Sofia Vergara’s ex-boyfriend Nick Loeb is moving to block her claim for damages from their legal battle over the status of their frozen embryos.
The former couple, who had an on-off relationship from 2010 to 2014, have been battling in the courts since 2015, as Loeb was seeking to implant one or both frozen embryos in a surrogate without Vergara’s written consent.
The Modern Family star, 45, filed a lawsuit in February (16) requesting her ex be permanently barred from implanting the embryos.
She has also sued Loeb for breach of contract, fraud and malicious prosecution – as she claims to have agreed a contract that stated the embryos could only be used with both their consent.
After a Los Angeles hearing on Tuesday (07Nov17) Loeb’s lawyer Jennifer McGrath told the New York Daily News that he would file papers with the aim of blocking Vergara’s claim for damages.
“We believe that Vergara filed suit against Nick for damages because he used the court system to seek custody of the female embryos – something which is his right to do,” McGrath told said.
“Vergara’s suit thus seeks to punish him for constitutionally protected speech activities,” she said. “We informed the judge that we are filing a notice of appeal, (The judge) stayed the case pending the appeal.”
The actress, who is now married to True Blood star Joe Manganiello, won an important ruling in September when the judge refused to dismiss her complaint.
She also won a victory the previous month (Aug17) when a judge dismissed Loeb’s attempt to sue Vergara on behalf of the embryos under Louisiana state law.
The legal tactic failed as a judge ruled that since the embryos were created in Beverly Hills, California they were subject to the state’s law.
Vergara’s lawyers state that she does not want to see the embryos used or destroyed – but held in the frozen state in which they’ve been preserved in since 2013.