- Sherri Shepherd is a comedian, actress and TV talk show host
- She worked on ’30 Rock’ and ‘The View’
- The Emmy-winner has welcomed two boys with two different men
Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show host Sherri Shepherd has carved herself an incredible path in Hollywood. The Chicago native, born in April 1967, was still working as a legal secretary when she landed her first acting gig on a sitcom in 1995. Although the show only aired for one season, Sherri would parlay her luck into more roles on sitcoms, including the iconic 30 Rock, and finally as a host on The View from 2007 to 2014, where she took home an Emmy in 2009. After a few more sitcoms and a stand-up comedy tour, Sherri found herself hosting an eponymous talk show in 2022.
The personal life of Sherri is just as successful, albeit a bit more complicated. She was married twice and welcomed two sons with her two ex-husbands. However, she was engaged in dramatic court battles with both exes over the boys. Keep reading to find out more about Sherri’s family here.
Sherri married Jeffrey Tarpley in 2001 and they welcomed son Jeffrey in April 2005. Their first and only child together would end up with special needs. “He’s got developmental delays,” Sherri told People in 2018. “I know that God created this little boy, who’s so yummy and special, and I have to accept him just in his little imperfect perfections. He’s perfectly imperfect in every way.”
The couple would go on to divorce in 2009 and then engage in a dramatic custody battle in 2014. Tarpley filed a petition at the time for temporary physical custody of Jeffrey, claiming Sherri was neglecting him because of her hectic schedule. A judge ruled in Sherri’s favor and she’s been showering him with love ever since, as evident on her Instagram, where she often shares snaps of her little man.
In 2022, she went into detail on social media about how she considered son Jeffrey’s well-being when moving to New York to start Sherri, her talk show. “I didn’t want to move to NY to do this talkshow [sic]. My life was in LA, but my friend @teejmercer said ‘Sherri God said New York is not for you but it is for Jeffrey. That is where he will find his independence,’” she wrote alongside a snap of the mother/son duo. “It has been hard for me letting him jump because I want to protect him from everything that could hurt him. But as he says goodbye to me and walks to the A train to Queens with his friends to see the Mets play, I say a prayer to the One who created him that as he spreads his wings, God will be there to catch him.”
“This world is cruel but I know that God knows Jeffrey much better than me and I am trusting that within the parameters of his ‘special needs’, he will thrive,” she concluded. “Lord please give me the strength I need for this next leg of this journey.”
Sherri tried a love match again with writer Lamar Sally, marrying him in 2011. They ended up splitting in May 2014. Here’s where it gets tricky. The former couple then welcomed a son, Lamar, via surrogacy in August 2014. Lamar Jr. was conceived using Sally’s sperm and a donor egg. The child has since been raised by Sally, and Sherri has never met him, per People. However, a few court battles over finances, support, etc ensued.
Sally told the outlet in 2014 that he and Sherri agreed to have a child via surrogate – using Sally’s sperm and a donor egg after doctors found that Sherri’s eggs were not viable – within a year of their 2011 nuptials. Six months into the surrogate pregnancy, Sally said Sherri surprised him with a divorce. Even with the split, “she never said she didn’t want the baby,” Sally insisted to the outlet. He then sued for custody and support.
In 2017, a judge denied Sally’s request, and Sherri’s lawyer said in a statement at the time, “Shepherd now hopes that her ex will stop his frivolous attempts to get more money out of her and will seek gainful employment to take care of his child like any other capable parent.” Sherri took to Twitter at the time to post, “For the record… I always offered to financially care for my ex-husband’s son. What he was demanding was not fair & allowed him to not work.”
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