The “Octomom” offspring just scored a major milestone: Her tots have hit their teens!
Nadya “Natalie” Suleman, the mega-mama of 14 children — who catapulted to nickname infamy in 2009 with octuplets conceived via in-vitro fertilization — is going viral again after sharing an Instagram tribute to her eight youngest on their 13th birthday.
“Happy 13th birthday to Nariyah, Isaiah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Noah, Josiah, Jonah, and Makai!” Suleman, 46, captioned her social media salute this week.
“You are all growing into some of the most kind, humble, grateful and loving human beings I have ever known,” the single Octomom from Los Angeles added before listing her brood’s abundant positive attributes.
“Each of you possess[es] rare and unique characteristics, and are unlike any other child of your age, particularly in our society today,” said Suleman, who now goes by the name “Natalie” on social media. “You are selfless, altruistic, non-materialistic, and loving, fearing followers of God. I have never seen children who love and want to serve others, (particularly those less fortunate), so boldly and confidently like each and every one of you do.”
She continued giving kudos to her kiddies, saying: “You are not followers of this shallow world, but of a God that created and loves you unconditionally. I don’t know what I could possibly have done to deserve being blessed so bountifully. I love you.”
The mom of multiples and ex-porn star has single-handedly raised her tribe of 14 in Orange County, California, since the early 2000s.
In 2001, shortly after separating from her ex-husband Marcos Gutierrez, the then 21-year-old Suleman welcomed her first son, Elijah, after “hoarding” her own money to cover $10,000 in IVF fees. She went on to welcome five more children, including a set of fraternal twins, through IVF over the next few years.
And in 2008, Dr. Michael Kamrava — who was ultimately stripped of his medical license, and has since moved out of the United States — implanted 12 embryos in the mother, resulting in the birth of eight babies.
Suleman alleged that Kamrava “misled” her when he excessively embedded her uterus while she was under the influence of a “cocktail of drugs,” including Valium, during her what would be her final IVF surgery.
“He wrote something, he gave it to me to sign,” she said in 2011 of the ex-doctor. “I signed it, and I didn’t read it.”
But beef with her former physician aside, Suleman went on to break the Guinness World Record for delivering the most amount of children to survive during a single birth. She welcomed her tummy tribe via cesarean section on Jan. 26, 2009.
Following her record-breaking births, Suleman enjoyed a massive wave of media attention — a frenzy that earned her the inescapable Octomom moniker — which ultimately lead her to a stint in pornography and a gig as a stripper.
In April 2012, Suleman filed for bankruptcy. And in October of that year, she checked in to a drug rehabilitation facility for an addiction to Xanax, which she had been prescribed by her doctors to reduce anxiety.
Two years later, in 2014, she pleaded not guilty to welfare fraud charges after she was accused of failing to report to the government that she had earned a whopping $30,000 working as a topless dancer and adult film actress. Suleman ultimately avoided jail time, but was forced to pay $26,000 in restitution, serve two years on probation and work 200 hours of community service.
And in 2018 she finally left the world of erotica after coming home to find one of her daughters playing dress-up in her stripper heels.
Suleman, who has a bachelor’s degree in child development, went on to find work as a counselor and has since tried to “kill” off the Octomom identity.
“When I walked, or shall I say ran away, from my Octomom persona,” she told ITV in 2019, “I went right back into my healthy lifestyle that I’ve always had my whole life.”
Michael Avenatti grilled his former client, porn star Stormy Daniels, about comments she made about him being sexually assaulted in prison and her claims that she’s able to speak to the dead at his criminal trial in Manhattan federal court Friday morning.
The disgraced attorney, who is accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from Daniels in 2018, began his cross examination of his former client Friday by highlighting the statements she made on a podcast and on social media about him being raped in prison.
“On Sept. 27, 2019 … You stated that I was ‘f—ing myself pretty nice and hard and that when I go to prison there will be a long line of people to ass rape me,’” Avenatti, who is acting as his own attorney at the trial, asked Daniels.
The adult entertainer said she didn’t recall the specific statement, but did not deny making it.
Avenatti then raised a statement Daniels made on Twitter about her having a brand of sex lubricant that he could use in prison.
“You suggested you could put Tabasco sauce in the lube and bring it to me in prison, so I could be anally raped,” he asked Daniels, who did not deny making the statement.
Avenatti then quizzed Daniels on a series of statements she made about her alleged paranormal abilities, which she has advertised for a forthcoming television show, “Spooky Babes.”
Daniels has claimed she’s able to speak with the dead, read Tarot cards, see through the walls of a house and be put into a trance that gives her the ability to solve crimes, according to her testimony.
