Sherri Shepherd is opening up about her sweet bond with her son, Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr.
The 17-year-old whom the daytime talk show host welcomed with Jeff Tarpley Sr. during their eight-year union was born with developmental delays resulting in his special needs. That, however, did not stop his mom from fighting for and building him up to be the man he is today.
The evidence of their loving relationship made its way to social media recently when Shepherd shared a post that included herself and Jeffrey with fans on Tuesday.
Sherri Shepherd Gets Support From Fans After Opening Up About Her Son
The first slide of the post — shared on Instagram — was a view of Shepherd and her teenage boy stopping on what appeared to be a street to snap a selfie. While Jeffrey has a serious look, his mom is all smiles.
A swipe to the left revealed a video that featured the 17-year-old showing off his basketball skills on a court on separate occasions. Although he wore different fits to the practice sessions, one obvious thing was his love and talent for the game.
However, what got people’s attention was Shepherd’s lengthy caption, which exposed a side of her that she rarely made public. After noting that she was reluctant to relocate to New York to do her recently debuted show, “Sherri,” the 55-year-old wrote:
“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.'”
Referring to him playing basketball, the Daytime Emmy Award nominee admitted how hard it was to let her son jump because she wanted to “protect him from everything that could hurt him.” She added:
“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.”
Ultimately, as a “single Mom with a special and unique young man,” the former “The View” co-host decided to try her best to focus on her boy’s strengths and “give everything else to God.”
Even though she understands how “cruel” the world is, Shepherd concluded that she knows that “God knows Jeffrey much better than me, and I am trusting that within the parameters of his ‘special needs,’ he will thrive.”
The twice-divorced star’s post was met with support from fans and friends alike, including “Real Housewives of New York” alum Eboni K. Williams, singer Coko, and actor Cedric the Entertainer.
Things certainly seem to be better for Shepherd, who engaged in a bitter legal battle with her ex-husband Jeff Sr. just a few years ago. The struggle was centered around the “Cold Cabin” actor wanting custody of their son.
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the talk show’s ex wanted an emergency custody modification hearing, contending that their son was suffering from “neglect.” The actor intended to seek temporary physical custody of their then nine-year-old son, with Shepherd receiving no visitation until the judge made a ruling at the hearing.
He claimed their child — who lived in New Jersey with his mother at the time — read at a second-grade level, had problems writing and tying his shoes, and had poor hygiene.
The “King of the Open Mics” actor also contended in his custody documents that his ex-wife’s busy work schedule led to her not providing Jeffrey with “a nurturing and loving environment, and care that Jeffrey so desperately needs.” Shepherd was granted custody of their son following a decision handed down in the summer of 2014.
Trouble From The Past Brews As Lamar Sally Drags The TV Host To Court
Shepherd faced even more legal drama when her second ex-husband, Lamar Sally, sued her for more child support for their then two-year-old son, Lamar Jr. Although the little boy has no biological ties with Shepherd, she did agree to welcome a baby via surrogate — using Sally’s sperm and an egg donor — and share him with Sally.
By the time their marriage began crumbling, the surrogate was already pregnant. Before the boy was even born, Sally and Shepherd had begun battling it out in court for custody. And it did not stop when he arrived in 2015.
If anything, the legal drama only got worse with Essence reporting that the “30 Rock” actress fought to stop her name from appearing on the birth certificate. She eventually gave in to paying Sally $6,400 a month in child support — an amount her ex-beau admitted was insufficient.
In fact, the writer demanded an increase in child support because Shepherd earned almost $3 million per annum, which was a 50% increase from what their previous support order was. Reps for Shepherd hoped Sally would find “gainful employment” and stop going after their client for more money.