The Precious star separated from her husband of three years, Lamar Sally, in May, 2014, while the surrogate was still pregnant. Shepherd subsequently declared no interest in the baby, who was born that August (14) and named Lamar, Jr..

She and her ex have been locked in a legal battle ever since a Pennsylvania judge ruled last year (15) she is the legal mother of the boy, and ordered her to pay Sally child support as part of their divorce settlement.

Shepherd, 48, challenged the decision, arguing she should never have been declared the tot's mother because parentage is determined by "genetics/biology or by adoption" in the state, but officials at Pennsylvania's Supreme Court shot down her appeal on Tuesday (01Mar16), reports The Associated Press.

Shepherd, who is currently paying her ex $4,100 (£2,940) a month in child support, has not seen the baby since his birth, according to Sally's lawyer, Tiffany Palmer.

The star is also mum to a son named Jeffrey, from her first marriage to Jeff Tarpley.