The battle between Sofía Vergara and her ex-boyfriend, Nick Loeb, over the destiny of some embryos the two had frozen when they were a couple is the climatic final act of a classic domestic drama: the one where the woman realizes her lover is a loser.
The blossoming and wilting love story of Sofía and Nick started as another tale of boy meets girl—if that girl was a bombshell Latin American actress and Modern Family co-star and that boy was the creator of a fried onion condiment. I know, an unlikely pairing on paper, but love can be indifferent to class and appearance, and God knows it was here.
But before we get into how this love story went from fiery hot like the flames of hell to frozen eggs in an industrial fridge, let’s get a little background on our lovers.
Nick Loeb, 39, is the son of a former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, John Langeloth Loeb, Jr., namesake of New York brokerage firm Loeb, Rhoades & Co., and is a descendant of Mayer Lehman, an original Lehman brother. As a child, he lived in Sweden. He stands to swim in a lot of money when his dad leaves this earth. Some of his extended family is marginally famous: his great grand-uncle was Herbert H. Lehman, a governor of New York, and his cousin, Edgar M. Bronfman Jr., used to be chairman of Warner Music Group. He is not ugly by most standards of American attractiveness.
He tried to become more famous in 2009 when he entered the Florida state Senate race as a Republican; he dropped out when his wife of five years filed for divorce. He later apparently “considered” a U.S. Senate run, but then changed his mind.
Months after a car accident in 2010 and with the concept of working in any kind of senate clearly behind him, he launched Onion Crunch, a line of fried onion toppings (like French’s) that people apparently like to put on their hotdogs. Sounds gross, but to each their own.
Nick is known, unfortunately, as the Onion Crunch King. His little fried onion empire (now sold in 21,000 stores nationwide!) is reportedly worth $15 million. To put that number in perspective, Nick Loeb’s condiment business is worth just under 11 percent of what Sofía Vergara makes in one year, which Forbes reports was $140 million in 2014. However, we can presume he enjoys the spoils of his lineage.
Sofía Vergara, 42, was first “discovered” (ogled) in her native Colombia when she was 17 and then just a humble Catholic school girl. A photographer cast her in a Pepsi ad that launched her career. After a brief detour from stardom to marry her high school sweetheart, have a baby, enroll in college to study dentistry, and then drop the guy for bigger and better living, she became the host of a Latin American television show. (Her one son, Manolo, is now 23.)
A stint at Univision soon followed before she started getting into English-language acting, and after a few roles in some failed sitcoms (and a bout of thyroid cancer, now beaten), she landed Modern Family, which premiered in 2009 on ABC and will seemingly air in perpetuity. (The show was sold into syndication in 2012 for a reported $2.13 million an episode. To date, there are 142 episodes of Modern Family.)
Sofía is now very, very rich (“the highest paid actress in television”), and makes quite the haul from endorsement deals. (Per Forbes: “Vergara is the face of Diet Pepsi, CoverGirl, Head & Shoulders, AT&T, and the medication Synthroid.” I have also seen TV commercials advertising her own line of furniture.)
There has not been a discussion about Sofía Vergara in this modern age that has not touched on her figure. The first sentence of her Vanity Fair cover profile in this month’s edition of the magazine describes her as “hubba-hubba incarnate.” (The writer of the cover story, Lili Anolik, would go on to describe Vergara’s breasts as “oomphy.”)
She has been linked to men she would obviously never date (ahem, Tom Cruise) but also men who have probably seen dead bodies, like Chris Paciello, who snitched on a crime family, and Andres López López, a man who uses one name twice and (allegedly!) was a lieutenant in a drug cartel. You get the sense that this woman has seen some shit.
She also dated Nick “Onion Crunch King” Loeb for three years.
Boy Meets Girl
Just where Sofía and Nick first met is unclear, but People stakes their relationship as having started in February of 2010. But it wasn’t until six months into dating, when Nick drove off a cliff in Bel Air, breaking his pelvis, that the two’s love was forged in expiring bonds of patience. Sofía, at Nick’s beside, cosigned herself to a relationship that would be dogged with rumors of endless spats and squabbles, “hundreds” of breaks up and make ups, a brief engagement, an even briefer flirtation with parenthood, and ultimately ending with him revealing himself to be the fool that he is.
This is a not at all exhaustive timeline of their ugly, three-year breakup.
“It was never a good match,” a source told People. “She is fiery and free-spirited and wants to enjoy life to the fullest by traveling and going to parties and events. He’s very concerned with his businesses, political aspirations and ultimately settling down.”
