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Lawyer: Suleman cares for cameras, not babies

The attorney for the volunteer group that tried to help Nadya Suleman accused the octuplet mom of being more interested in publicity than in her 14 children. Suleman only bonds with her babies "when the cameras are rolling," Gloria Allred charged.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Infamous octuplet mom Nadya Suleman is more interested in feeding the cameras than feeding her babies, the lawyer for a group that had attempted to help care for Suleman’s 14 children has alleged.

“How can she succeed if she is subjecting her babies to potential risks of harm? If she doesn’t even come into the nursery to feed her own babies, to hold them, to bathe them, to change them, to love them, to bond with them, except when the cameras are rolling?” Gloria Allred told TODAY’s Lester Holt Wednesday from Los Angeles.

“There’s only a few hours beyond the time when the cameras were rolling that she actually came into the nursery when she was there to care for her babies, and that’s wrong.”

Angels go homeAllred represents Angels in Waiting, a not-for-profit group that initially had an agreement brokered by television psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw to provide around-the-clock nursing care and developmental specialists for Suleman’s octuplets as well as the six children under the age of 8 she already has at home.

The arrangement with the group didn’t last long. On Monday, with four of the 58-day-old octuplets home and four more still gaining strength in Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, all parties confirmed that Suleman had told Angels in Waiting that their services were no longer needed.

Suleman attorney Jeff Czech said the relationship started badly between Suleman and Angels in Waiting, which has been training nannies paid by Suleman at the family's La Habra home. “It started out adversarial and never really resolved itself,” Czech told The Associated Press. “Nadya felt that she was being judged wrongfully, and she didn't need it. All it did was make a difficult situation worse.”

Law and disorder
Allred confirmed that the group, headed by Linda Conforti, had filed three complaints with child welfare officials about Suleman. The first alleged that the home Suleman was then living in with her mother was unsuitable for 14 children. Suleman is no longer living in that house, and is now in the La Habra home.

The attorney said the nurses were only doing their jobs. “Nurses are mandated reporters under the law. If a nurse sees that a baby or a child is endangered, neglected, abused or in any way potentially harmed — at risk of great harm — they are legally required to report that to authorities,” Allred told Holt.

Suleman has been posting daily blogs and providing video for the Web site. She also reportedly sold pictures of the birth of her octuplets, and says she is paying for her own nannies. She says the nannies are being trained by specialists from Kaiser Permanente, where the babies were born.

The single mother complained online that Conforti made her “nauseous” with continuous warnings that her babies would be abducted because of a lack of security at her home, which is located in what was formerly a quiet residential neighborhood but is now paparazzi central. When Suleman brought the first two infants home, hordes of reporters, photographers and cameramen besieged the SUV carrying her and the children, trying to pursue it into the home’s garage.

Inside, camera crews from RadarOnline were in the nursery filming. Angels in Waiting contends the camera crew and their equipment present a risk of infection to the infants.

“Our nurses were rightfully concerned about security,” Allred said. “After all, Nadya had told the world where she lives. She told the world when those babies were coming home, and as a result, hundreds of reporters came.”

911 on speed dialThe attorney said that on two occasions intruders entered the backyard of the home. Suleman asked a nanny to call 911 on the first occasion, Allred said, saying Suleman didn’t want to call herself because she feared she had already made too many calls to local police.

“Then a nanny came onto the property without showing any identification,” Allred continued. “The nanny herself indicated to our nurse that the baby could be abducted. She could have walked out with the baby in her purse. And [Conforti], the nurse, attempted to talk with Nadya about that.”

It all came to a head Sunday night, Allred said, when two infants were being brought home.

“It was a dangerous situation, a situation that was out of control inside the house as well as outside of the house,” she said.

Suleman called 911 that night to ask police to come and remove Allred from her house. Allred told Holt that Suleman then told police there wasn’t a problem and apologized to Allred, who remained until 1:30 a.m.

But by Monday, Suleman had ended her agreement with Allred and Angels in Waiting.

Allred, who is scheduled to tell more of her story on Dr. Phil’s show, repeated that Suleman is not responding to the security concerns.“Look, we need security here for these babies. Yet, instead of providing security, she puts in her own Jacuzzi instead of hiring security guards,” she told Holt.