Publicists for octuplets mother quit over death threats – Los Angeles Times

February 15, 2009
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Publicists for octuplets mother quit over death threats – Los Angeles Times

Joann Killeen, president of Killeen Furtney Group, said she and husband Mike Furtney decided to drop Suleman early Saturday. Soon after the births, the couple began representing Suleman for free, and almost immediately started receiving threatening e-mails and phone calls from people enraged over the octuplets saga, she said.

“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.”

Killeen said she and Suleman felt so threatened that last week they stayed at an undisclosed “secure location” for a few days before returning home. The babies are still being treated at the hospital, Killeen said.

After creating a website for Suleman on Tuesday, Killeen said, she received 55,000 e-mails, most of them negative, and she has stacks of angry mail.

Killeen said she and her husband became afraid enough to send their dogs to a kennel. On Friday, they contacted the Los Angeles Police Department, and officers told them that the threats were the worst they had seen since the O.J. Simpson case, Killeen said.

Yes, I have my own opinions. I do not think that what is going on is anything less than unethical for many obvious, and perhaps some personal reasons. But we’re not talking about that any more. And we should be. I would like to see a discussion of children for children’s sake, rather than for the benefit of parents. IMHO, most of the parents I know, have children for the best of reasons they can think of, and whether I agree or not, I respect their thinking at that time.

We’re talking about death threats, which we know are criminal acts. Threats of violence. And the problem is, no one is willing to counter it publicly, from what I can see, and I bet it is going to get worse. Imagine what sort of pariahs these children will grow up to be when 10s of thousands of people think they should have never been born. Perhaps the mother should have been stopped from having them… that’s an interesting ethical decision. But they are here, and should be accorded the dignity of whatever being a baby in the world does and should mean. There is no other position I can think of on this matter at the moment.

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