“You believe that you’re a medium,” Avenatti asked.
“Yes,” Daniels responded, clarifying for Judge Jesse Furman that she believes a medium is someone who communicates with spirits, “non-living to be specific.”
On one occasion in 2019, Daniels claimed that a doll named Susan was buckled in the backseat of a car near her home in New Orleans — but somehow became unbuckled and ended up face down on the floor of the car.
The doll called “mommy, mommy” to Daniels, she previously said, according to her testimony.
In another instance that year, Daniels claimed to have the spirit of a woman in her home who was “sobbing and cutting her wrists in an attempt to kill herself.”
Federal authorities allege Avenatti siphoned off two payments of book-advance money that was supposed to be paid to Daniels. The payments totaled nearly $300,000.
During her testimony yesterday, Daniels reviewed a series of text messages and other communications that showed her repeatedly asking Avenatti for her money.
Avenatti, who was her lawyer at the time, allegedly forged Daniels’ signature on a letter to get the payments sent to a bank account he controlled.
Avenatti faces a maximum of 22 years in prison if he’s convicted on two charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He has maintained his innocence.
The pair rose to national prominence during the Trump administration after it was revealed Daniels was paid $130,000 by former Trump fixer Michael Cohen to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she had with the former president years earlier.
Trump denies ever having sex with Daniels.
Avenatti was convicted in 2020 of attempting to extort sportswear giant Nike for $25 million. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for the scheme.
A huge U.S. fiscal deficit from the first two years of COVID-19 spending should decline rapidly to near pre-pandemic levels, largely due to a rebound in economic growth, analysts at Morgan Stanley said on Thursday. In a research note, the investment bank’s economists predicted the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio should decline 7 percentage points in 2022, after reaching the highest level since World War Two during the pandemic. Real growth will contribute about 6 percentage points and inflation a similar percentage, offset by interest expenses and primary deficit spending. “Our expectation for fiscal spending in 2022 and 2023 are much more moderate, especially after the failure of the large-scale Build Back Better spending program to pass last year. For 2022, we expect a deficit of 4.1%, and 4.0% for 2023, closely in line with the pre-Covid decade average,” the note said. The economists said interest rate levels and net interest …
The world’s oldest land mammal, a 190-year-old giant Seychelles tortoise named Jonathan, is still living a shell of a life down on the British isle of Saint Helena — a place he was photographed in 1886.
“Giant tortoises generally live up to around 150 years, so he is doing very well!” Teeny Lucy of the St. Helena SPCA told PetaPixel.
He first reached his cushy, 140-year home on the South Atlantic island in 1882 as a gift from British colonial administrator and later St. Helena governor Sir William Grey-Wilson, the outlet reported.
“Jonathan was fully grown at that time [of arriving at St. Helena], which would be at least 50 years old, so his hatching year would have been about 1832,” Lucy said about the reptile who has lived to see 40 U.S. presidents and 53 British prime ministers.
“Some experts have suggested that he may belong to a separate species, or subspecies, of Seychelles tortoise though this debate has yet to be settled conclusively,” the record book reported.
While the exacts of his origin are still unknown, one thing for sure is that age caught up with the senior tortoise.
“He is now mostly blind due to cataracts and has lost his sense of smell, nevertheless he knows his territory so well that he moves about the large paddock and grazes the grass with no problems,” Lucy said.
“We are pretty sure that he knows the sound or feels the pressure of our footsteps and he has a very good appetite,” she added, going to list that the handfed Jonathan “enjoys carrots, lettuce (his favorite), apples, guava (in season), bananas, cabbage, and pears” once a week on Sundays.
Around the time he was 177 in 2009, Lucy and her team “discovered that his beak that usually scythes the grass was crumbly and soft and that Jonathan was losing weight.”
They began giving him extra food on a weekly basis to successfully sharpen his pair of chompers, she said.
Despite these health setbacks, he never lost his slow-moving swagger and is quite social with the island’s other tortoises — David, Fred and Emma — another caretaker said.
