Sherri Shepherd is finally breaking her silence on the surrogate baby scandal that imploded her marriage, but her story doesn’t really make her sound much better.
In a new interview, Shepherd said she only agreed to the surrogate pregnancy because she was afraid her now ex-husband, Lamar Sally, would leave her if she didn’t go along with it.
“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 told People.
“There are consequences to everything, but I was scared to say, ‘That’s not going to work for me. I don’t want that.'”
That plan didn’t quite work the way she thought it would. The couple had already split and were locked in a custody battle before the baby was born, and Shepherd refused to be listed as the mother on the child’s birth certificate. A judge later ordered she be officially listed as such, clearing the way for a California court to order her to pay child support for the baby, who Sally is raising.
“I am appealing the ruling that happened and he gets his settlement every month. He’s happy. There nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands. You move on and I have a son,” she said, referring to her first child with ex-husband Jeffrey Tarpley. “I have to take care of him so everything is good.”
“I’m the type of person I feel like as long as you can get up, you have another chance,” she said. “I’ve gone through stuff: a nasty divorce, nasty custody battle but for me, I get up and I smile. I go through it and I make it through.”
Shepherd has endured a vicious backlash for what many are calling her abandonment of an innocent baby, but she says public opinion doesn’t matter to her.
“As long as the people who know me, know my heart and they know my love for my son and my character and integrity. That’s all I have to stand on,” she said. “As long I can look at myself in the mirror and look up and go, ‘Did I do what you told me to do’ I’m good.”
“I still have to get to a place where I am mentally OK,” she said. “I’m the type of person that I feel like as long as you can get up, you have another chance.”
The TV personality said she hopes to turn her bad experience into a book to help other women. “I do want to do a book for women about stepping past fear,” she said. “I think it would help a lot of women who are in this place of being scared to walk away, but right now I am just laying [sic] low and letting time do its work.”