The unusual custody battle over Sofía Vergara and her former-fiancé Nick Loeb’s frozen embryos became even more complicated on Tuesday when a lawsuit was filed against the actress on behalf of the fertilized eggs.
According to an article by the New York Post, which was published on celebrity news site Page Six, the suit was filed on behalf of the two female embryos—referred to as “Emma” and “Isabella”—in a Louisiana court contending that they have the right to live and are entitled to a trust that was meant to fund their healthcare and education.
Vergara, who stars in the TV series Modern Family, has been entangled in a bitter legal battle with Loeb since the couple split in 2014. When they pursued in-vitro fertilization in 2013, Vergara and Loeb signed a contract requiring mutual consent to use the embryos.
While she argues that should be the end of the story, the new suit claims the agreement did not specify what would happen to the embryos in the event of a break-up. Loeb wants to have full custody, and possibly implant them in a surrogate.
If won, the potentially precedent-setting case in the traditionally pro-life state of Louisiana would see the embryos handed over to Loeb, void prior agreements, and strip Vergara of parental rights. Her lawyer has reportedly said that she would prefer to keep the embryos “frozen indefinitely.” As a Catholic, she believes the fertilized embryos should never be destroyed, the Post reports.
In an op-ed published by the New York Times in 2015, Loeb argued that he should be allowed to decide the fate of their unborn children. “A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects,” he wrote. “Shouldn’t a man who is willing to take on all parental responsibilities be similarly entitled to bring his embryos to term even if the woman objects?”
Vergara, however, claims that her former fiancé is trying to take advantage of her celebrity to “promote himself,” according to the Post.
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