Custody battles usually involve two parents each seeking sole guardianship of shared children, but not in the case of US TV personality Sherri Shepherd.
Shepherd, a former panelist on The View, was found by a judge last week to be the legal mother of the 8-month-old baby she and her estranged husband Lamar Sally had via surrogate — a child for whom she’d previously denied responsibility.
Now, Shepherd has spoken for the first time since the decision was made, telling Entertainment Tonight her “integrity speaks for itself.”
Shepherd, 47, and Sally had been married for three years when they separated.
But at the time of their split, a surrogate had already been impregnated with a donor egg fertilised with Sally’s sperm.
Related content: Sherri Shepherd doesn’t want her unborn surrogate anymore.
It appears that after the split, Shepherd felt that she shouldn’t be responsible for the baby, Lamar Jr, because he has no DNA connection to her. She’s previously said she felt “tricked” into having the child.
A judge disagreed.
Lamar Jr was born in August last year.
“I feel like everything always works out in the end. I’m a big believer that everything always works out in the end. Everybody has their challenges. So right now, it’s my challenge,” Shepherd told ET while promoting her upcoming film Woodlawn.
The surrogate mother of Lamar, Jr, Jessica Bartholomew, 23, told Inside Edition that she felt Shepherd had walked out on the baby’s life after the split.
“I am angry with Sherri because she never once contacted me to tell me what was happening. It was kind of like I was left out in the cold.”
Until the judge’s decision, Bartholomew was listed as the baby’s mother on his birth certificate, making her responsible for costs related to Lamar Jr.
She didn’t mention Lamar Jr at all during the ET interview.
“Under the circumstances I’m doing really, really extremely well. I don’t care what I go through, nothing gets me down. You know me. I will smile my way through anything. I believe smiling and laughter is the best medicine,” she said.
She’ll now be forced to pay child support for Lamar Jr.