Actress Sofia Vergara's former fiance says in an op-ed that he sued the "Modern Family" star to protect their frozen embryos because he longs to become a parent and doesn't want the "two lives" they created to "be destroyed or sit in a freezer until the end of time."
Businessman Nick Loeb wrote in the New York Times on Wednesday that as the child of divorced parent he yearned to have the kind of family depicted in artist Norman Rockwell's iconic paintings.
He said when he was in his 20s, his girlfriend had an abortion and the decision was "entirely out of my hands." Later, he married a woman with whom he tried to have children with the help of a fertility specialist. The marriage eventually ended.
When he and Vergara, 42, became engaged, he said, he began "to push for children" but she insisted they use a surrogate. He said initially two fertilized embryos were created. The first one implanted didn't take and the surrogate miscarried the second. "I felt crushed," he wrote.
Two more embryos were created before their relationship ended. He said he was willing to take full parental responsibility if Vergara didn't want to share custody, but she refused.
The two had signed a form stating that any embryos they created could only be brought to term if both of them agreed. Loeb said the form didn't specifically say, as California law requires, who would happen to the embryos if they separated.
"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?"
Loeb said Vergara's lawyer has told reporters that she wants to keep the embryos frozen indefinitely. "In my view, keeping them frozen forever is tantamount to killing them," he said.
Loeb wrote that people have asked him why he doesn't just move on and have a family of his own. "I have every intention of doing so," he said. "But that doesn't mean I should let the two lives I have already created be destroyed or sit in a freezer until the end of time."
He said he takes the responsibility of being a parent seriously. "This is not just about saving lives; it is also about being pro-parent."
When Vergara and Loeb split in May 2014, Vergara wrote on her WhoSay page, "Not that anyone should care, but in order to not give the press the chance to invent hurtful drama, I prefer to tell my fans personally that Nick and I have [decided] to be apart. We have [been] having too many problems with figuring out how to spend time together because of my work and now his, it's been getting worse and worse, not fun anymore."
Vergara and Loeb confirmed their engagement in 2012. "I haven't started planning anything because everything has been very recent," the actress said at the time. "I just planned a very big birthday -- my 40th birthday in Mexico."
Loeb, 39, popped the question at Vergara's 40th birthday celebration while the actress and her family and friends were sightseeing at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.
Vergara was previously married to her childhood sweetheart Joe Gonzalez. They split in 1993 and have a 22-year-old son named Manolo.
She's most recently been romantically linked with actor Joe Manganiello. The pair got engaged late last year after about six months of dating.