There are recipes where taking a few shortcuts or starting with store-bought components is just fine. And then there are recipes where the very best version takes some extra time and effort, but the payoff makes it worth it. Friends, this classic lemon tart is definitely the latter type of recipe. It calls for a whopping amount of egg yolks, a homemade crust, and more lemon zest than you’ve probably ever grated, but the end result is a stunning, almost glowing lemon tart that is the perfect balance of sweet, tart, buttery, and rich. Origins of the Recipe I rarely find a recipe that stops me in my tracks, but that’s exactly what happened when I took my first bite of Cook’s Illustrated’s lemon tart. My husband and 7-year-old daughter made it for our Christmas dessert, and while it took them the better part of the day (and left us …
This week, King’s latest project — The Afterparty, created by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Last Man On Earth; the 21 Jump Street movies) — arrives on Apple TV+. When members of Hillmont High school’s class of 2006 return to their hometown to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their graduation, select alumni end up at the cliffside home of their most famous classmate, Xavier (Dave Franco)…and then one of them ends up dead. The cast — which also includes Ike Barinholtz, Zoë Chao, Jamie Demetriou, Ilana Glazer, Sam Richardson, and Ben Schwartz — take turns in each episode filtering the story of the night through their perspective; each episode also switches genre (romcom, pop musical, animation, and more). Will Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) figure out who’s responsible for the unfortunate grad’s death before a ringer from shows up from L.A. to poach her case?
I spoke with King about the season: what it was like making his début as an action screenwriter, avoiding damaging TV cop clichés, and how he and his colleagues made sure the show’s complex storyline remained structurally sound.
DECIDER: When I interviewed you, years ago, about an episode of Broad City you wrote, you said at the time that The A-Team was your most formative show because it was so formulaic that it taught you how story structure worked. Since then, you’ve worked on some of the least formulaic comedies there are: Search Party, Dead To Me, now The Afterparty. What have you learned on these projects about braiding together comedy and mystery?
ANTHONY KING: It’s somewhat new, I guess, melding genre with comedy. But it’s kind of the best of both worlds: we get to play with all the dramatic turns and storytelling, but at the same time, kind of undercut them with comedy. In this era when stories just need to be more complicated because audiences are more savvy, I think it lets us do a lot of unexpected things. You’re not having to make every single moment comedic; we can take the drama and give it levity. So I think it’s really helpful.
The old-school sitcom formula of friends around a couch — it’s not limiting; there’s tons you can do with it. But a lot of it has been done very well. And so it feels like new territory, to be able to take these larger worlds that had been very serious in the past, and inject comedy into them.
You worked on the Wet Hot American Summer Netflix series, which probably also prepared you for working on a season of TV that doesn’t exactly proceed in a straight line.
Yeah. That show obviously is very pushed, comedically, and ridiculous. It’s more of a parody; we were kind of trying to honor the tropes more than send them up in The Afterparty. But even in Wet Hot, there were a lot of things where we discussed, “No, let’s just play this straight and let this be a scene.” Because you still want to care about the characters. If everything is a joke, then you’re telling the audience not to care about anything. And so, it’s fun to be able to play with what that line is — when you’re pushing it too much, and when you actually want to say, “No, let’s make this a real relationship.”
How do you work it out?
It’s a moving line. And luckily on The Afterparty, Chris (Miller) and Phil (Lord) have jumped back and forth over that line probably more than anyone else in the business, so they have a very good sense of where that line should be. And they’re exceptional at having a comedy that is just overflowing with heart, so it was a good process.
Each episode of the show is told from the perspective of a different character and in a different genre. What was the process of pairing up writer and character?
It ended up being perfect, because Chris just had everyone send him an email saying which genre they wanted to do, which character. And everyone had a different first choice. So everyone really got to write the movie they wanted to write. Because the show is so interconnected, we call it a Jenga tower: every time you move one block, the whole thing’s going to fall down if you don’t fix it. So every writer would kind of protect the things from their episode as we were moving pieces around. And it made it really useful for everyone to have their territory so they could say, “Wait, we can’t do that because of this.” It was really great.
How does it affect the process for you, as the writer, to be on set for shooting?
This is another thing Chris and Phil are great about: they really look at the filming as another chance to revisit the material and take another shot at making it better. So once we had things on their feet, we were doing a lot of rewriting and also just throwing jokes at the actors. Our cast are all exceptional improvisers. So it was fun, not only what the actors were bringing, but also for us to be able to say, “Hey, maybe something like this,” and they would just run with it. It was a really fun, collaborative set.
One of your episodes was the second of the season, about Brett, Ike Barinholtz’s character. Your task is sort of to redeem a guy who’s been set up in the pilot as kind of a dirtbag, and also incorporate a small child, and also do it all through a sort of Fast & Furious lens. How was that for you?
I loved it. Brett loves his family, and he’s just an idiot. You really see how much he loves his daughter and how much he loves his wife, even though he has done some bad things and feels bad about them. He’s afraid. That was one of the things about the show that I think is exciting: you meet the characters through other people’s points of view, and then you really get inside of them from their own points of view. The goal was to open them all up throughout the course of the season. Because one of the themes of the show is that we kind of judge people because we don’t understand them.
