Sherri Shepherd's Ex Reacts to Custody Appeal Ruling: 'If She Won't Be There for L.J. Emotionally, I'll Be Parent Enough for the Both of Us'
A Pennsylvania judge ruled Monday she must continue paying child support for 1-year-old L.J., who is being raised by her ex-husband Lamar Sally.
“I’m glad it’s finally over,” Sally tells PEOPLE. “I’m glad the judges saw through all the lies that she put out there, and the negative media attention. If she won’t be there for L.J. emotionally, I’ll be parent enough for the both of us.”
Shepherd and Sally used a donor egg for the pregnancy, with surrogate Jessica Bartholomew carrying L.J. to term. Shepherd and Sally split in May 2014, months into the pregnancy.
In April, a lower court ruled that Shepherd is the baby boy’s legal mother and Monday’s decision upheld the ruling.
Shepherd’s attorney and manager did not return requests for comment on Monday’s ruling. But in August, the star told PEOPLE that she went through with the surrogacy amid marital problems because she worried her then-husband would end the marriage if she didn’t.
“My situation was a sense of, I didn’t state what I needed and what I wanted and what I didn’t want for being scared of somebody leaving the relationship,” Shepherd, mother to 10-year-old son Jeffrey from a previous marriage, said. “There are consequences to everything, but I was scared to say, ‘That’s not going to work for me. I don’t want that.’ ”
“I am appealing the ruling that happened and he gets his settlement every month,” Shepherd added of Sally. “He’s happy. There nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands. You move on and I have a son. I have to take care of him so everything is good.”
Shepherd has fought to prevent her name being added to the baby’s birth certificate since his birth last year. Her name was originally not included because she was not present at the birth, and refused to acknowledge she was the mother, resulting in litigation, Melissa Brisman, owner of the New Jersey-based Reproductive Possibilities, previously told PEOPLE.
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“This will allow parents and carriers to feel secure,” Brisman said of Monday’s ruling. “A great decision for the surrogacy community.”
After a judge ruled in April that Shepherd must pay alimony and child support, Shepherd fought the decision before a three-judge panel on Oct. 5 in Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Shepherd can still appeal Monday’s decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.