A Christian-based talent agency that schedules appearances for popular authors and speakers does not intend to represent controversial octuplets mother Nadya Suleman, despite what she might have claimed.
"Ambassador has not executed a representation agreement, nor do we intend to do so,” Wes Yoder, founder of Ambassador Agency, Inc., clarified in a statement released Monday.
Yoder’s comments were issued after Suleman reportedly told Joann Killeen, president of Killeen Furtney Group, that she reached an exclusive representation deal with Yoder, whose agency works with megachurch pastor Rick Warren, Muslim-turned-evangelical theologian Ergun Caner, Billy Graham grandson Tullian Tchvidijian, and The Shack author William Paul Young.
The comments also came after Killeen Furtney officially cut ties with Suleman in response to the high volume of e-mail threats and swarms of nasty voicemails it received since deciding to provide free representation to Suleman.
"We've never had a public reaction to us representing a client pro bono like this, ever," Killeen told The Associated Press.
For the past several weeks, Suleman has been the center of a media storm following the birth of her octuplets last month. The single, unemployed mother of six was already relying on the government for support when she made the decision to implant in her womb six embryos created through in vitro fertilization.
Though Suleman claims that she doesn’t intend to remain dependent on public assistance for long, many have criticized her decision to have more children, with some taking their complaints to California state Sen. Sam Aanestad.
"I don't think there is anyone who ethically thinks what happened is right," said Aanestad, an oral surgeon who sits on the Health Committee.
"There are 14 babies out there that for the next 20 years are probably going to need assistance from the taxpayers. There should be something in place so that this doesn't happen again," Aanestad told The AP.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost for a single mother to raise 14 children through age 17 ranges from $1.3 million to $2.7 million.
With emotions running high and some critics having gone as far as to issue death threats, Suleman and her first six children were recently forced to move to “an undisclosed location,” according to then-publicist Killeen Furtney.
The octuplets, meanwhile, remain at the hospital, where they are expected to spend seven to 12 weeks.
Having represented America’s first family of septuplets for some eleven years, Ambassador Agency on Monday urged “the local churches, people of compassion and the pro-life community to participate in a thoughtful plan to assist the Suleman children" but made clear that its involvement with Suleman has only gone as far as providing advice.
"Due to our experience with high-profile clients undergoing intense media interest, one week ago a friend of our agency requested Ambassador's help to advise on the protection and licensing of the Suleman family photographs to safeguard the security of the children,” Yoder stated.
“While providing this pro bono advice, we explored whether agency representation would best serve the interests of this family," he admitted.
Ultimately, however, the agency balked at the idea, likely for the same reasons that led Killeen Furtney to pull out last week.