When Natalie “Nadya” Suleman hit the headlines in 2009, it was for giving birth to octuplets. Better known as Octomom, Suleman gained notoriety for birthing eight children, in addition to the six she had at the time — giving her a grand total of 14 kids.
Her fame, though, also came with a lot of pushback from the public. Suleman has been open about being targeted for her decision to birth a team of children, saying she has been the victim of verbal abuse and other “misplaced hate.”
Part of the reason for the backlash was that people couldn’t comprehend her decision to purposely have children if she knew she couldn’t afford them. She was also involved in a welfare fraud case after she failed to report her earnings to the government, despite being on public assistance. Suleman pleaded no contest in the case.
Although she received public assistance, Suleman has had her fair share of jobs over the years, ranging from being a PETA spokeswoman to taking part in an adult film and selling nudes. But perhaps her most nightmare job was the one she had before becoming famous — the one that left her with lifelong injuries.
A riot caused lifelong injuries for Natalie Suleman
According to ABC News, Octomom was working in a psychiatric facility in 1999 when she was caught in the crosshairs of a patient riot. The now-mother-of-14 was working at Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental health facility in California, where she held a job for over a decade (11 years, to be exact, between 1997 and 2008).
During the riot — which involved 20 patients, according to Direct Expose — Natalie Suleman was restraining a patient when she was hit square in the back by another patient wielding a wooden desk. The incident led to a herniated disc injury, which she claimed later worsened from a car accident and pregnancy complications, and landed her compensation from her employer for her injuries. Between the time of the incident in ’99 and until at least 2008, Suleman received at least $167,000 in accrued disability payments.
According to her Instagram posts, Suleman says she still can’t function at 100% because of her lifelong spinal injuries, leading her to adjust things like her fitness routine. Still, it seems the busy mom is doing much better since the incident and only getting stronger by the day.
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