Sofia Vergara Sued by Her Own Frozen Embryos
When actress Sofia Vergara and businessman Nick Loeb were engaged, they created and froze embryos, planning to use a surrogate to have a child. But they split up in 2014, and since then, a legal battle has ensued over the frozen embryos. Loeb wants to use one of those embryos to have a baby despite Vergara’s opposition. And allegedly the reason why they split up was because he wanted kids and she didn’t. A legal contract they signed when they were still together made it clear that the embryos could only be used if both parties consented. But it didn’t specify what would happen if they split up, which is why in May of 2015 Loeb sued Vergara for the right to have his own baby.
Now, Loeb is using a different tactic. He filed a lawsuit on “behalf” of the frozen embryos, which are named Emma and Isabella (yes, they already have names). Loeb wants full custody and the chance to implant them in a surrogate. He contends that they have the right to live and to benefit from a trust fund that Loeb set up for them to fund their future education and health care costs. This sounds like a very bizarre case, and like Vergara says, it’s not ideal to bring their mutual embryos to life considering the couple is separated and she is now married to actor Joe Manganiello. But considering the suit was filed in Louisiana, a very pro-life state, it’s not unfathomable that Loeb gets his way.
STRONG CONTENDER FOR THE STRANGEST HEADLINE YOU’LL SEE TODAY: “Sofía Vergara sued by her own embryos” https://t.co/M83TIVe4gj
— Jon Manuel (@JonManuel) December 7, 2016
If that happens, he would get full custody and Vergara would have no parental rights. Loeb has also previously argued that it’s unfair that women can bring children into the world even if the man objects. “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?” he wrote in an op-ed in 2015. Quoting religious beliefs about the sanctity of life, he claimed that the embryos should be seen as lives rather than property. He wrote that he has dreamt of being a parent his whole life, but that during their relationship it became apparent that it was not a priority for Vergara, who already has a 22-year-old son from an earlier relationship.
According to her lawyer, Vergara wants the embryos to stay frozen, as she is Catholic and could not let them be destroyed. She claims that Loeb just wants to take advantage of her celebrity status to promote himself. Loeb’s claims that he truly wants children and that he believes that keeping their embryos “frozen forever is tantamount to killing them.” No matter who is right, the case is unusual, and it could be precedent-setting.