CHICAGO: TV star Sofia Vergara is facing a bizarre lawsuit brought on behalf of two frozen embryos she created with an ex-boyfriend, the subject of a year-long legal battle.
The embryos are listed as plaintiffs “Emma” and “Isabella” in papers filed with a Louisiana court, the New York Post reported. Louisiana is a pro-life state where embryos are given rights as people.
The surprise filing by a trust apparently established for the embryos comes as Vergara’s ex-fiancee Nick Loeb this week sought to end another lawsuit he had filed against her.
In that suit, the businessman had tried to gain custody of the two fertilized eggs he and Vergara created via in-vitro fertilization with the aim of bringing them to term.
According to the new lawsuit, not allowing the embryos — currently frozen at a California fertility clinic — to be born is depriving them of their inheritance.
The Colombian-born actress has said she wants to keep the embryos frozen indefinitely.
“A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects,” Loeb wrote in April in a New York Times op-ed. “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?”
But the 42-year-old “Modern Family” star insisted last year that she’s “doing the right thing” by refusing to sign over custody of the embryos to Loeb.
“Can you blame me?” she said on the “Howard Stern Show.”
A child brought into the world needs “more than a mother, it needs a loving relationship of parents,” she added.
Loeb, 39, signed an agreement with Vergara — America’s top-earning TV star — in November 2013 before they proceeded with IVF, stipulating that nothing would be done with the embryos unless both agreed.
However, Loeb sued the actress for custody after their breakup, saying the agreement did not clearly state what would become of the embryos if he and Vergara were to split.
The latest lawsuit on behalf of the embryos is unusual and a “longshot,” legal experts told The Daily Beast, but had a “very real chance at some kind of success” thanks to Louisiana’s pro-life laws. AFP