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article imageOcto-Mom's PR Team Quits After Death Threats

By Joan Firstenberg     Feb 15, 2009 in Health
The anger against the 'Octo-Mom' as Nadya Suleman is now being called is mounting. And people unhappy with her delivery of 8 babies through in-vitro fertilisation are taking their feelings out on her PR team.
The public relations firm representing the "Octo-mom" for free says they're dropping her as a client after getting death threats. A Brentwood couple, Joann Killeen, president of Killeen Furtney Group, and husband Mike Furtney decided to drop Suleman early Saturday after they received 100's of threatening e-mails and phone calls. They say the calls began soon after they they began representing Nadya Suleman and set up a website for her.
Suleman, a 33-year-old Whittier resident, 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.
Ms Killeen told the press of one of the voice-mail messages....
"They'd put me in the wood chipper and throw me in the bottom of the ocean and hope I die."
She says some of the threats were directed at both herself and Suleman.
"They hope I die, they hope my business goes under, they want to rip her uterus out," Killeen said. "They say I should be anesthetized and put down like a dog."
And Killean says all around it's been a very frightening experience.
"We've never had a public reaction to us representing a client pro bono like this, ever."
Ms Suleman hired the agency soon after the octuplets were born and Ms Killeen made a number of TV appearances, saying her client had been deluged with offers to tell her story.
But public reaction to the Suleman story soured after it was learned that she was a single-mother receiving state aid to help her raise her other six children, aged two to seven. Fertility experts have also criticized her use of IVF to give birth to a whopping 14 children and they've raised questions about whether medical guidelines were met about the number of embryos transferred into Suleman's uterus.
Suleman has now hired the Franklin, Tennessee.-based Ambassador Agency Inc. to arrange a book deal and manage her appearances. 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.
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