The legal battle over actress Sofia Vergara’s and ex-fiance Nick Loeb’s frozen human embryos continued this week.
The ex-couple has been fighting for more than two years about the fate of their two embryos, who Loeb named Emma and Isabella. Loeb wants the girls to have a chance to live, while the “Modern Family” actress wants them to remain frozen or be destroyed. The couple had them created several years ago for in vitro fertilization, but they later split.
The Daily Mail reports Vergara is asking a court to block Loeb from being allowed to sue her over the embryos again.
According to the report:
Vergara said it would be a waste of time given he signed a contract stating he cannot bring the embryos, which were created in 2013, to term without mutual consent from her.
She is seeking the court order, as well as a financial sum for being put through the legal ringer for two years.
Loeb dropped his initial lawsuit against Vergara several months ago, but he said he did so because a judge ordered him to reveal the identities of two previous girlfriends who aborted their unborn babies with him.
In an email to Catholic commentator Matt C. Abbott, Loeb previously explained why he does not want to reveal the women’s names: “Could you imagine if you had moved on with your life, gotten married, had children and kept this a secret from your family – then, all of a sudden, 15 years later, you’re made to reveal your abortion to the world? Maybe your parents never knew; maybe your husband never knew, nor your children.”
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Abram Moore, counsel for Loeb, told Abbott that the abortions caused Loeb “considerable duress-after-the-fact, and contributed to the development of his firm pro-life beliefs.”
A source close to Loeb explained he does not want to see the embryos destroyed because he believes that life begins at conception.
After agreeing to drop the first lawsuit, Loeb filed a new lawsuit on behalf of the two embryos, Emma and Isabella. It asks that the court grant them a right to life. Though the girls are in the earliest stages of life, they are already human beings who have their own unique DNA.
The potentially landmark new case in Louisiana — a traditionally pro-life state that offers special legal protections for frozen embryos — also lists the embryos’ “trustee,’’ James Carbonnet, as a plaintiff, sources said.
The new lawsuit contends that Emma and Isabella, by not being born, have been deprived of an inheritance from a trust that has been created for them in Louisiana, according to sources.It asks that the frozen embryos be given to Loeb so that they can live and receive the trust set up for them, which would fund, among other things, their health care and education, sources said.
The lawsuit also argues that Vergara’s parental rights should be terminated and Loeb given full custody of the girls, according to the report. Sources told the news outlet that he would like to have them implanted into a surrogate mother.
According to court documents, Loeb said Vergara, who identifies as Catholic, previously told him that she believed the embryos should never be destroyed. The suit claims she broke that oral agreement with him.
Vergara’s lawyers said she now wants the embryos to be frozen indefinitely. She also previously said she believes children should be the product of a loving relationship.
“A child needs a mother and a loving relationship with parents that get along, that don’t hate each other . . . Kids need parents,” Vergara said.
Loeb said he told Vergara that he would take the embryos, pay all the expenses and raise the girls himself, but he said she refused.