How Much NBC Paid Octuplet Mom Nadya Suleman For Her Today Interview
PAY FOR PLAY — Nadya Suleman, the single mother whose octuplet births brought her number of children to 14, is already trying to pitch herself as a "baby expert" to secure endorsement deals, speaking fees, or anything else to pay the bills. (She refuses welfare.) Diapers alone could run to $20,000 a year. Since giving birth, Suleman has been press shy, letting one of her doctors head to Larry King Live to speak for her, and having other experts feed soundbites to the press. But yesterday, the same day she was released from the hospital, she sat down in front of the camera herself, handing NBC's Today her first interview. It was, very clearly, a major "get" for the network morning show, and one Good Morning America was actively fighting for. So just how did NBC secure the sit-down? Cold hard cash.
A NBC informant tells us the network paid Suleman "upwards of $300,000" for the interview with Ann Curry. The Today show, officially a part of the NBC News division, never acknowledges paying for interviews, and anchors like Matt Lauer and Curry are often in the dark about how much cash changes hands, and when.
Often, cheques written to those providing exclusives go on the books as "licensing fees," for family photos or archival footage, but are very clearly appearance fees. And Suleman's Today interview — taped yesterday, aired in part this morning, and showing in full on Monday's Today — appears to be one of them. And given the mom's already-known penchant for exploiting her story for cash, it makes sense she'd demand money in exchange for an interview.