know why. Kaiser also did a 2 million dollar giveaway to a family and quadruplets a few years ago. They are culpable too. Pregnancy for profit should not be rewarded in this overpopulated world.

How could she have qualified to receive fertility treatment when she already had 6 children?That question left unanaswered really bothers me.I mean dont the doctors check these things? Would a doctor then proceed with the treatment knowing all the facts.It could be refused simply on ehtical grounds; if there isnt a law already preventing such pregnancies.
Then she goes on to sell her story and makes further money.The whole affair is disgusting and everything about it says a lot about abuse of system after system. Abuse of the health system and abuse of media ;abuse of the welfare in the near future as she will definitely claim welfare;the whole thing a big spectacle now.Is there some agency here that will try and see if she has actually broken any laws answer all the questions???

There is something seriously wrong with this story, and the public knows it. Why her PR firm is surpised that people are so outraged is beyond me. Everyone out here wants to know how this woman got over $100,000 in compensation for a back injury when she was 23 (and hasn't been able to work again - give us a break). . I've known people who've worked since their 20's in the types of manual labor jobs where injuries often do occur and who have to fight the company- designated doctors, states and insurance companies, often for a decade or more, to get a tiny portion of what this woman was given. Then a judge believed that she couldn't get up out of bed to take care of one child? No judge I've ever heard of takes the word of the claimant - all claims have to be backed up again and again by specialists, and investigations of the individual's claims are very thorough, personal and ongoing (in case of fraud which this obviously was). She then takes that money, I presume, and gets a mortgage on a second house, a mortage of almost 500,000 for a nearly 600,000 house, again with no job and how many dependants? Then a fertility specialist implants 6 embryoes in a woman who has 6 children, all under 8? Did she still have money left over for these terribly expensive in-vitro treatments from her disability payments? She, her two parents and six children, including one autistic child in a three-bedroom house she doesn't own yet she wanted more children? Again, please. When my autistic child was young, he took more time and energy than 6 normal children combined. This woman may have serious mental issues, but she's very savvy in the ways of gaming the system, and apparently has no compunction about doing so. Yes, I will read articles, hoping the individual who would do in-vitro at all, let alone 6, is found and punished, but I won't patronize any network or magazine that tries to foist this crime off on us and pretend it's a feel-good story. BTW: Who is paying Kaiser for the 40-some doctors and hospital charges? That was not enough largess apparently as the hospital went to work to find this woman a PR firm. I'd be up in arms if this was my insurance company. This woman has been enabled all her life by the system. Cut off the life-line.

This woman is crazy! I have nothing against a big family…I would love more kids but I cant support more kids. And my husband has a great job!!! And I have nothing against her being a single parent. It angers me when she talks about parents who have jobs and cant spend every moment with their children as selfish. We are going to be the ones supporting her and she calls us selfish for having jobs? She talks about going back to school in the fall and putting the octuplets in daycare. Does she understand how much it would cost to put that many kids in daycare much less that they are preemies and may require specialized care. She talks like a teenager that doesnt fully understand what is going on. She talks about how she had a dysfunctional childhood but yet the same people that made her childhood that way are now raising her children. We dont have children to make us fell less lonely. Children are not born with a job to do. There are people in California who work for the state that are lossing their jobs because the state has no money but this woman made over $100,000 off a workmans comp claim that said she was in constant pain. Must not have been to bad if she went back over and over again to get pregnant. She did this for the money…. she doesnt want to get an actual job so she has babies. This woman needs help….and if she doesnt get it I have a feeling that she will be back to have more kids in the very near future. CPS needs to go and check on this family!!!! I feel so sorry for this womens children.

Someone please tell Ms. Suleman and her high-priced PR wanks that people are not outraged because she is a single mom. She is a single mom, unemployed, living with her parents who has SIX freaking children under the age of 8 already. HELLO

And if she is in so much pain she can't work, then how the F-did she carry six kids. Pretty painful from what I understand. This is why people are outraged Ms. Suelman and PR wanks. Not becuase the economy sucks and health care is a luxury -- though they do make it even more OUTRAGEOUS.

