Jessica Bartholomew, the surrogate hired by Sherri Shepherd and her then-husband Lamar Sally to carry their baby, is speaking out for the first time and claiming the former "View" host is abandoning her baby.
"I don't understand how she can do that and act like this baby is non-existent," Jessica tells "Inside Edition" in an exclusive sit-down. "It just blows my mind."
Jessica, 32, is a working mother with two daughters of her own. She works in data entry at a technology company in Pennsylvania, but decided to become a surrogate to help an infertile couple while making some extra money. She was reportedly paid $25,000.
According to Jessica, after being matched up with the celebrity couple through an agency, she claims to have signed a 23-page contract with Lamar and Sherri on Sept. 12, 2013, but she says she didn't first meet Sherri until the embryo was transferred into her uterus in November 2013. An egg donor (said to be "African-American, tall and athletic") was reportedly used.
Jessica tells the news source that during her pregnancy Sherri only called her two or three times to see how she was doing and what she was eating. Sherri did, however, show up for an important ultrasound 20 weeks into the pregnancy, according to Jessica.
It was soon after the ultrasound that Jessica says Sherri wanted nothing to do with the baby. Lamar reportedly informed Jessica that the couple was splitting up. Indeed, the couple filed for legal separation in May 2014 and noted that a baby born via surrogacy with an expectant due day of July.
Because there was no other mother present at the birth, Jessica's name was put on the birth certificate.
"I do get medical bills for [the baby]," Jessica says. "I am now listed as a non-custodial parent in California. I have a child support case coming against me."
The baby, named Lamar Jr., is living full-time with his father, Lamar who is suing Sherri for child support and demanding that she acknowledge Lamar Jr. as her son.
Sherri declined to comment to Inside Edition but she addressed the issue on "The Wendy Williams Show," saying, "I have a lot of lawyers and I'm in court right now and it's very public and very painful."
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