What made you want to claim Brett’s episode?
I’ve never really written an action movie or a show like that. So it seemed like an opportunity to get to write a car chase, among other things. And I love a confident idiot — that’s always a fun character to write. All the things with his daughter just felt really fun: this dad who sincerely loves his daughter, but he’s also putting her in situations she should not be in.
How do you use a child character in an episode so it’s enough but not too much?
Well, we got very lucky in that that actress [Everly Carganilla] is incredible. I mean, she’s as good an actor as most adults. She’s going to be around for a while. She’s incredible. And so, it was mostly about getting her and Ike to have a good relationship with each other as actors, and then to feed off that on set. There was a lot of just playing around and letting them play with each other and trying to find other new ways to have them connect with each other. It all kind of blossomed out of that. When you’re working with a child actor, you’re always fighting the clock [because they’re legally limited in how many hours they can work]. But they made it very easy.
You also wrote the season’s penultimate episode, which focuses on Danner, the detective played by Tiffany Haddish. We’re in a period where pop cultural portrayals of cops are under more scrutiny than they used to be. What were the considerations as you developed her backstory?
We talked a lot about how to position her so it wasn’t just the usual “cops are the heroes and criminals are the bad guys” of pop culture. We wanted to kind of blur the lines a little bit, or at least show the nuance that cops are different. Not every cop is good and not every cop is bad. And then also, as we try to do in every episode, understand what’s really going on, even with the criminals. But we got to send up police procedurals through it as well, which felt like a way to comment on how television has portrayed police, and to play with that trope while we were kind of subverting it.
I know it is in full swing. I’ve only heard rumblings, but it sounds pretty fun how they’re expanding it out for 2022. I was a fan when it first aired, and I’m so excited that it’s coming back.
I can’t let you go without asking: did you go to any of your high school reunions?
You know what? I didn’t. There was one a few years ago, and I skipped it, somewhat because the people I want to be in touch with, I’m in touch with online. So I don’t necessarily … I mean, it would’ve been fascinating to go back, but I did indeed skip my own high school reunion.
What about the rest of the writers’ room? Were there are a lot of abstainers?
No, I think most people had gone back. People described that feeling of walking in and seeing people and the baggage that comes rushing back. That you walk back into a place that you haven’t been in a long time and there are just memories soaked into walls, and that’s not always great.
Between this and Yellowjackets, this really is a solid month of TV about murderers going to their high school reunions. We just need one more to make it a trend.
That’s true. If only we had cannibals in ours. Or maybe we do!
You’ve got to save something for Season 2.
Television Without Pity, Fametracker, and Previously.TV co-founder Tara Ariano has had bylines in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vulture, Slate, Salon, Mel Magazine, Collider, and The Awl, among others. She co-hosts the podcasts Extra Hot Great, Again With This (a compulsively detailed episode-by-episode breakdown of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place), Listen To Sassy, and The Sweet Smell Of Succession. She’s also the co-author, with Sarah D. Bunting, of A Very Special 90210 Book: 93 Absolutely Essential Episodes From TV’s Most Notorious Zip Code (Abrams 2020). She lives in Austin.
Russian officials signaled at least a token interest in diplomacy to resolve the ongoing crisis with the West over Ukraine Friday, insisting that Moscow doesn’t “want wars.”
“If it depends on Russia, then there will be no war,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a radio interview Friday, according to Reuters. “We don’t want wars. But we also won’t allow our interests to be rudely trampled, to be ignored.”
Lavrov spoke two days after the US formally rejected Moscow’s demands that Ukraine be blocked from ever entering NATO, as well as that the alliance roll back its presence in former Soviet bloc states.
The State Department called the Russian stance a “non-starter,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that opinion Wednesday.
“Right now, the document is with them, and the ball is in their court,” Blinken told reports.
While Lavrov said Friday that the West had ignored Russia’s requests, he added that there was “something” in the written responses from the US and NATO — and indicated that he was more pleased with the message from Washington than Brussels.
Lavrov went on to say he expected to meet with Blinken in the next couple of weeks. He did not elaborate on differences in the US and NATO responses.
Russia has amassed at least 100,000 forces along the border of Ukraine over recent weeks – stoking fears of an imminent invasion.
Concerns grew after the US and UK began to evacuate the families of diplomats from their respective embassies – a move Ukraine called “premature.”
The US and NATO allies have amped up their military presence and aid to Ukraine in recent days. On Monday, the Pentagon announced it would be placing 8,500 troops on “heightened alert” to aid NATO’s Response Force in the event of an invasion.