Why hasn't anyone yet asked how this unemployed woman on worker's comp afforded in vitro treatments in the first place that allowed her to have six kids? My understand is they are very expensive -- so much so some couples can't afford it -- and she had been trying to have kids this way for a while and was unsuccessful. So how the hell did she afford it. Also since she is on worker's comp who is paying her hospital bills. Even if she has coverage, her co-pay/deductible has to be huge.

And why isn't CPS looking into this woman -- I hope for the sake of her other kids they have opened a case. if you can't afford that many kids, don't keep having them -- and literally paying to have them. My understanding is her worker's comp ran out in December -- pretty convinent. And if she thinks any sane parent is going to listen to her parenting advice, she really does need serious mental health.

Also anyone who had heard or read anything about Ms. Suleman can clearly see this woman has mental health issues -- which also leads me to ask why the fertility clinic didn't do a psychological exam on her -- which I also understand is standard procedure.

practically unbelievable. the Chinese have it right. ONE child. she should be sterilized and the children taken away. I'm tired of middle class working people having to pay taxes to support lazy, deadbeats who expect others to take care of them and their offspring. This also applies to people who live beyond their ability to pay and expect to be bailed out by the government. That government is made up of you and your fellow citizens and the monies are comming out of our pockets, retirements and investments. It all makes me want to cry seeing this country, its values and future spiraling into a cesspool of complete indifference.

No one believes for a minute that no money changed hands between NBC and OctoMom. They may say she was not paid for the interview, but obviously was compensated for the video, probably in the seven figures. I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for NBC for paying anything to someone who is so completely irresponsible. Her entire interview is self-centered, continously talking about what she wanted, what she didn't have as a child and nothing practical like how she is going to support her family. "I will do the best I can" won't pay the food bill for 14 children. My guess is that all of us other hardworking folks will be supporting them. I personally will avoid any company, NBC included, that funnels any type of compensation to this woman. I wish nothing but the best for her innocent 14 children, and I hope that CPS ensures they are in a safe environment, but I have a real issue with her clear expectation that everyone else should step up and either compensate her through her PR firm or help her out.

Child protective services have become involved on lesser cases! Where are they now????

This creature is so unbalanced I'm surprised she doesn't topple when standing. I heard her say she was going to provide for her litter with student loans! She's nuts. Certifiable. I agree with other people commenting here the children should be placed in care until they can be adopted. She's unfit, unhinged and pathetic. Also, I've read she's had plastic surgery to make her look like Angelina Jolie. A grotesque Angelina! Who paid for that? Disability?

NBC surely paid in one way or another. This money-hungry freak wouldn't do it for free.

The story of this selfish woman is just so unbelievable. I am all for single women wanting to be a mother. BUT this woman had no job, no father figure for these kids. When she had the first set of twins she should have stopped! She can't possibly support and care for all of these kids! She also has kids with special needs. That itself takes a lot of extra care. I can't believe she has the time to give these interviews! She should spend all of her time between the hospital and the 6 kids at home. It looks like she has time to get a French manicure for her nails! There is something so wrong with this so called Mom. I am a Mother of 5 kids I support them all with my husband's help. I have 2 special needs children and I don't take one dime from the government. I work and so do my husband and my kids attend school. I did not go back to work till the kids were of school age. This lady made such a selfish choice to have more kids. This is so crazy and outrageous. The more I listen to her the more upset I get. I just hope all goes well now that these kids are here. Let's hope these kids don't suffer for this so called Mom's choice or should I say choices. I hope she still cares for these kids long after the media are gone and she is back page news. There is something so wrong about this lady. She is not dealing with reality!!!!

How in heavens name did she save 100 thousand dollars for all these in vitro's? I am 48 years old and I sure know it takes a long time to save up 100 thousand dollars.
Now she says she will use her student loans to pay for the kids. She is just carzy. I really am starting to think she planned to have as many kids possible and hope to get in the news and get popular and make money. She needs to be check out mentally. This is so unfair to these kids and the grandparents. She acts like she has no cares or worries in the world! She is not dealing with reality! Something is so wrong here.
For any working Mom and Dad choosing to have 14 kids is a lot. Does this lady realize she had no job when she started this invitro process.

I always liked Ann Curry and still do! I think Ann Curry is so shocked by this lady as we all are.
I do hope no one gives Ms. Suleman money ,but then again let's not make these kids suffer for this so called Mom's foolish crazy selfish choice(s). This story still has me in disbelief!!!!

