Tara Lepore | Contributing Writer | Friday, 9 December 2016

This Is Why Sofia Vergara Is Actually Being Sued By Her Own Embryos

This Is Why Sofia Vergara Is Actually Being Sued By Her Own Embryos

The Debrief: No, it’s not the plot of Black Mirror’s Christmas special. This is really a thing.

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is being sued by the embryos she froze with her ex-partner Nick Loeb back in 2013.

In a creepy spin on a year-long custody case which has seen the former lovers fight over frozen eggs, a second lawsuit has now been put forward in the embryos’ names, ‘Emma’ and ‘Isabella’, potentially giving Nick another shot at claiming parental rights over the embryos that are currently frozen in a fertility clinic in California.

Okay, okay. What’s happened so far?

Former fiancés Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb froze five embryos in 2013, followed by two rounds of failed IVF treatment. They split in May 2014, but had both signed a legal document saying nothing would be done with them unless both partners could reach an agreement. However, Nick has said it was never mentioned what would happen if the couple split. Plus, the new lawsuit claims that the agreement was against Louisiana law and California code, and is therefore not legally binding. 

Wait, what? 

The new lawsuit was revealed this week in the New York Post after Nick dropped his original case to get full parental responsibility of the embryos, which would have given him the right to plant them in a surrogate mother. He still wants this, but the judge ruled in Sofia’s favour in the custodial battle, and also said he would have to publicly reveal the names of two women that Nick had got pregnant but had since had abortions if he wanted to take the custody battle any further. Being a pro-life man, Nick decided to dodge this embarrassing reveal by withdrawing the case and putting forward a second in the embryos’ name.

Is that legal?

It is in Louisiana. It’s no coincidence that the papers were filed in this pro-life state, which offers special legal protection for fertilised eggs. Basically, if you’re an embryo in Louisiana, you're seen as a ‘juridical person’ in the eyes of the law, and are therefore given rights as a person. Nick claimed that ‘allowing them not to be born is depriving them of their inheritance’. 

Wait – inheritance?

It turns out that even being the embryos of the highest-earning TV actress in America and her businessman ex-fiancé can mean you’re entitled to lots of money. The new lawsuit argues that Nick should have full custody over the embryos as to not 'deprive them of inheritance' from a trust he set up for them in the state to fund their healthcare and education.  

That’s nice for them. What else did he say?

Nick has previously said: 'A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term 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?'

Ah. So, er, what’s in the new lawsuit?

The right-to-live lawsuit accuses Sofia of not allowing her two ‘daughters’ to continue their development if they ‘remain frozen in a tank’ in a state of ‘suspended animation’. It’s basically arguing that they have a right to life to collect their inheritance. 

Is this one of those ‘fake news’ things that everyone’s talking about?

Unfortunately, no. Sofia is standing her ground, though. According to US media, she believes that the contract signed by the couple back in 2013 should have been the end of it.

'I've been working very hard for 20 years to get to this point where I am,’ she said.

‘I don't want to allow this person to take more advantage of my career and try to promote himself.’

You go, Gloria. 

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Why Is Society Still So Afraid Of Women Who Don't Want Children? 

Modern Family Has Cast Its First Openly Transgender Child Actor

Apple And Facebook Are Paying For Their Female Employees Egg Freezing

Follow Tara on Twitter @taralepore