At the same time, Ukraine has been pushing a message of calm, saying there is “no need to panic” despite the concerns from the West.
During a phone conversation between Biden and Zelensky on Thursday, the US president reportedly told his Ukrainian counterpart that a Russian attack on Kiev was almost certain, an unnamed Ukrainian official told CNN.
The White House hastily denied the report, calling it “completely false.”
“President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February,” National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne tweeted, later adding that “[r]eports of anything more or different than that are completely false.”
Zelensky later described the discussion as positive, saying they talked about “recent diplomatic efforts on de-escalation and agreed on joint actions for the future.”
If Russia invades Ukraine, the US and its European allies have vowed to implement severe economic sanctions against Moscow. Some have worried that such sanctions will lead Russia to cut off its natural gas and oil exports to Europe; however, the US has already begun discussions on ways to counter that move if it happens.
Russia has denied any intention to invade and described Western concerns as “hysteria.”
A security guard who worked a 2019 Nicki Minaj concert in Germany claims the rapper’s husband, Kenneth Petty, sucker punched him in the jaw.
The guard, Thomas Weidenmuller, is now suing the couple, saying in court documents obtained by TMZ Thursday that he has had to undergo multiple surgeries since the alleged assault.
Weidenmuller claims the incident occurred after Minaj, now 39, berated a female security guard for allowing a male fan to get onstage during her March 2019 show.
Minaj allegedly yelled at the guard, calling her a “f–king bitch” while recording the belittling exchange, the report said.
As head of security for the evening, Weidenmuller says he stepped up to console the guard, who was in tears, before approaching Minaj to discuss the alleged incident.
“Who do you think you are?” he claims she yelled before allegedly throwing her shoe at him.
While she missed him with her shoe, Weidenmuller claims he was called back to her room for another verbal lashing from the Queens-born performer before Petty, now 43, punched him out of the blue, breaking his jaw.
Weidenmuller alleges the hit resulted in him undergoing eight surgeries to repair the damage to his jaw, which involved inserting five plates into his face. He also claims six more surgeries are required to completely repair the damage.
Weidenmuller claims in his suit that Minaj provoked the assault, which is why he is suing both her and Petty for damages including his medical bills, TMZ reported.
This isn’t the first time Petty has been involved in litigation, as he and his superstar wife were sued by his alleged rape victim, Jennifer Hough, in August 2021 for harassment and attempting to get her to recant her account of the 1994 assault, for which he served four years in prison under a plea deal.
Hough has since dismissed her suit against Minaj, but her case against Petty is ongoing, People reported earlier this month.
The couple, who wed in October 2019, welcomed a son in September 2020. They’ve yet to reveal his name but call him “Papa Bear” on social media.
Evangeline Lilly is in hot water once again. In a recent Instagram post, the Lost and Ant-Man and the Wasp star confirmed that she traveled to Washington, D.C. last weekend to support “medical sovereignty” — in simpler terms, to protest vaccine mandates.
“I believe nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will, under threat of violent attack, arrest or detention without trial, loss of employment, homelessness, starvation, loss of education, alienation from loved ones, excommunication from society…under any threat whatsoever,” Lilly wrote alongside a photo of herself holding a sign that read: “Vaxxed Democrat for medical freedom.”
She continued: “I understand the world is in fear, but I don’t believe that answering fear with force will fix our problems. I was pro choice before COVID and I am still pro choice today.”
Soon afterward, fans took to Twitter to criticize Lilly’s comments.
“I see that Evangeline Lilly is still LOST,” author duo Tom and Lorenzo tweeted.
Another Twitter user wrote: “Society has progressed past the need of having Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp in the MCU.”
This isn’t the first time that Lilly has faced backlash for her COVID-related views. In March 2020, the Marvel star made headlines for an Instagram post in which she compared the virus to a “respiratory flu” and admitted her refusal to self-quarantine despite living with her cancer-stricken father.
She apologized in a subsequent post days later, writing, “When I wrote that post 10 days ago, I thought I was infusing calm into the hysteria. I can see now that I was projecting my own fears into an already fearful and traumatic situation.”
Lilly isn’t the only Marvel star making Kevin Feige’s job more difficult than an Avenger’s efforts to fix a hole in the multiverse. In 2020, Black Panther actress Letitia Wright courted controversy for sharing a conspiracy theory video on Twitter questioning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Last October, Wright denied a Hollywood Reporter article claiming that she was sharing anti-vax views on the set of Black Panther 2, calling these reports “completely false.”