A year later, questions loom over ‘Octomom’
Los Angeles — As her eight youngest children celebrate their first birthday, “Octomom” Nadya Suleman has gone from a veiny-bellied expectant mom to a scantily clad model on the cover of a supermarket tabloid.
“My new bikini body! How I did it!” exclaims the headline in this week’s issue of Star Magazine.
A year after giving birth, the single, unemployed 34-year-old woman seems to have learned that one way to raise her 14 children is to exploit the celebrity media for attention and money that can be used to bring up her brood.
Photo spreads, online videos and interviews in gossip sheets lean more toward promoting Suleman’s image. The reports provide little insight into how she manages to raise her huge family and still find time to get buff and stay in the limelight.
While she insists she’s a good mother, gone are the days when the births of the world’s longest-living octuplets were hailed as something akin to a miracle.
Curiosity quickly turned to criticism when details of her life surfaced: She was divorced and had six other children living in her mother’s house, which was in foreclosure. She was living off college loans, her children’s disability payments and workers’ compensation from on-the-job injuries at a state mental hospital.
Scrutiny intensified when it was revealed that all her children were conceived through in-vitro fertilization. The doctor who performed the procedures now faces censure from the state medical board.
Super Bowl ad with Tebow draws scrutiny
New York — A national coalition of women’s groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message.
“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.
The center was coordinating the protest with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups.
CBS said it has approved the script for the 30-second ad and has given no indication that the protest would have an impact. A network spokesman, Dana McClintock, said CBS would ensure that any issue-oriented ad was “appropriate for air.”
The ad — paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family — is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow’s pregnancy in 1987 with a theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim, who went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy while helping his Florida team to two BCS championships.
Pernell Roberts, last star of ‘Bonanza,’ dies
Los Angeles — Pernell Roberts, the ruggedly handsome actor who shocked Hollywood by leaving TV’s “Bonanza” at the height of its popularity, then found fame again years later on “Trapper John, M.D.,” has died. He was 81.
Roberts, the last surviving member of the classic Western’s cast, died of cancer Sunday at his Malibu home, his wife Eleanor Criswell told the Los Angeles Times.
Although he rocketed to fame in 1959 as Adam Cartwright, eldest son of a Nevada ranching family led by Lorne Greene’s patriarchal Ben Cartwright, Roberts chafed at the limitations he felt his “Bonanza” character was given.
Roberts agreed to fulfill his six-year contract but refused to extend it, and when he left the series in 1965, his character was eliminated with the explanation that he had simply moved away.
In 1979, he landed another series, “Trapper John, M.D.,” in which he played the title role.
The character, but little else, was spun off from the brilliant Korean War comedy-drama “M*ASH,” in which Wayne Rogers had played the offbeat Dr. “Trapper” John McIntire opposite Alan Alda’s Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce.
John Travolta to pilot plane to Haiti
Los Angeles — John Travolta is soaring to Haiti with earthquake relief.
The 55-year-old actor and avid pilot plans to fly one of his private jets from Florida to Haiti on Monday night, according to Travolta’s spokesman, Paul Bloch. The “Grease” star will be joined by his actress-wife Kelly Preston, several doctors and Church of Scientology ministers, as well as relief supplies. Travolta and Preston will then return to the U.S.
The “From Paris with Love” star took his first flying lesson when he was 15.
Actor Gary Coleman released from Utah jail
Salt Lake City — Actor Gary Coleman was released from a Utah jail Monday after being arrested over the weekend on a warrant for failing to appear in court, police said.
Santaquin Police Chief Dennis Howard said officers went to the “Diff’rent Strokes” star’s home after a domestic disturbance call Sunday afternoon. Howard said they arrested Coleman, 41, on the warrant and booked him into the Utah County Jail.
Santaquin City Attorney Brett Rich said the warrant is related to a domestic violence charge filed against Coleman in the city justice court on Aug. 26.