A woman claims a celebrity treated her coldly, trashed her on TV and even pressured her to take Valium during her surrogate pregnancy experience for the star.
Many high-profile celebrities have opted to use surrogacy to grow their families, including Kim Kardashian and, most recently, Paris Hilton, who announced the birth of her baby boy Jan. 24.
In an interview with BBC, Shanna St. Clair detailed her nightmarish experience acting as a surrogate for an anonymous celebrity.
Content warning: pregnancy loss, miscarriage
After signing up with a surrogacy agency a few years ago, St. Clair’s profile was matched with a celebrity couple who were looking to have a child. St. Clair said the pair, referred to only as “Jennifer” and “Mark” in the article, were “kind” and “made an effort to get to understand my life, to get to know my children.”
Over the course of three years, St. Clair received $50,000 from Jennifer and Mark to cover her IVF treatments, travel expenses and more.
Because of the positive experience St. Clair had with the couple, she trusted them when they asked her to meet their celebrity friend, “Catherine,” who was also looking to have a baby.
According to St. Clair, Catherine, the daughter of famous parents, had been trying unsuccessfully for years to have a child.
“Looking back, there were red flags from that first telephone conversation,” St. Clair told BBC.
One of those red flags included Catherine’s suggestion that St. Clair bypass a surrogacy agency in order to avoid extra fees, as well as skip a psychological evaluation.
St. Clair also described Catherine as cold and detached, detailing how she wasn’t a “hugger” and sometimes barely spoke to her.
St. Clair agreed to three pregnancy attempts for Catherine. After miscarrying during the first attempt, Catherine allegedly tried to force St. Clair to take Valium to calm her nerves.
“She kept saying, ‘What is your problem, Shanna? One pill isn’t going to hurt you,’ and I felt I couldn’t argue,” St. Clair shared.
At one point, Catherine allegedly blamed a former surrogate for a previous miscarriage.
“I told her not to travel, but she did, and look what happened! … Dead baby,” she allegedly told St. Clair.
During St. Clair’s third attempt getting pregnant for Catherine, Catherine began ignoring St. Clair’s messages and calls. Eventually, she revealed to St. Clair that she had been using a second surrogate on the side, who had just delivered a baby for Catherine.
According to BBC, St. Clair was shocked, and didn’t know if Catherine “still wanted the baby.”
After St. Clair experienced another miscarriage, she tried to contact Catherine, who didn’t answer. A few days later, St. Clair messaged Catherine, writing, “Hi, I hope you and the baby are well. Should I forward the remainder of the bills to you?”
Catherine texted back quickly, accusing St. Clair of being cold and chastising her for asking to pay the remainder of the bills.
“Shanna, our relationship has ended. I am appalled at your coldness over the birth of my child. Forward your bills,” the anonymous celebrity allegedly responded.
A few months later, St. Clair’s mother told her that she had spotted Catherine on TV shaming surrogates and making hurtful comments about women who experience miscarriages.
Ultimately, St. Clair called her traumatizing experience with Catherine “terrible and transactional.”