Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé Nick Loeb has been permanently blocked from using their frozen embryos without the actress’s consent, according to reports, marking the Modern Family star’s latest victory in the years-long legal battle.
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued a permanent injunction banning Loeb from bringing the embryos to term via a surrogate without Vergara’s written consent, on the basis that the contract the former couple signed with the fertility clinic in 2013 “remains valid”.
According to the outlet, the latest ruling barrs Loeb from using the embryos for his own purposes, with the order requiring Loeb receive Vergara’s consent “for anything having to do with the embryos”.
The couple, who dated from 2012 to 2014, created the embryos via IVF at the ART Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills in 2013 when they were trying to have a child via surrogate.
In the original contract, as outlined in court documents, it states that one party cannot use the “cryopreserved material’’ to create a child without the written consent of the other person, according to NBC News.
After the couple separated in 2014, Loeb filed a lawsuit for custody of the frozen embryos, which was later dropped.
In 2017, Vergara filed legal documents in California in the hopes of blocking her ex from being able to use the embryos without her consent.
Loeb previously attempted to argue in court that the 2013 contract did not comply with California law because it did not include a provision “dealing with what happens in case of a divorce or separation,” according to NBC News, and that he had an “enforceable separate oral agreement with Vergara” that gave him permission to use the embryos.
In January 2021, a judge ruled that the contract entered by Vergara and Loeb in 2013 is a “valid enforceable contract” and that Loeb was not under duress when he signed the contract, as he had also claimed.
The latest ruling comes after Loeb attempted to sue the 48-year-old actress in Louisiana for control of the embryos, which was first dismissed in October 2019.
Loeb lost his appeal of the dismissal on 27 January 2020, according to People, when the court found that the 45-year-old“is not domiciled in, does not maintain a residence in, and does not have the intent to be domiciled or a resident of any parish in the State of Louisiana”.
TheFourth Circuit Court of Appeal in Louisiana also accused Loeb’s legal team of “forum shopping” in the hopes of finding a court that would be sympathetic to the case.
Vergara, who has an adult son Manolo, has been married to Joe Manganiello since November 2015.
The Independent has contacted a representative for Vergara for comment.