Three weeks after their breakup, the two were spotted together at the Loews Regency Hotel in New York, presumably to smooth things over, and maybe find some “closure.” But all they did, one source claimed at the time, was have a “heated discussion with lots of hand flailing.” Not good.
Sofía reportedly moved out of Nick’s apartment. Things looked rocky.
The couple started the night at SoHo club W.i.P., then headed to Meatpacking hot spot Bagatelle for dinner. A spy told us, “They were very flirty and seemed genuinely happy to be back together, and were laughing a lot. Throughout the night they would take moments and have long hugs. Sofía practically floated around the room.”
It would not be long, however, before Sofía and Nick hit another bump in the long, winding road that is their relationship. Two prostitutes told the National Enquirer the same month the two reunited that Nick is a sex addict who loves orgies and doing a lot coke.
“He’ll party with anywhere from two to five girls, usually in luxury hotel penthouses, with porn playing on all the TVs, lines of cocaine laid out and liquor flowing like water,” one of the prostitutes, “Bianca,” told the tabloid.
Nick denied the claims. He told the New York Post, “I am mortified that false illicit behavior has been attributed to me. It’s hurtful and unfair.”
That ugly alleged sex scandal behind them, Sofía and Nick jetted off to Mexico to celebrate Sofía’s 40th birthday. And what did Nick get Sofía for this momentous occasion? Something simple, something classic: the promise of forever, in the form of a diamond ring to be worn on her finger and take off to do the dishes. (He proposed; she said “yes.”)
All seemed well for the couple during the remaining months of 2012. But in 2013? The happy-couple-except-when-they’re-not were spotted screaming at each other at a New Year’s Eve party at a Miami club called Story, where the story was that the two’s bickering “ended with her dress ripped down and him being thrown out by security.”
New year, same old troubles.
Very good question.
You might remember, when I wrote about it at the top of this post, that Nick Loeb’s primary income is from hawking friend onions that you can put on your hotdog, if you want. Nick is a man who sees every opportunity as a business opportunity, apparently, which might be good for your bottom line, but maybe not so good for your relationship with a woman who is much richer than you.
“I brought [Onion Crunch] to the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the SAG awards,” he enthuses. “I put them out on the tables or the buffets at the after-parties. I’ve taken pictures and tweeted them.”
He even brought Onion Crunch with him to the White House last summer when the “Modern Family” cast went to meet the president. “When [Sofía] found out it was in my pocket, she made me put it back in the car,” he recalls. “But I snuck a couple of these little packets that I ended up handing to the executive chef at the White House.”
Onion Crunch? At the White House? Yeah right. <—-Remember this detail.
But despite his goofy, fried onion-toting ways (or perhaps because of his goofy, fried onion-toting ways), the two made a very big decision together: they wanted to bring a child into this world that was their own—the two announced that they have convinced a close friend of Sofía’s to carry their spawn, through in vitro fertilization. <—-Remember this, too.
“I froze my huevos.”
That’s what Sofía actually said out loud on live American television to Dr. Oz.
“We’re planning. I’m 40 years old now. Things don’t happen that naturally anymore so I’ve been very concerned about fertility and I wanted to take advantage of science, so I froze my huevos,” revealed Vergara in her sit down with Dr. Oz that will air April 18. “They’re in a refrigerator somewhere because it’s science. I thought it was science fiction that you can do this type of thing to help women have babies later in life. I thought it was a great idea.”
Looks like love to me; at the very least, looks like a vacation.
Something about the springtime just does not sit right with Sofía and Nick, and the two broke up again, and this time for good.
Remember that first thing I told you to remember, a few paragraphs ago? About Nick sneaking a tub of Onion Crunch into White House and Sofía being rightfully embarrassed? According to Page Six, that mortifying incident and Nick’s desperate, guileless pushing of his product at awards shows was the little piece of fried onion that got stuck in Sofía’s teeth and she finally got a flosser from the bathroom and plucked it right out. Goodbye Nick.
Two months after Sofía dumped him, Nick embarrassed himself again. He reportedly took a quick trip down to New Orleans, where Sofía was shooting Hot Pursuit with Reese Witherspoon, to “win her back.” Didn’t happen. They never even saw each other. His coverup? A source told Page Six, “He is a reserve police officer for the state of Louisiana and had to go on patrol with the sheriff’s office.” Smooth.
