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US actress Sofia Vergara sued by own embryos

By Thea Dunne -

The ongoing battle over Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb’s embryos took a dramatic turn last Tuesday when Mr Loeb filed a right-to-live lawsuit on behalf of the fertilized eggs.

Ms Vergara and Mr Loeb had the eggs fertilised in vitro in 2013 and the pair’s subsequent split cast them both into a bitter battle for custody rights. Vergara claims that they both signed a contract requiring mutual agreement before implantation, but earlier this year Loeb sued his former partner for custody of the embryos, arguing that he should be able to have the planned children without her. Ms Vergera has resisted Loeb’s plans to have the children, preferring for them to stay indefinitely on ice, arguing that a child needs parents “that don’t hate each other”.

In a twist in the tale, Mr Loeb has made another bid for custody, arguing for the implantation of the embryos, based on the term’s of a financial trust created in anticipation of two children.

The extraordinary case is taking place under traditionally pro-life Louisiana jurisdiction, a state that offers special legal protections for frozen embryos. “Emma” and “Isabella”, two embryos currently residing in a Beverly Hills fertility clinic, are listed as plaintiffs in the court documents. A trust specifying assistance to the embryos once born was made in Louisiana. the right-to-live lawsuit contends that in not being born, they have been deprived of inheritance specified in a Louisiana-made trust.

Should the terms of the trust specify the two unborn children as beneficiaries, then Mr Loeb’s case could hold some weight. But whether the embryos will be deemed entitled to inherit, and therefore to implantation against Ms Vergara’s wishes, remains to be seen.

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Thea Dunne

Thea joined Vardags in September 2016. She read English at Trinity College, Cambridge and previously interned at Christie’s Auction House.