Sherri Shepherd is leaving The View and enduring an extremely rough divorce. Now it appears she also wants to give up custody of her unborn surrogate child. Rumor has it she's worried her ex husband is planning on using the child as a bargaining chip to pump Shepherd for child support.
In June 2013, after trying to conceive through in-vitro fertilization, Shepherd announced that she and husband Lamar Sally were going to welcome a new baby via a surrogate. Sally and Shepherd interviewed a number of candidates for the job and apparently the world is full of strangers who want to carry celebrity babies. Via Essence:
"We’re starting the process of making sure the uterus that we picked is not crazy," said Shepherd. "I put out there that I would give someone a free weave for a year and a free Hyundai. Literally, we’d be at the club and these girls would be like ‘I’ll carry yo’ baby.’ I don’t think so. Eight different shades of hair color, nine Salt and Pepa cuts, asymmetrical this and braids for days talking about ‘I’ll carry it.’ No, you just got off the pole, you’re on break, go on back to work! So, it’s been a journey trying to sift through the ones with drama and no drama so I think I have one, but I’ll definitely keep everyone updated."
She also told The Tom Joyner Morning Show that the couple were inserting “our egg and Sal’s sperm.”
Just over one year later, Shepherd and Sally are in the throes of an exceptionally ugly divorce where even her first ex-husband Jeffrey Tarpley — this is Shepherd’s second divorce — piped up to discredit her parenting skills of their son Jeffrey. Shepherd and Sally’s surrogate baby is due in August. TMZ reports that her egg was not used to create the baby, but Sally’s sperm was.
Sally filed for legal separation first in California on May 2 and is seeking full custody of the child, for which it might be natural for him to receive child support. But these circumstances are hairier than usual.
In response, Shepherd, who subsequently filed in May in New Jersey, no longer wants custody of the child because she feels Sally talked her into welcoming a new baby with him to receive child support after their divorce. According to Slate, California is a surrogacy-friendly state "where a judge issues an order, either before or immediately after the delivery, recognizing the genetic parents as the legal guardians, and directs the hospital to do the same." New Jersey is not. Still, if the egg is not Shepherd's then the surrogate mother might also be able to file for custody. As for Sally, he moved to the West Coast recently and is in the process of becoming a legal resident so he can upgrade his legal separation filing to divorce.
The theory of a shady Sally makes sense if TMZ is right about the couple’s prenup, which states he only receives $60,000 in total if the marriage lasts between two and five years.
The couple were married in August 2011.
Image via Getty.