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Octomom Sued By Former Mouseketeer

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Former kid star Paul Peterson sues Nadya Suleman for child exploitation.

Nadya Suleman and Paul Petersen

You won't find celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred attempting to provide free nanny care for Nadya Suleman's octuplets as she did back in March -- and certainly not after Suleman fired them. On the contrary, Allred is now representing a client who is suing the Octomom for exploiting her eight infants for financial gain. Paul Peterson, former child star of "The Donna Reed Show" and the "Mickey Mouse Club," is the founder of the child star advocacy group, A Minor Consideration, and is at the helm of a lawsuit filed against Suleman. Peterson calls for a court-appointed guardian to oversee any wages Suleman's eight little cash cows receive in the future.

And apparently, the octuplets' future is bright. Their mom has already signed contracts for a show produced by Eyeworks productions that would film her children until their eighteenth birthdays. Not to mention the windfall profits that Suleman and her kids have made from photo sales and her appearances on radaronline.com.

Allred, speaking on Peterson's behalf, also claims Suleman has violated California labor laws regarding her children, particularly when two of the premature infants were filmed continuously for several hours. According to California law, babies from 15 days old to six months old can only "work" daytime hours and then in only 20-minute increments. Additionally, when filming or photographing children, "a nurse and credentialed studio teacher must be present," said Allred.

Not one to mince words, Peterson believes the exploitation of Suleman's octuplets is a disgrace. "There is only one commodity in the Suleman home that has any value, and it's not the mom," Peterson told momlogic.

The producers of reality shows are all too eager to turn their cameras toward Suleman and her unconventional life. Shows documenting families with multiples are hugely popular -- and lucrative. Unscripted reality-show producers are able to circumvent child labor laws by hiding under the "documentary" category.

"The trick is they are not in a reality show," clarifies Peterson. "The presence of a camera changes everything. It is a commercial production. Every adult is being compensated and the child is not."

Peterson parallels the intrusion of cameras on the octuplets to a nature documentary.

"These children are not meerkats to be displayed like animals," argues Peterson. "These children will be effected until the end of their life."

Peterson furthers his point by referencing a letter published in Time magazine in 1997 written by the Dionne quintuplets, warning parents of multiples not to put their children on display.
"Our lives have been ruined by the exploitation we suffered at the hands of the government of Ontario, our place of birth. We were displayed as a curiosity three times a day for millions of tourists.... Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products." Um, try selling THAT idea to the Octomom.


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17 comments so far | Post a comment now
aerialla May 6, 2009, 7:33 AM

Finally someone is taking a full stand that may well benefit these children and not their mother. Lets see what happens when she can’t go to the mall because she has to put the bulk of any money made because of the octuplets into a trust. I just wish A Minor Consideration would have stepped in from the beginning but better late than never.

Anonymous May 6, 2009, 8:36 AM

then why doesn’t he sue the duggars or jon & kate???

emma May 6, 2009, 8:58 AM

Anonymous good point

Sarah May 6, 2009, 9:32 AM

Anon I was wondering the same thing. I am very glad that someone is stepping in to oversee the children from the Octomom though. That situation is a disaster.

Dr.Leah www.singlemommyhood.com May 6, 2009, 9:44 AM

This is welcome news for all of us who have spoken out about the exploitation of these babies. Perhaps, it’s time for full disclosure about how the kids “working” for TLC—-the Duggars, Jon and Kate’s brood, and Little People - Big World will benefit from the parents’ apparent willingness to have these children support their parents. I will certainly be interested in how these stories unfold.

Sue May 6, 2009, 10:09 AM

To anonymous % Emma

Apparently there is no federal law protecting children working in the entertainment industry, nor are there laws in the states where these other reality show families live.
California DOES have such a law, which is why Peterson can file a lawsuit against Suleman, but not the other families.

It’s time someone shows that they have the interest of these 14 children at heart, because NS certainly doesn’t! I’m way out of every shred of sympathy I’ve ever had for this woman.

