Sofia Vergara’s frozen embryos could be moved from California to Louisiana.
The ‘Modern Family’ actress has been locked in a legal battle with former fiancé Nick Loeb after he filed a suit last year to protect, and bring to term, two female embryos, which they had created and planned to use with a surrogate during their relationship.
And now a new legal filing will ask for the embryos to be transferred from the Beverly Hills clinic they are currently stored in, to a facility in Louisiana, which is the only state where embryos have legal rights of their own, the New York Post’s Page Six reports.
Nick’s attorney Mark J. Heller told the publication: "Although Nick Loeb is not a party to the existing litigation or [this] subsequently contemplated litigation, he may be a beneficiary if the court adjudicates that the embryos are not chattels but entities with constitutional rights of survival. Such a ruling would defeat [Vergara’s] intention to keep her daughters’ embryos frozen in perpetuity and endorse the irrevocable right of parenthood granted to donors when they contribute to the creation of an embryo."
Earlier this month, Sofia – who is married to Joe Manganiello – was sued by the embryos, when a right-to-live lawsuit was filed on their behalf.
The lawsuit – which was filed in Louisiana, a traditionally pro-life state that offers special legal protections for frozen embryos – also has James Carbonnet, the eggs’ ‘trustee’, listed as a plaintiff.
Sofia and Nick had signed a contract at the ART Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills when they created the embryos in 2013, which stated neither could use the embryos without the consent of the other.
However, the new lawsuit argues the agreement should be deemed void as it didn’t say what should happen if they split, and it violated California code and Louisiana law.
Nick had previously filed to protect the embryos in California, but reportedly dropped that case after a judge ruled in favor of the 44-year-old actress’ legal team, who had applied to force the businessman to identify two former lovers who had had abortions during his relationships with them.
He had appealed the decision but was turned down.
Though Nick, 41, spends most of his time between New York and Florida, he still serves as a reserve police officer in Louisiana, and is a graduate of Tulane University in the state.