Sherri Shepherd on Ongoing Custody Battles: 'I'm a Survivor'

"You can't hold me down," The View co-host tells PEOPLE in the wake of her custody battles with two exes

Photo: Jason Davis/Getty

Facing two custody cases while maintaining a nonstop career, Sherri Shepherd has endured a rough couple of months. But The View co-host says she’s holding up just fine.

“I’m a Chicago girl – I’m a fighter; I’m a survivor,” Shepherd told PEOPLE at the Samsung Hope for Children gala, which she hosted in New York City on Tuesday. “And all the stuff in the media? You hope that your character and integrity will scream louder than what you can say. So I stand behind my character and integrity. You can’t hold me down – I’m a wonderful mama.”

On top of her heated custody battle with estranged husband Lamar “Sal” Sally over their unborn child via surrogate, the ABC personality is set to battle ex Jeff Tarpley for temporary physical custody over son Jeffrey, 9. Tarpley claims Shepherd has neglected their son due to her busy work schedule.

“Do I think there’s a double standard? I don’t know – yes, I do. With working moms, you’ve got to deal with the guilt of having to raise a child and having to explain to your child that Mommy has to work to pay the bills, and you hope that one day when your child gets of the age, they will look up and say, ‘My mom did the best job she could do for me,’ ” Shepherd said.

“Or maybe I just married the wrong man,” she added.

Shepherd’s case with Sally is still pending; meanwhile, she’s set to appear in court opposite Tarpley on July 21.

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