WHY GLORIA ALLRED WAS FIRED BY OCTOMOM
The explosive details about what is really going on, revealed by Allred’s daughter, Lisa Bloom
A month ago, the Octomom story exploded. Nadya Suleman had given birth to eight babies, though she already had six little ones at home under age 7. Pundits tsk-tsked on cable TV that she and Octo-docto were irresponsible to bring all these new babies into a single parent home when Suleman had no job, no income, no, as we used to say, visible means of support.
I should know. I am one of those pundits.
Nightly, we wrung our hands. She expected the taxpayers to support her baby-aholism! She could not possibly care for her brood! There was no good outcome!
Unbeknownst to me and my comrades in commentary, quietly working towards a practical solution was none other than my Uni-Mom, feminist attorney Gloria Allred. (I’m her only kid. One genius is enough, she always says. “When the first one is perfect, why would you need more?” I love her too.)
Angels in Waiting, a nonprofit group that provides nursing care to medically fragile infants, offered Suleman help with the babies when they were released from Kaiser Permanente Hospital. Suleman ignored their letter. Angels contacted Mom, who made the offer publicly.
When I asked her why she got involved in this mess, Mom said to me, “Because Angels in Waiting contacted me, and I thought they had a good solution.” It was simple as that.
Except that Suleman blew them off. Then Dr. Phil got involved to broker a deal.
A week after the agreement was reached, I’m in the CNN green room getting ready to talk when an intern tells me Octomom has called the police on my Mom. Mom’s fine–as she always is–but I asked her, what is the inside scoop on what went down between you and Octomom?
Call it irreconcilable differences.
Problem #1: Octo seemed far more concerned with getting her face on TV than having face time with her infants. Mom says that Suleman foolishly blogged about the first babies’ coming-home date. “This resulted in a foreseeable frenzy of hundreds of media and onlookers coming to her home for the expected arrival.” The problem was not just that we’d all have to see Octo’s surely surgically-altered-to-look-creepily-like-Angelina-Jolie face on the news again–it was far worse.
“Media was permitted to set up dirty camera and lighting equipment, electrical cords, and audio equipment inside the very small nursery that held the cribs and rocking chair. The nursery had been sanitized by the nurse for the benefit of the high-risk premature babies, but the presence of the media and their reporters, producers, camera and audio personnel and others changed all of that immediately for the worse. It substantially increased the possibility of infection for these precious little babies, and the loud noises, shouting and decision to have talent also hold and feed the babies increased the risk of harm to them emotionally and physically.”
(“Talent,” by the way, refers to people like me. We don’t twirl batons or do arabesques on ice skates. It’s just a TV word for people who work in front of the cameras.)
Mom says that for Suleman, it was cameras first, babies second.
“At one point, Angels Nurse Linda West-Conforti tried to rescue one of the babies in the garage and remove the infant from the car seat after the paparazzi swarmed the car, and after a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot had gone off. Instead of being permitted to rescue the infant and being thanked for putting herself in peril to rescue the baby, she was told to ‘get out of the shot.’ Also later in the nursery, when one infant regurgitated some milk, another nurse was temporarily blocked from assisting the infant who needed suctioning–all so that a taping of Nadya’s feedings would not be interrupted.”
It was all for show, says Mom. “The babies appeared to be treated as props after their feeding. Nadya handed them off to the nurse to be cared for while she slept all night.” Octo had little interest in the babies unless the cameras were rolling, Mom says. For several days the nurses asked Suleman to bathe one baby, and finally they gave up asking and did it themselves.
Security was also a concern to my mom, because looky-loos were coming by and even attempting to come in to the house. Suleman refused to pay for any security from her newfound mystery money (presumably made from selling interviews and baby pictures), though she was having a new Jacuzzi tub and dishwasher installed. When she was told that a celebrity stalker might attempt to abduct a now-famous Octo-baby, she said only, “You’re scaring me!”
Nannies who had tested positive for TB were allowed, coughing and maskless, into the home by Suleman. Suleman’s attorney was out of control, screaming and threatening Mom and the nurses, banging his fist on the walls, Mom says.
Angels nurses are mandatory reporters, and they complained to child protective services about Suleman’s failure to care for and protect her children. Suleman then fired Angels and Mom, and demanded they leave the house forthwith.
Who will care for all these kids now? I asked. How can Suleman possibly change all the diapers, bathe them, talk to them, feed them, and care for her other young kids, including three disabled children?
Mom says: “Nadya has decided to have Kaiser Permanente care for her babies. In other words, she has apparently made a conscious decision to put the burden of her babies’ care on the taxpayers, since her lawyer has conceded publicly that Kaiser nurses will most likely have to bill Medi-Cal. Further Kaiser nurses and doctors will be silenced and not be permitted to speak publicly about the specifics of the care that Nadya gives or fails to give to her babies.”
Will this cause a public furor comparable to the pitchfork madness of taxpayer-funded AIG bonuses? But wait, Nadya gets free nursing care either way. What’s in this for her?
Mom explains: “This is advantageous to Nadya and her lawyer since the public will only be told their side and will not be able to get all of the facts as they could if Nadya had kept her agreement with AIW and Dr. Phil to allow supportive care by AIW, and complete transparency by permitting Linda [West-Conforti] to speak.”
My mom, Gloria Allred, wonders, “What are they trying to hide and why?”
The Octo-saga continues. My mom, Gloria Allred, doesn’t give up. I have a strong suspicion there is more to come with Mom and Octomom. And as it unfolds, I’ll be there dutifully discussing the details of the tick-tick-ticking Octo-bomb.
Lisa Bloom hosts “Lisa Bloom Open Court” daily on the legal network, In Session, on truTV 9-11 a.m., and is a CBS News Legal Analyst. She is the daughter of feminist lawyer Gloria Allred. (For real.)