But Sofía came out on top once again: She was photographed in the Big Easy with a new man, hairy six-pack Joe Manganiello. And where did the two reportedly meet? At that year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. What a thrill it must have been for Sofía to spend time with a man at the White House who was not trying to sprinkle fried onions everywhere.
But according to Sofía herself, Joe wanted her the second her assistant pressed “send” on the press release announcing her and Nick’s breakup. From Vanity Fair:
“The day that I sent the press release [announcing the breakup with a different fiancé, Nick Loeb], Joe immediately contacted Jesse Tyler Ferguson [Modern Family’s Mitchell Pritchett], like, Please, please, please tell her I want her number. And I’m like, Jesse, no, he’s too handsome. Then, after two days of Jesse trying to convince me, I’m like, O.K., give him my number. I’m thinking, I’m in New Orleans shooting, and he’s in L.A. Nothing’s going to happen. But we started talking a lot, and then he showed up in New Orleans. Since then we’ve been inseparable. There’s nothing about him I’d change other than the fact that he’s four years younger than me [he’s 38 to her 42].”
If you remember that summer, it was hot, but apparently not as hot as the PDA between Sofía and Joe: they were spotted “kissing with arms wrapped around each other’s waists and laughing” at a Lady Gaga concert.
Some people said they were “the hottest couple of the summer.” And based on that photo of them together, I am inclined to believe those people.
Sofía and Joe are still going strong—presumably, they’re still hot. Nick? He’s cool with it. “He’s a great-looking guy,” Nick told the New York Post at Fashion Week, “I guess if I was a girl, I’d be dating him, too.”
Nick? He’s still cool with it, three months later, if you were wondering. “She is beautiful and majestic and therefore to be loved,” he said of Sofía’s engagement to US Weekly. “Beyond all else in life she deserves happiness, the kind that only true love can bring.”
Nick finally found a hobby: “honorary chairman” of embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s political action committee. And because the New York Post is the most committed publication to this then-withering story, they asked why he and Sofía broke up, all that time ago. “It’s a question suited to ask Sofía... I wish her nothing but the best,” he told the tabloid.
Seems like Nick was not being entirely forthcoming earlier when he seemed “cool” with Sofía. He is not “cool” with her at all, especially not about her frozen embryos.
According to embarrassing (for Nick, always, always Nick) court documents obtained by InTouch Weekly, Nick is suing Sofía to prevent her from destroying the embryos. He also straight-up accuses her of beating him:
The court papers also claim the 42-year-old actress “was physically and mentally abusive” to Nick on numerous occasions. “She punched him in the face on two occasions, kicked him, and threw her phone at his head. She also routinely bullied him, calling him a ‘loser,’ ‘worthless’ and other degrading names,” according to the papers.
The lawsuit also trudges up some other ugliness: the couple twice tried to implant a frozen embryo in their surrogate, but neither resulted in a pregnancy. Sofía, the suit alleges, has been adamant that in unfortunate instance that one or both of them were to die, she would want the embryos to “to be thawed with no further action.”
Two frozen female embryos remain.
At the end of the month, Nick embarrasses himself in spectacular fashion yet again, this time in the pages of the New York Times, where he plainly writes, “We signed a form stating that any embryos created through the process could be brought to term only with both parties’ consent.”
So really, Nick, irrespective to these embryos “right to life,” etc., is primarily motivated by his desire to void a contract he voluntarily agreed to. And he says this:
Many have asked me: Why not just move on and have a family of your own? I have every intention of doing so. 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.
Because she is promoting her new movie, and because she is tried of being asked about it, Sofía finally relents and comments on the foofaraw, torching the last remnants of her and Nick’s relationship in the process. She told Good Morning America:
“I’ve been working very hard for 20 years to get to this point where I am, enjoying my movie,” she said. “I promote all my movies, all my work, but I don’t like promoting my private life and I don’t understand why this person...I don’t want to allow this person to take more advantage of my career and try to promote himself and get press for this.”
Loeb, from whom Vergara split in 2014, penned an opinion piece last week in the New York Times to explain why he wants to “protect” the embryos he says the couple used in-vitro fertilization to create. Loeb is not alleging that Vergara is actively trying to destroy the embryos. He writes that it is his mission to preserve them at all costs.
“It shouldn’t be out there for people to give their opinion when there’s nothing to talk about,” said Vergara. “There’s papers signed. There is a court date. He shouldn’t be creating something so ugly out of nothing.”
May Sofía finally, at last, rid herself of this man.