Natalie Suleman, the mother who made headlines and earned the nickname Octomom back in 2009 when she gave birth to eight children, is opening up about her life seven years later in a new interview.
The 41-year-old mother, who already had six children before giving birth to octuplets, said that she is now doing better than ever and that she and the children are living a vegan lifestyle during an appearance on Good Morning America.
She also revealed that she is now working as a counselor after briefly working as a stripper and in adult films to help put food on the table.
Suleman broke down in tears as she spoke about the moment she watched as her 10-year-old daughter put on her stripper shoes and began walking around, deciding then to never again work as a dancer or porn performer.
‘I felt like throwing up,’ said Suleman.
‘That was the moment when I said I would rather be homeless living in the van with all my kids, than allow any of my girls to feel that they are not worthy enough and that they have to go down that path.’
Scroll down for video
Moving on: Natalie Suleman, who earned the nickname Octomom after giving birth to eight children in 2009, is opening up about her life in a new interview
Healthy brood: She reveals that she and her 14 children, six of whom she had given birth to before the octuplets (above in 2011), now live a vegan lifestyle
Suleman also spoke about her addiction to Xanax, which was a direct result to her need to numb herself while working in as an adult entertainer.
‘I ended up numbing my shame,’ said Suleman.
‘And if you have to engage in an activity to numb yourself … you are going down the wrong path.’
She eventually went to rehab, but said that she relapsed almost as soon as she completed the program.
That is all behind her now though she said, and her focus these days is on getting rid of the Octomom persona many came to hate.
Suleman starred in Home Alone (above)
‘I was more or less a carnival attraction. I was a freak show,’ said Suleman, who added that her biggest regret is when her childrens’ friends ask if their mom is a stripper.
She broke down in tears again while speaking about the choices she made in the past as a single mother of 14, saying: I want to apologize to anyone I hurt. You know, I wasn’t me.
‘I’m sorry for anyone I hurt out there, and I’m sorry to my children that I hurt.’
Suleman said she is still receiving government assistance as she raises her children, who live in San Antonio, Texas.
She became reviled in 2009 when it emerged she sought out IVF treatment to become pregnant – despite already being a mother of six and being unemployed.
The result was the birth of eight children: Jonah, Nariyah, Josiah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Noah, Jeremiah and Makai.
Kiuds: Suleman decided to quit stripping and performing in adult films when she saw her daughter wearing her stripper shoes (some of the octuplets above)
Suleman said in a interview with DailyMail.com earlier this year that she eventually had to rid her herself of the Octomom persona in order to save her life.
She explained: ‘The media created the character and I shamefully embraced it in 2009 out of scarcity and desperation to survive.
‘This is not something I ever wanted but I think every single mother can understand the challenges we face.’