Nadya Suleman — who now goes by Natalie — says she no longer wants to be known as “Octomom” now eight years after she gave birth to octuplets.
“I never set out to become an ‘octomom,'” Suleman, 41, says in an exclusive clip from Tuesday’s episode of The Doctors, hosted by Dr. Travis Stork. “I’ve always wanted a big family – not this big!”
“Rather than go get more public assistance, which I already felt ashamed of, I ended up selling myself out,” she says. “At the time, it was like an investment so that I could support my family. I believe the judgment I experienced was warranted because what were people supposed to believe? All they were being fed by the media was negativity.”
Suleman says she began to hate her own public persona.
“There’s nobody, possibly, who could have hated ‘Octomom’ more than I,” she says.
As much as she has tried to move on from her media alter-ego, Suleman says it has been hard to do, which is why she has decided to come back into the public eye.
“My history was haunting us,” she says. “I left ‘Octomom.’ I went back to my life as a counselor. I went back and my kids had a healthy, happy life. The problem is it’s followed us, because people never knew what I did. They never knew the true story.”
And while Suleman says she regrets some of her previous choices, she says her prior actions have not affected her children.
“I own and take responsibility for my poor choices, but it’s certainly doesn’t take away from how extraordinary these kids ended up turning out to be.”
For more on Suleman, check your local listings and tune in on Tuesday.