1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
TODAY contributor
updated 7/7/2011 1:15:08 PM ET 2011-07-07T17:15:08

What started out as an attempt to build the large and happy family she always desired ended up turning Nadya Suleman into a national object of scorn and a prisoner in her own home.

  1. Stories from
    1. Jenny Slate Talks Marcel the Shell's New Video and Children's Book
    2. With Accused Killer in Jail, Oklahoma Town Mourns His Murdered Parents and Sister
    3. Miranda Lambert and Meghan Trainor to Duet on the CMA Awards: Will You Watch?
    4. The Daily Treat: Finally, There Is a Twerking Turtle
    5. Jenna von Oy's Blog: Why I'm Not Stressed over My Second Child

After Suleman became a national object of curiosity 2.5 years ago for being the rare mother of octuplets, her story quickly drew the bile of the nation when it was revealed that she already had six children and was unmarried and unemployed.

Suleman — also known as "Octomom" — now reveals that the tentacles of celebrity nearly strangled her.

Video: ‘Octomom’: I love every single one of my kids (on this page)

Suleman gave TODAY's Amy Robach an exclusive glimpse into her chaotic home life, explaining that a mountain of death threats that were hurled her way when her story became public led to debilitating panic attacks. She often sequestered herself in her house or car out of fear for the safety of her family, Suleman said in the her first interview at her La Hambra, Calif., home since the octuplets were infants.

Send your questions for octuplet mom Nadya Suleman

“Unfortunately, as a result of hundreds of death threats that I started to receive over two years ago, directed towards me and my kids, it started to boil and bubble into panic attacks,’’ she told Robach in an interview airing Friday, when Suleman will also appear live on TODAY with her 8 toddlers. “So starting last summer about a year ago, I started having panic attacks, and I didn't want to leave the house. I'd go to the market, and I couldn't leave the car.’’

Stay-at-home or work-outside-the-home, survey says all moms feel overwhelmed

Through it all, she said she would not take back having 14 kids, although she admits that the intense pressure to bring in money to support her family is ever-present. Her house is visibly deteriorating from the impact of so many children. She has tried frequently to earn money off her celebrity.

**EXCLUSIVE** Nadya "Octomom" Suleman takes her 14 children to a grocery store in Los Angeles, with the help of four shopping carts
PacificCoastNews.com
Nadya Suleman takes her 14 children to a grocery store in Los Angeles on June 23.

“I don't want to undo 14 kids,’’ she told Robach. “I love every single one of my children. I will for the rest of my life. I will die for them. Everything I do, any kind of work, any kind of money I generate — where does it go? It goes into their mouths or it goes into the house or it goes into their school.

The Duggars would love another child...how about you?

“Their private school is twice as much as the mortgage. The goal in life for us — one of our main goals — a priority, is to buy a home, and I would earn it. I want to work for it, and I want to buy it myself.’’

  1. More TODAY News
    1. Film critic Roger Ebert dies at 70
      Getty Images file
    2. Michelle Obama: My bangs are 'a little irritating'
    3. Kid President tours Oval Office with Obama
    4. School: Wearing leggings as pants is inappropriate
    5. Target sorry for 'manatee' label on plus-size dress

'I dream about going back to my life'
Starting in 2000 at age 21, Suleman started in-vitro fertilization treatments. The doctor responsible for the treatments, Dr. Michael Kamrava, eventually had his license revoked for implanting the 12 embryos that led to the birth of the octuplets — Maliyah, Jonah, Makai, Isaiah, Noah, Josiah, Jeremiah, and Nariyah.

The public was outraged, and expressed their anger on talk radio shows, blogs, websites and more. She quickly became a tabloid fixture.

“I dream about going back to my life,’’ she told TODAY in 2009. “This is an explosion. A lot of people in the media, I think they may have gradually gotten used to this type of exposure, but now it's like all of the sudden...someone just opens you in half, cuts you and opens you. It's really kind of sick because I think people need to just focus on their own lives and their own growth and their own self awareness and stop trying to fixate on other people."

Suleman has continued to fuel some of that tabloid fire in an attempt to earn money for her family.

At the end of June, she participated in a New Jersey celebrity boxing match. She'll appear on HDNet’s “Celebridate,” which starts in October and has done paid bikini shoots and a paid interview for an Australian network. On July 4, TMZ reported that she brought home $28,000 in the month of June alone.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: ‘Octomom’: I love every single one of my kids

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Ashley Landis / EPA

    Watch Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder honor doctor onstage at concert

    10/20/2014 10:12:53 PM +00:00 2014-10-20T22:12:53
  1. Michael Becker / Getty Images

    'American Idol's' Scott MacIntyre hoping for new kidney in 6 months

    10/21/2014 12:12:49 AM +00:00 2014-10-21T00:12:49
  1. Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

    After years of silence, Monica Lewinsky speaks about cyber bullying

    10/20/2014 11:27:26 PM +00:00 2014-10-20T23:27:26
  1. Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

    Former 'American Idol' contestant Joanne Borgella dies at 32

    10/20/2014 10:31:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-20T22:31:52
  1. Three big expenses you'll save on this fall

    10/20/2014 1:35:24 PM +00:00 2014-10-20T13:35:24
  1. Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images

    Kristen Bell talks about using sign language with young daughter

    10/20/2014 11:17:07 PM +00:00 2014-10-20T23:17:07