Mandy May 6, 2009, 11:58 AM

So over hearing about her! Everytime something is in print about her she is getting what she wants. Media time and attention. Lets not give her any more of what she wants!

amy May 6, 2009, 2:37 PM

Anon, I think the answer to your question is simple - none of the other couples you mentioned set out to have multiples, but it’s become painfully obvious that Suleman DID - she wants to be rich and famous like Angelina Jolie.

cutepea May 6, 2009, 2:43 PM

Why sue her? How childish and pathetic-is he in need of money that bad? Leave the woman alone-yes she made a very bad decision-but good gosh- let it go-there are other people out in the world that have kid after kid after kid and are on food stamps and medicaid-why not sue them as well!!!

rugbymom May 6, 2009, 3:19 PM

And Peterson is not a money-hungry person trying to exploit the situation? C’mon people. Litigation like this is for 1 reason only, to tug on the heartstrings of people who actually care about children so they can make money. It is just as gross. Leave the lady alone. We have thousands, 10s of thousands or more people in this country who do much worse than that woman. Get over it. Move on.

aerialla May 6, 2009, 5:22 PM

Actually Peterson personally is not the one suing Octo-mom, the group A Minor Consideration is. His group is an advocate for children in the entertainment buisness. They make it possible for child stars now to grow up having the money they earned as children. When Peterson was about and even up until the late 80’s child stars were growing up with parents and agents who robbed them blind often losing everything the child worked for. Parents in California especially can no longer live off their children’s incomes. Any money won in this litigation will be set up in trust funds for the children. This group is legit. My brother in law’s nephew was in show business as a child and his parents were only entitled to a small percentage of his income as they were his managers. When he turns 18 he will get access to the funds set aside not his parents. This group tries to keep young actors from becoming True Hollywood Family Horror Stories.

Gail Cooke May 7, 2009, 12:09 AM

I hope she gets penalized so bad she has to give up those children…they deserve a better life than staying with that loser. I think she should be in an institution. Can’t stand that woman….can’t stand her at all…

Leeza May 7, 2009, 9:48 AM

Nadya is going into the hospital this weekend to “supposedly” get part of her uterus removed because of fibroid tumors.I think there’s more to this claim, especially because Nadya LOVES plastic surgery! I bet she is getting a tummy tuck and breast lift,but she is too afraid to admit it to the media-for fear of more negative backlash.She knows that people will resent her for leaving her 14 kids, in order to get plastic surgery! Pictures don’t lie. In a week or two Nadya will look like she instantly lost 30 lbs. She will deny the surgery, claiming she is naturally skinny! Betcha!!!

Leeza May 7, 2009, 11:39 AM

Nadya is actually going to have surgery this coming weekend to “supposedly” remove part of her uterus, because of fibroid tumors. Honestly, I think there’s more to the story. Nadya is addicted to plastic surgery.I believe she is actually getting a tummy tuck and breast lift.She knows that the media would make waves with her leaving her 14 children for plastic surgery when the preemies are so young.Plus plastic surgery is not covered by insurance!That means that Nadya will be spending $20,000+ of her children’s funds.I find the timing of this operation to be very telling, just days after Gloria Allred filed a lawsuit to protect these babies funds from Nadya’s abusing and depleting all their funds for their future.I hope Gloria gets a copy of the surgery bill and uses it in court, so Nadya has to repay the amount she spent on plastic surgery to her children’s funds!She needs to be stopped.She’s like a spoiled and self absorbed 12 yr. old, who has her parents credit card.

Monica June 12, 2009, 2:55 AM

I am glad that someone is standing up for these children. She is using them. When they grow up they will be nothing but a bunch of Gary Colemans. Had all that talent but the parents sucked the life out of him and his money. They need to take control of the situation now before it gets out of hand. Put away this money. And make sure that she doesn’t use it for her own twisted means. Make sure that these children are well taken care of and that they will have a promising future. They already got a raw deal with an irresponsible mother.

Pharmb883 December 4, 2009, 1:00 PM

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