Sofía Vergara’s attorney spoke out about reports that the actress is being sued by her own embryos in her ongoing legal battle with former fiancé Nick Loeb.
Sources told the New York Post that a right-to-live lawsuit was filed on behalf of the fertilized eggs, listed as plaintiffs “Emma” and “Isabella,” on Tuesday, December 6, in Louisiana. The lawsuit, which also allegedly lists James Carbonnet as a plaintiff and the embryos’ “trustee,” reportedly asks that Loeb be given custody over the embryos so they can live and receive a trust fund that has been created for them in Louisiana.
The Modern Family star, 44, and the businessman, 41, created the two female embryos through IVF when they were together. They remain frozen at a fertility clinic in L.A.
Loeb first sued his ex in April 2015 in California, and the judge recently ruled that he would have to name his two exes who had abortions in order for the case to continue. The new documents, which were filed in a pro-life state with special protections for embryos, have restarted a discussion about whether men should have the same rights as women over frozen embryos.
Vergara’s lawyer, Fred Silberberg, responded to the lawsuit reports in a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, December 7. “Next week the judge presiding over the case was to rule on Ms. Vergara’s request for sanctions against Mr. Loeb for refusing to comply with a court order, and on her motion for summary judgment-seeking dismissal of the case he filed against her, attempting to get control of pre-embryos that he created with Vergara,” the statement said. “That genetic material was created pursuant to a written agreement that required both parties written consent to attempt to create a pregnancy. Apparently Mr. Loeb and his counsel, knowing that he was about to lose, decided to attempt to save face by taking their proverbial ball and going home. Reports are out that Mr. Loeb has caused a lawsuit to be filed on behalf of the pre-embryos in Louisiana, essentially trying to get the same relief that he was trying to get through his failed legal attempt in California.”
Silberberg did not confirm or deny the story, saying, “If these reports are true, this latest maneuver is nothing more than another attempt on the part of Loeb to keep himself in the public eye by keeping himself linked to Ms. Vergara. The media reports contend that Mr. Loeb has caused a lawsuit to be initiated claiming that the pre-embryos – which are not embryos, but rather frozen fertilized ova, have been given names by him and have a right to live. Loeb apparently thinks that he will garner sympathy from the public and the courts through this latest maneuver, one that we believe will also result in failure. It is unfortunate that Loeb feels the need to keep himself linked to Vergara, who is happily married, by taking up more of our overburdened courts resources, preventing judges from focusing on real legal problems. If it is really a family that Loeb wants, he should hire a surrogate and an egg donor and create one without dragging Vergara through another unnecessary legal battle.”
The Onion Crunch creator has not yet responded to request for comment, but he told Us Weekly in April 2015 that he’s always wanted to be a father. “I created these two female embryos with the purpose of taking them to term and not destruction, because I have always dreamed of being a father,” he said in a statement. “I have previously offered to wave any parental or financial responsibilities on the part of my ex. … When a man does want to become a father, and wants to impose no obligations on the other party, he should have that corresponding right.”
At the time, the Hot Pursuit actress’ lawyer told Us in a statement: “Vergara, who has happily moved on with her life, is content to leave the embryos frozen indefinitely as she has no desire to have children with her ex, which should be understandable given the circumstances.”
Us Weekly also revealed in 2015 that the pair, who split in May 2014 after four years together, previously came to an agreement in November 2013 that the embryos should remain in storage unless both parties sign documents in person to direct otherwise.
Vergara married Joe Manganiello in November 2015. She is also mom of Manolo, 24, with ex-husband Joe Gonzalez.