She may no longer be on The View, but Sherri Shepherd is still in the public eye—just not in the way she would’ve hoped. The comedian and actress is currently embroiled in a heated legal battle with her ex-husband regarding their newborn child, a matter complicated by the fact that he was born via surrogate. And unfortunately, Shepherd is currently on the losing end. Here are all the details on this bizarre case.
The Woman: Sherri Shepherd is a television personality who has appeared on numerous sitcoms, including Everybody Loves Raymond, The Jamie Foxx Show, and, eventually, Less Than Perfect, for which she received a BET Award nomination. She had her own sitcom in 2009 called Sherri, but it lasted only one season. Shepherd was a co-host on The View from 2007 to 2014 and a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2012. She is also a published author and has appeared on Broadway.
The Relationship: Shepherd was proposed to by TV writer Lamar Sally in December 2010. The couple married in August of the next year at a Chicago hotel. Sally also served as a stepfather to Sherri’s son from her previous marriage, 11-year-old Jeffrey. Shepherd filed for separation on May 2, 2014 before moving ahead to file for divorce only days after.
The Child: Within a year of their marriage, Sherri Shepherd learned that her eggs would make having a child impossible. So, in September 2012, the couple announced that they were now searching for a surrogate mother in order to have a child of their own, with Lamar Sally’s sperm being used to fertilize the surrogate’s egg. They eventually found a woman to serve as a surrogate and Lamar Sally, Jr. was born on August 5, 2014. Setting up the surrogacy was said to cost over $100,000.
The Case: As you can see from the above dates, Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally’s divorce had already happened by the time the child was born, and was during the time the surrogate was pregnant. This raised the issue of which of the two parents would be financially responsible for the baby, with Shepherd believing it should be Sally’s duty, as she already had Jeffrey to pay and care for. And to make matters worse, as of this writing, Shepherd has never even met the child, with whom she has no blood/DNA connection, so it’s understandable why she wouldn’t want to pay to raise him.
The Trial: In April of last year, it was ruled in court that Sherri Shepherd’s name would remain on Lamar Sally, Jr.’s birth certificate, despite the above circumstances, and she would have to continue to pay expenses related to the child, who is now one year old. And now, Shepherd’s attempt to have this ruling appealed has been denied, leaving her paying $4,100 a month in child support. The first case to establish surrogacy contracts in Pennsylvania as binding, Shepherd argued that the contract should be voided, because she and Lamar Sally divorced in New Jersey. Shepherd herself has yet to comment on the ruling, though her lawyer expressed surprise at the decision.