TV star Sofia Vergara in battle over frozen embryos

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Sofia VergaraImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Sofia Vergara faced questions about the case at the premiere of her new film in Hollywood on Thursday

Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara is in a legal battle with her former fiance, who wants to have children from the couple's frozen embryos.

Nick Loeb said he wants a surrogate to carry and give birth to two embryos he and Vergara created through in vitro fertilisation before they split up.

He said the actress, who plays Gloria in the ABC comedy, has refused.

Vergara, who has been named the highest-earning actress on TV for the last three years, declined to comment.

Writing in the New York Times, Loeb said he and Vergara had signed a document at the time of the IVF stating that any embryos could only be brought to term with both parents' consent.

However he is trying to have that document declared void because it did not specify what would happen if the couple separated.

Image source, AP
Image caption,
Nick Loeb and Sofia Vergara split up last year

"When we create embryos for the purpose of life, should we not define them as life, rather than as property?" the businessman wrote.

He said he had offered to pay all expenses and take full responsibility for raising the children.

"A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects," he said.

"Shouldn't a man who is willing to take on all parental responsibilities be similarly entitled to bring his embryos to term even if the woman objects?"

He added that he did not want "the two lives I have already created be destroyed or sit in a freezer until the end of time".

Asked whether she had anything to say about Loeb's article at the premiere of her new film Hot Pursuit in Hollywood on Thursday, Vergara said: "No."

Her lawyer Fred Silberberg also declined to comment.

The actress has earned Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for her role in the mockumentary-style comedy, which is into its sixth season and is shown on Sky 1 in the UK.

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