Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr., an 18-year-old American, faces unique challenges due to developmental disabilities. Born to Sherri Shepherd, a renowned talk show host, comedian, actress, and author, and Jeff Tarpley, an actor and comedian, Jeffrey has demonstrated improvement over time with the dedicated support of his mother and therapists. He is also the stepson of Lamar Sally, a screenwriter and producer, and the half-brother of Lamar Sally Jr., born via surrogate in 2014. This article delves into the life, accomplishments, and familial relationships of Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr.

Early Life and Birth Complications

Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. came into the world on April 22, 2005, in Los Angeles, California, facing significant challenges from the start. Born prematurely at 15 weeks (approximately 3 and a half months), he spent over four months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Tragically, he lost his twin sister to miscarriage due to complications arising from his mother’s health scare during childbirth. Sherri Shepherd, Jeffrey’s mother, revealed that he confronted multiple health issues at birth, including bleeding in his brain, fluid in his lungs, a hole in his heart, breathing difficulties, and feeding challenges. His birth weight was a mere one pound and 10 ounces.

Sherri Shepherd, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007, attributed it to an unhealthy lifestyle and stress during her pregnancy with Jeffrey. This diagnosis prompted her to initiate positive lifestyle changes and lose weight to ensure her well-being for the sake of her son. Sherri recounted having a vision of Jeffrey at the age of five, holding his teddy bear and crying as he sought to understand where heaven was since that’s where everyone mentioned his mommy was. This poignant vision became a catalyst for Sherri to prioritize her health and well-being.

Developmental Delays and Improvements

Born prematurely, Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. faced developmental delays impacting his speech and learning abilities. At the age of two, he received a diagnosis of mild autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Struggling with tasks such as tying shoes, reading, writing, and socializing with peers, Jeffrey’s developmental challenges led to a legal dispute between his parents. In 2014, Jeff Tarpley sought full custody, alleging neglect and inadequate education and therapy from Sherri Shepherd. However, the court ruled in favor of Shepherd, who asserted her commitment to her son’s well-being.

Sherri Shepherd took proactive steps to support Jeffrey’s development, enrolling him in various programs and therapies. She engaged tutors, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and behavioral therapists to work with him at home. Her goal was to foster his independence and success in life. Shepherd expressed unconditional love for her son, embracing his “perfectly imperfect” nature.

Over time, Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. has made remarkable progress. He successfully graduated from elementary school in 2017 and middle school in 2020. Learning to play the piano, ride a bike, swim, and cook, he developed a unique personality and sense of humor. Jeffrey now enjoys video games, movies, music, and quality time with his family.

Relationship with His Family

Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. shares a close and affectionate bond with his mother, Sherri Shepherd, often featured in photos and videos on her social media platforms. Shepherd actively engages him in various events and outings, including basketball games, amusement parks, concerts, museums, and vacations, portraying him as her best friend and the reason for her existence.

His relationship with his father, Jeff Tarpley, is positive, with regular visits and support in Jeffrey’s pursuits. Jeff Tarpley admires his son’s intelligence, talent, bravery, and loving nature, defending him against online trolls who target him for his special needs.

As the stepson of Lamar Sally, who was formerly married to Sherri Shepherd, Jeffrey is part of a complex family dynamic. Lamar Sally is the biological father of Lamar Sally Jr., born via surrogate in 2014 after Shepherd decided against having more children due to health concerns. Initially facing reluctance from Shepherd to acknowledge Lamar Sally Jr. and pay child support, she later accepted him into her family, fostering a supportive environment. Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. and Lamar Sally Jr., despite an eight-year age difference, have met and appear to share a harmonious relationship as half-brothers.


Jeffrey Charles Tarpley Jr. has triumphed over numerous challenges, emerging as an inspiring individual. Born to celebrity parents Sherri Shepherd and Jeff Tarpley, he has received unwavering support and love on his journey. As the stepson of Lamar Sally and the half-brother of Lamar Sally Jr., Jeffrey is surrounded by a caring extended family.

His journey is marked by notable progress in speech, learning, and social skills. Jeffrey has cultivated his unique interests and hobbies, becoming a source of inspiration and joy for both his family and fans. He stands as a truly remarkable and special individual, showcasing resilience and strength.