This image provided by NBC shows Nadya Suleman, left, speaking with Ann Curry in New York on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, in Suleman's first interview since giving birth to octuplets last week. The interview is planned to be broadcast on the 'Today' show on Monday, Feb. 9 and 'Dateline' on Tuesday, Feb. 10. (Photo: AP Images / NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
Nadya "Octomom" Suleman addressed ongoing criticisms about her recent decision to go on welfare during an appearance on the "Today" show, insisting that accepting government welfare is only "temporary."
"I made that call reluctantly. I needed to remove my pride, it was fear. I was terrified and I received thousands and thousands of death threats. I still am [working] as hard as I can to support them," Suleman told "Today" show host Matt Lauer.
Suleman also explained that she has multiple work projects lined up, which includes participating in Dial-A-Star, where users pay by the minute to speak directly with a celebrity.
"I'm far from a star but I'm someone who people want to talk to," Suleman said about her Dial-A-Star account.
The mother of 14 laughed off criticisms that she could potentially lose custody of her children, with some critics questioning her ability to care for so many kids at once.
Suleman told Lauer that the government assistance is "only food stamps" and insisted that she has a proven track record of being a capable parent after raising her brood comfortably for so many years.
"It will take many years to get respect. It would take 14 books to tell you about my life – people don't know what's going on in my life but 95 percent of what has been out from the beginning is erroneous. I get letters from people saying they look up to me for being able to stay strong in the face of adversity," Suleman said.
Suleman qualified for welfare benefits because her income is less than $119,000 a year and any family of 15 that makes less than that amount automatically qualifies.
Although the mother denied that she will ever engage in pornography as a means to make money, she has been criticized for doing an $8000 topless photo shoot, which some fans believe to be contradictory to her image as a mother and homemaker.
"I have to do what I have to do to take care of my family, and I'm not ashamed," Suleman previously told CNN.