Isn't it obvious that this gal is fixated on Angelina Jolie? I wouldn't doubt that those lips are purchased, and look at her hair, her accumulation of children and refusal to marry the father. . . might be a good idea to check for tatoos. This all looks like an effort to be as much like Angie as possible!

Who is paying for the million dollar hospital bill????

Who is paying the MILLION DOLLAR HOSPITAL BILL???

If she is on Food Stamps, how does she afford a public relations firm to represent her?
And if she has fourteen kids, no job, why is she eligible for student loans to support her kids while she is not in school? Talk about a bad credit risk...
She wants to move to a larger house, but how can she afford it? Public assistance (WELFARE) to cover her housing, food, medical care, etc. What a FREELOADER.
Some governmental agency needs to step in and rescue these children from their mother. And soon.

Susan asks the question: Who is paying for the million dollar hospital bill??? Answer: YOU are if you are a California taxpayer. We've been supporting her other 6 children and we will most certainly have to pick up the tab for the 8 she just had.

This woman is a LIAR - she answers "NO" when asked if she had her lips done. And now says in answer to the question of whether she's on welfare: "I'm not living off of any taxpayer money. If I am, it's food stamps and it's only temporary" Huh?

And, she's crazy: her response to the question "is this fair to your children" -- "everything in life isn't fair."

WHERE IS CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES????

Has anyone ever thought of the fact that she went through the IVF cycle before the economy really tanked? If she had given birth a year ago, people wouldn't be so ticked as they are today. A lot of this outrage is simply due to the economic times.

So maybe she is crazy, but...there are other things to consider. Maybe this isn't her position, as I've not heard it stated by anyone, but some have a moral objection to discarding viable embryos, and she knew she couldn't continue IVF forever. Granted, I think it is permissible/legal to put embryos up for adoption, but whatever. Many also have a moral objection to abortion. I was horrified when my OB asked me if I wanted to abort my babies, as though it was the most normal thing in the world to do.

And, it is no crime to grow up poor. I grew up in a poor family of seven children, and paid my own way through college. So what. Just because children grow up poor does not mean they are less loved than children who are spoiled with everything. My parents were criticized heavily for having so many children with so little income, but my siblings are some of the best people in the whole world. My little sister is probably the most amazing person I know.

And just to think that 200-300 years ago, families who pioneered through our country lived in small, hand-built houses and many made only a subsistence living. Is susbistence living a crime? NO. Our country was built on that.

I'm not saying that Nadya isn't crazy, it's just the things that people choose to pick on. So what if they don't have a nice house or nice stuff? If our family of five can live on $30,000 per year, afford to give money away to those less fortunate every year, spend $1000-2000 on vacation per year and pay for my student loans for my MA (our only debt), maybe it isn't so far fetched that she can make $60,000 per year work for her. It's about priorities, folks, and she has chosen hers, just like everyone else chooses theirs. We don't buy lattes and brand new cars and designer clothes or smoke or drink or eat fast food, so that we can do the things that are truly important to our family. And our kids have been clear from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island BC, even LA and the Grand Canyon, Washington DC, and so on, because travel is something our family values.

By the way, if you make your own baby food puree, and don't buy the gerber junk, it only costs about $15-20 per month per child. I spent about $300 buying and making cloth diapers for all of my children. Add that to laundry costs for 3 years (we did less) of washing cloth diapers per child, and we have a total of $1200 spent to diaper 3 children for 3 years apiece. That works out to less than $150 per child per year for diapers. It is doable folks! Of course, the formula expense (one can't possibly nurse 8 babies, which, by the way, nursing is also FREE) would be the real killer in her situation.

And WHO ever said that we were each supposed to raise our kids ALONE? We don't live close enough to our families for them to watch our children, but we do have friends that we trade work and babysitting for, and I have never been part of a church where the older women (empty nesters) don't help the younger women to some degree, even if it is just some kind words and encouragement.

She may have made some VERY poor choices, but who hasn't at least screwed one thing up royally in their own lives?

At one point she says she will be able to afford to take care of her kids after she finishes school and gets a job and then turns around in the next breath and says she will be there for her kids. Anyone who has a job knows how much time you are away from your family. She is nuts!

 
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