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Sherri Shepherd Was Warned about 2nd Husband Whom She Was Afraid to Lose & Agreed to Surrogacy For

Esther NJeri
Mar 04, 2022
11:40 A.M.
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Sherri Shepherd has not been as lucky in her marriages as she has been in her career. Despite warnings from her close ones not to marry Lamar Sally, she went ahead, a decision she regrets many years later.


Many recognize Sherri Shepherd from her sitcoms "Sherri," "Less Than Perfect," "Trial & Error," and "Mr. Iglesias." She was also a co-host on the daytime talk show "The View," which bagged her several Daytime Emmy Award nominations and one win in 2009.

But despite the fame, Shepherd has always been a tad shy in sharing her personal life, including two failed marriages, a son with special needs that she loves to death, and another she doesn't love. 

Left: Actress and former "The View" cohost Sherri Shephard | Source: Real Daytime Right: Shepherd's ex-husband with their son Lamar Jr., who they had via surrogacy | Source:



The "Hysterical" actress may be a mother of two, but her heart belongs to one of them. She had her first son, Jeff, a special needs child, with her first husband, Jeffrey Tarpley. 

Jeff is the apple of his mother's eye despite his developmental delays. Shepherd refers to herself as a "single mom who loves her son" and wants others to love him as well. She told People in a 2018 interview: 

"I love him no matter what, and I don't compare him to other typical children."


Her relationship with her second child Lamar Jr., who she got via donor egg and surrogate during her second marriage to Lamar Sally, is a far cry from the one she shares with Jeff. She only provides financial support to him, but her heart remains with her firstborn son. 

Despite being married to her first husband for almost a decade, the couple only had one child together. Jeff, now 16, aspires to follow in his mother's footsteps and become a comedian. 

However, away from the beautiful mother-son relationship, Shepherd's marriage's behind-the-scenes have not always been smooth. After a nasty end to their long marriage, the former spouses got involved in a vicious custody battle for their son.


Tarpley filed for sole custody of their son, accusing Shepherd of being an unfit mother. He claimed that Jeff was suffering from neglect, had poor hygiene, and could neither tie his shoes nor write.

Shepherd's first husband claimed that her busy career caused her to neglect their son, depriving him of access to care, a nurturing and loving environment, and the essential education he desperately needed. 

He told the court that her "career is seven days per week non-stop," adding that the lack of his mother's attention placed their son in the hands of "unskilled nannies."

Sherri Shepherd at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations with "Claws" in Los Angeles, California, 2017 | Source: Getty Images


However, Shepherd clapped back, saying that, even though Tarpley had had visitation rights for the last nine years, he ignored all of Shepherd's requests for him to take their son and stay with him over the weekends.

Eventually, the judge ruled in favor of Shepherd and denied Tarpley's request for custody. Shepherd continues caring for her son as a single mom. 


About a year after her divorce from Tarpley became final, the actress was lucky to find love again after she met TV writer Lamar Sall. Her love story began like a fairytale, and a year into dating, Sally popped the question.


Sherri Shepherd with her second husband Lamar Sally on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

They had just gotten back to Sally's Los Angeles home after a trip to San Diego when Sally went down on one knee and proposed with a three-carat princess-cut diamond ring, said to be worth $70,000.


Following the beautiful engagement, Shepherd was excited about her wedding and often tweeted her choices of wedding gowns before settling on a fairytale look.


On the big day, her son Jeff walked her down the aisle. She says that when her son took her hand and put it in Sally's, he appeared to pass on a message to Sally subtly:

 "I'm trusting you to protect my mommy and me."


After a wedding follows the constant desire for kids, and it was no different for Shepherd and her new husband, Sally. 

Sherri Shepherd and husband Lamar 'Sal' Sally on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Getty Images


The diva, who has previously struggled with fertility, was determined to expand her family. The couple then embarked on finding a surrogate to carry their baby.

Shepherd even offered Kim Kardashian to be her surrogate but finally settled on a girl with no drama in her life. She would ultimately become a mom again, and as she would say on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, as reported by HuffPost: "We found a drama-free uterus."



Despite their plans to build a family together, their marriage was soon in a terrible place. Shepherd disclosed that their marriage was on the rocks when she agreed to have their baby via surrogacy.

The "Think Like A Man" actress also shared that she had been afraid of losing Sally if she did not go along with the surrogacy because, at that point, her eggs were no longer viable. 

Actress Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


Long after the couple had gone through the divorce and custody battle motions, Shepherd shared her sentiments about agreeing to the surrogacy, saying

"There are consequences to everything, but I was scared to say, 'That's not going to work for me. I don't want that.'"

By the time the surrogacy was halfway through, the couple had reached the end of their ropes. Shepherd finally filed for divorce. She also fought to keep her name from being printed on the birth certificate, but the courts denied her request. 


A nasty and lengthy battle for child support then ensued. Sally took Shepherd to court for child support, and the courts approved his request. She was on the hook for a $4,100 monthly payment until the child turned 13, after which the amount would increase to $4600.

Two years later, Sally was back in court claiming that since Shepherd's income had increased, she needed to pay more in child support for the son she was not biologically related to. However, Sally's request did not go through. 

In 2017, Shepherd bashed her ex-husband for attempting to "scam" women by saying he was "well-off" on his dating profile. Her angry tweets alluded to Sally living off her child support money.



Following her divorce from Sally barely three years after they walked down the aisle, her inner circle did not seem surprised that the marriage did not last. A source told People that neither of her close ones thought Sally was the right man for her. 

Shepherd agreed with the sentiments, saying that she had disregarded all warnings from friends about marrying Sally. She shared that Steve Harvey and Barbara Walters had warned her against it.

Whoopi Goldberg would not even come to her wedding, and yet she ignored all the red flags and married him, a decision she regrets up until now. 



Despite the court ruling that Shepherd was the legal mother to her second child, the actress does not love or stay in touch with the young boy.

She duly fulfills her obligations to support him financially, but that is as far as it goes. Sally is, however, not happy with the arrangement. He still wants Shepherd to be involved in their son, Lamar Jr.'s life, and told DailyMail:

'Sherri is going to regret what she has done to this kid."

He added that Lamar Jr. would ask for answers once he was grown and called out the "One For The Money" actress for being an absentee mom. Sally wishes Shepherd had a closer relationship with their son.