Sofia Vergara may have finally won the long and strange legal battle over custody of the frozen embryos she made with her ex-fiancé Nick Loeb. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled on Tuesday that Loeb could not bring the embryos to term without Vergara's "explicit written consent," according to a report by Page Six. Appeals aside, this marks the end of a years-long court battle.
Vergara and Loeb froze embryos containing their shared genetic material during their engagement, but they broke up in 2014 without having children. Almost immediately, Loeb began trying to take ownership of the embryos and bring them to term via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or other means. Those efforts have landed him in court opposite Vergara in multiple states, but Tuesday's ruling by Judge Rafael Ongkeko may be the final word on the issue, legal experts say.
Ongkeko's injunction prevents Loeb from "unilaterally asserting any claim(s) by or on behalf of the Embryos to seek relief for the purpose of unilaterally bringing the Embryos to term without Vergara's consent." This comes after Loeb lost a recent appeal in Louisiana, where the court said that he and his attorney had "blatantly engaged in forum shopping" for the most favorable state to file his case.
Vergara and Loeb began dating in 2010 and got engaged in 2012. They tried to have children but had difficulty conceiving, pushing them to IVF — thus the frozen embryos, which were stored in 2013. Finally, in May of 2014 Vergara called the engagement off.
Since then, Vergara married actor Joe Manganiello in 2015, while Loeb went on to have a child with a girlfriend. According to Page Six, that daughter and her mother now live in Europe. Vergara and Manganiello have not had children and have not publicly discussed any intention to do so.
Loeb, on the other hand, has remained personally and professionally fixated on reproductive rights. He has frequently used pro-life language in his legal arguments in the Embryo case, and last month he screened a new movie that he wrote, directed and starred in called Roe v. Wade.
Page Six described the movie as "anti-Roe v. Wade." In addition to Loeb, it stars Jon Voight, Stacey Dash, Jamie Kennedy and Joey Lawrence. The movie premiere was held at a hotel in Orlando, Florida. Reviews for the movie are not widely available yet.