Two Californian publicists have abandoned octuplet mom Nadya Suleman in the wake of several death threats.
Suleman, 33, was unmarried, unemployed and already had six children using a sperm donor when she gave birth to eight children from the same donor Jan. 26 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower.
Joann Killeen, president of Killeen Furtney Group, and husband Mike Furtney, who said they were representing Suleman for free, had received threatening e-mails and phone calls from people enraged over the octuplets saga, she said.
"They hope I die, they hope my business goes under, they want to rip her uterus out," Killeen told Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the Los Angeles Times. "They say I should be anesthetized and put down like a dog."
After creating a website for Suleman on Tuesday, Killeen said, she received 55,000 e-mails, most of them negative, and she has stacks of angry mail.
The publicist and her client felt so threatened that last week they stayed at an undisclosed "secure location" for a few days before returning home. The babies are still being treated at the hospital, Killeen said.
Suleman is on food stamps herself and taking care of the newborns could cost the tax-payer heavily, and thus at a time when the USA is undergoing a severe economic crisis.
"The American public have just lashed out," she said. "I think it has to do with the economy, healthcare -- there's not a lot of jobs, people are unemployed and are trying to take care of their families."
Undaunted, Suleman has hired the Franklin, Tennessee-based Ambassador Agency to arrange a book deal and manage her appearances, Killeen said.
Ambassador represented an Iowa couple who had sextuplets in 1995 and the Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, who spoke at President Obama's inauguration.
The colourful Suleman website describes her as a proud mother of 14, solicits online donation from visitors and says the octuplets are healthy and growing stronger by the day.