Trouble in Octoland for Pimping Out the Kids

    Nadya Suleman Eric Brogmus/INFphoto

    Somewhere across the country in Pennsylvania, Kate Gosselin is no doubt cracking a smile.

    Gosselin's nemesis and would-be reality-TV rival Nadya Suleman and her mouthpiece website, RadarOnline, are feeling the heat from California officials for child-labor violations involving Octomom's brood.

    State Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet alleges the entertainment site failed to take out the requisite permits before videotaping Octotots Noah and Isaiah and ignored laws governing the amount of time the infants could be on camera.

    View the Radar agreement and the citation

    And that could just be the tip of the iceberg.

    Department of Labor spokesman Dean Fryer says the alleged violations occurred March 17 and involve the very first videos of the newborns.

    "The investigation remains open," he stresses, adding that unless Radar gets compliant with the law, it could face additional sanctions, since the children have been seen in videos since their March debut.

    So far, Radar has been cited for the following: failure to have a permit for employing minors, punishable by a $500 fine; failure to have an entertainment permit for two children, doubling the fine to $1,000; working outside the law's set hours, punishable by another $1,000; and failure to have a supervisor and/or teacher, which is another $500.

    Per state guidelines, infants are only allowed to"work" between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and can only be on camera for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

    Radar, owned by America Media Inc., which also operates the National Enquirer, has until July 7 to appeal.

    Chris Myers, Radar's executive editor, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    The agency initiated its investigation May 4, three weeks after Suleman signed a contract giving Radar exclusive rights to document her 14 children, including the octuplets born in January.

    "It came to our attention that RadarOnline announced they were going to provide footage of the children," says Fryer.

    And apparently another of Suleman's antagonists, gadfly lawyer Gloria Allred, has had a hand in the state probe. "She's been helpful. We interviewed for her as part of our investigation," adds Fryer.

    At a press conference this afternoon, Allred said that it is "clear the babies are in danger."

    "Because Nadya Suleman has chosen to commercially exploit her babies by allowing them to be filmed, she and those with whom she has contracts must follow the law which exists for the protection of these innocent babies," she told reporters.

    "The entertainment industry, the media, and Nadya Suleman are now on notice that the health, safety, and welfare of these babies is paramount. The message has now been sent loudly and clearly that the babies' rights may not be sacrificed or violated simply because others wish to profit."

    As for Octomom, she's been Octomum on the whole mess—which is out of character for the camera-friendly matriarch.

    Suleman, who is currently shopping her own reality TV series, has made headlines in recent days for repeatedly slamming Gosselin in Radar videos.

    As Kate might happily point out, karma's a bitch.

    —Additional reporting by Whitney English

    (Originally published June 16, 2009, at 12:25 p.m. PT)


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