In a legal battle that has gone on for about seven years now, Nick Loeb, the ex-fiance to Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, is suing the Beverly Hills reproductive center where the former couple created embryos in 2013.
Loeb, an actor and entrepreneur of Onion Crunch products, in a sworn declaration submitted Friday to Los Angeles Superior Court, said the reproductive center, ART Reproductive Services, was obligated to provide him and Vergara with advance written instructions as to what would happen to the embryos in various scenarios, including the splitting of the partners. There were no instructions provided to the couple at the time, Loeb claims, adding that there wasn’t any discussion, either.
“I never would have gone forward with creating what Sofia and I regarded as lives if I knew that she would not consent, or that she wanted to thaw and destroy the embryos, in the event of a breakup,” Loeb says.
Loeb said that he thought Vergara held the same beliefs about whether a child exists at the moment of conception.
“I am pro-life and pro-parenthood and my religious views are such that I believe that life begins at conception,” Loeb said. “Throughout the course of our relationship, I expressed these views to Sofia, who similarly expressed to me that she was a devout Catholic and therefore also believed that life begins at conception. She told me that she regarded embryos as ‘lives.'”
However, Loeb says that he did sign a form that would allow the embryos to be destroyed if he or Vergara died. He added that he signed another form that was contradictory to the first.
Loeb’s declaration was filed in opposition to a motion by ART’s attorneys to dismiss the plaintiff’s one remaining claim for medical negligence, which is scheduled to be heard on April 24.
Loeb and Vergara underwent in vitro fertility treatments at the facility in 2013, resulting in the two embryos, which were frozen. The couplea made an agreement in writing at the time that one of them could not use the embryonic material to create a child without the written consent of the other.
Vergara has been steadfast in that she does not want to create a child out of one of the embryos herself, or with Loeb, or allow Loeb to do so on his own.
“The one fact that has been undisputed in every iteration of the lawsuits over these embryos is that Ms. Vergara has not and will not consent to Mr. Loeb using the embryos,” ART’s court documents state, adding that it would be a felony to let hin use them without her written permission.
Vergara sued Loeb in February 2016, seeking a court order proclaiming that any bids by Loeb to bring the embryos to term would be in violation of their original contract. Vergara won the case five years later, in February 2021.
While Loeb has sought out every chance to speak about the case, Vergara has remained mostly mum about the affair. Personally, she’s moved on, marrying True Blood actor Joe Manganiello in November 2015.
That same year, Loeb penned an op-ed for the Times about how “our frozen embryos have a right to live.” Within, he wrote that “embryonic custody disputes raise important questions about life, religion, and parenthood.”
This is what spurred Vergara to speak out.
“I really want to make this, like, the last time I talk about it because I don’t think it’s fair,” Vergara told ABC News in an interview on Good Morning America. “I don’t understand why this person [Loeb]—I don’t want to allow this person to take more advantage of my career and try to promote himself and get press for this.
“This shouldn’t be out there for people to give their opinion when there’s nothing to talk about,” Vergara added.
An odd touch, (and possibly a red flag): When Vergara and Loeb were engaged in 2013, the same year they underwent the in-vitro process, Loeb was profiled in the New York Times Styles section as “Mr. Condiment,” for his fervor over a product he created called Onion Crunch. The sprinkle-and-you’re-done product was “onions that have been battered and fried, that’s it,” he said. His aggressive salesmanship—bringing Onion Crunch to A-list events (including at the White House)—raised more than a few eyebrows in Hollywood circles. The crunchy condiment still appears to exist online as Loeb’s Crunch.
City News Service contributed to this report
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