In 2014, Sherri Shepherd left The View. It’s been reported that the reason she left the show after hosting it for seven years was because of what was going on in her personal life.
While hosting The View from 2007 to 2014, Shepherd had gone through divorcing her first husband and marrying her second. By the time she had announced she was leaving The View, the mom of one was awaiting the arrival of her second child via surrogacy.
While married to her first husband, Jeff Tarpley, the actress became a mom for the first time when they welcomed a son, Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. After ending their marriage in 2010, and going through a bitter custody battle with Tarpley, Shepherd married her second husband, Lamar Sally in 2011.
It was in that same year that Shepherd got primary custody of Jeffrey Jr. after Tarpley accused her of neglecting their son during his first years of life to focus on her career. In an Instagram post from 2019, the mom wrote, “On April 22, 2005, God gave me the best Birthday gift… my son Jeffrey. Born prematurely at 25 weeks weighing 1lb 10oz… despite all the negative prognosis, my son fought to live.”
Sherrie Shepherd, Her Legal Battles, Parenting Rights, & Now
Although Jeffrey Jr. does have some development and intellectual delays, Shepherd clearly loves her son very much.
During her marriage to Sally, the couple decided to try for a child. However, according to an interview People did with Sally, they found out that Shepherd’s eggs were no longer viable shortly after getting married. That’s when the couple opted to give birth to a child via a surrogate using a donor egg and Sally’s sperm.
During his interview, Sally said that even though the child wouldn’t be biologically related to Shepherd she allegedly told him she would still “love the baby like it’s mine.” However, as time progressed, Sally and Shepherd’s marriage began to take a turn for the worse.
In a 2015 interview with People, Shephard, who attempted to keep her legal battles as private as possible, said she refrained from speaking her mind during her marriage to Sally for fear that he would leave her. “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.”
Still, despite how the entertainer was feeling, the couple moved forward with the surrogacy process, and six months into it, Sally said he was blindsided when Shepherd told him she wanted a divorce. However, Sally claims that “she never said she didn’t want the baby” despite wanting to end the marriage.
By the time their son, Lamar Sally Jr., was born on August 5, 2014, Sally and Shepherd were deep into their legal battle. Because, while the actress may have wanted a baby at first, she later decided she no longer wanted to be the boy’s mother.
According to E! News, Sally was present for the birth, while Shepherd reportedly was not. Following his birth, the actress did not want to sign her name to her son’s birth certificate and filed paperwork that would strip her of her parental rights when it comes to Lamar Jr.
Had the judge approved her filing it would also mean that Shepherd would not be on the hook financially either. Ultimately, it was decided by a Pennsylvania judge that Shepherd will have to remain on the birth certificate and continue paying child support. It was a ruling that Melissa Brisman, owner of the New Jersey-based Reproductive Possibilities, called a “victory for all families formed through assisted reproductive arrangements.”
“This will allow parents and carriers to feel secure,” Brisman told People back in 2015. “A great decision for the surrogacy community.”
In 2019, in another Instagram post, Shepherd opened up about her past struggles, writing, “So much transition in my life I feel like my head is spinning… everything seems a little off… a lot of no’s being thrown my way… being told I am a “tough sell”… raising my very moody teenage son by myself… (if you see his dad tell him his son’s mother needs a little help)… child support payments to two baby daddies… gotta stay employed bc if I don’t the entire house of cards will collapse…”
“Family far away… needed by many and only able to help a few… always hustling… I never stop grinding… always making you laugh but sometimes behind the smile… holding onto the promises of #jesus for dear life… taking my pain and making it funny at a comedy club… so thankful for friends that are holding me down bc at this moment I am careening. If you had told me last year that working out would help my mind, I would’ve laughed hysterically – but it’s true… working out takes me to a peaceful place. But even in the midst of uncertainty, I know that God is in control. Just have to breathe … mood… #tired #singlemommingsucks #jesustakethewheel and even in the midst of this mental mind depression, I’ll get a hundred requests for someone wanting to do graphics and my next animation artwork & cartoon illustrations. #youcantbreakme #onlyforaseason #godwontgiveyoumorethanyoucanhandle #weepingmayendureforanightbutjoycomesinthemorning.”
In a statement to People following the judge’s 2015 ruling, Shepherd said there is nothing more she can do but be sure she can take care of her son. “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.”
Just last month, while on Good Morning America, Shepherd joked about how being in quarantine with Jeffery Jr., who is now 15 years old, as made her realize just how much he can eat. She went on to say that he doesn’t just expect frozen pizzas either, but ops for a nice steak every time.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.