Joe Manganiello’s 21-year sobriety ‘played a role in his split from Sofia Vergara’

Is anyone else still bummed about Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara? I thought they were the real deal! I also thought Joe approached the marriage in a very grown-up, cards-on-the-table way. He was already sober (he’s been sober for over two decades) and working a program when they met, and he didn’t make his sobriety his entire personality either – it was just part of who he was. Sofia, on the other hand, was still a social drinker and I’m sure she kept alcohol in the house. Well, reportedly, that was an issue:

Joe Manganiello’s sobriety journey reportedly played a role in his split from Sofía Vergara.

“Of course the fact that Sofía is not sober had an impact on their marriage,” a source told Daily Mail Tuesday. “He was warned about this when he started dating her and again before marrying her.”

The insider added that the “Magic Mike XXL” star “did not think” he was going to “change” Vergara in any way – but also “didn’t think about the implications” her drinking habits could have on their marriage. However, a second source told the outlet that Vergara “could not have been more supportive” of her estranged husband’s sobriety over the years.

[From Page Six]

I don’t think anyone is saying that Sofia is an alcoholic – she seems like a social drinker and someone who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner and she can keep it to one glass. But yeah, the sober spouse/not-sober spouse dynamic is always going to be tricky. Also tricky? The money. They spoke about signing a prenup before they married, as Sofia is the wealthier one. Page Six’s legal consultant explains what the prenup was all about:

Despite their relatively lengthy union and exorbitant wealth, high-profile divorce attorney Frederic J. Siegel — who is not representing either party and has no affiliation with the case — tells Page Six that the duo will likely have a clean break financially. Before she married the “Magic Mike” star in November 2015, Vergara revealed that the two were signing a prenuptial agreement, which typically outlines how a couple’s finances and assets will be handled should they divorce later on.

“He said, ‘Do whatever you want. I’ll sign whatever you want,’” the actress, 51, told Howard Stern that May. Siegel theorizes that Vergara and Manganiello’s marital contract “probably had what is called a walkaway.”

“She keeps what she has and what she earns, and he keeps what he has and what he’s earned,” Siegel, the founding member of family law firm Siegel, Colin & Kaufman, explains. “So with a prenup — and without kids [together] — it becomes a much simpler case.”

As for marital property, Vergara and the “True Blood” star moved into a shared home in May 2015, six months before they said “I do.” According to TMZ, she’s the one who purchased the seven-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot Beverly Hills pad for $10.6 million.

Last July, the outlet reported that the pair put the fully renovated estate — equipped with a chef’s kitchen, gym, movie theater and pool with a spa — on the market for a staggering $19.6 million.
The then-couple was simultaneously building a bigger and better home in the same area, per TMZ.

“My belief is that they probably are at a more advanced stage [in their divorce] than people would think, because usually when people make the announcement like they made yesterday, they’ve already done some of the preliminary work,” Siegel tells us. “It doesn’t look like it’s messy — yet,” he adds. “It’s a good sign when people issue the kind of statement that they did, saying that they wanted to do this amicably, but it doesn’t always work out that way.”

[From Page Six]

I would also imagine that the terms of the pre-nup are upheld and that they’ll both walk away with whatever they earned separately within the marriage, and Sofia will probably get the real estate (since she was the one paying for their homes). Joe is a working actor and he probably has a nice nest egg, but Sofia is very rich.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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55 Responses to “Joe Manganiello’s 21-year sobriety ‘played a role in his split from Sofia Vergara’”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    I am not a social drinker, I am a wine lover, once I met a recovering alcoholic, and even if we liked each other we agreed it was better to stop dating.
    I have no opinions on this.

    • Ciotog says:

      I read somewhere once that couples with different alcohol consumption patterns tend not to last. I get it. I don’t drink often and wouldn’t have stayed with my husband if he drank all the time.

      • Andrea says:

        The 2nd love of my life became an alcoholic and I dont drink much at all. I broke up with him after 3 years (this was in my mid 20s) and he went on to marry a heavy drinker.

    • Concern Fae says:

      My late husband couldn’t have alcohol due to medication, so I’m used to not having it in the house. Met a guy who said if I drank with friends away from him it was a deal breaker. Last I saw of him. I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve had more than two drinks in an evening.

  2. Tiffany says:

    The more I read, the more sad I am. This isn’t scandalous, it’s just life and they can’t figure out how to make it work. Ahhh…..

    • Flower says:


      Seems like they loved each other but just didn’t fit.

    • Megan says:

      IDK, it seems like Joe’s side is starting to hint that Sophia was the problem, which tells me there is a lot more to this.

      • PrincessOfWaffles says:

        What Im reading between the lines that Sophia was too conceited to have sensitivity about his sobriety. Like it’s always about me me me me me with Sophia. Didnt work out, too bad. I liked them together.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, it’s a bummer.

    • bananapanda says:

      You know what they’re not mentioning? Dungeons and Dragons. Joe is a HUGE D&D nerd. He hosts campaigns in his house, works with the company, etc. I wonder if they just started to have diverging interests and less in common once Modern Family was over.

      I expect they’ll handle this in a mature way though. Both seem to have a good head on their shoulders. I do hope she lets him keep the house with the D&D room and his special table bc that’s going to be hard to recreate.

      • Glamarazzi says:

        I am totally gobsmacked by the D&D news. So surprising.

        I suspect she’ll have NO PROBLEM letting him take the special table, haha!

  3. HeyKay says:

    I thought these 2 would go the distance. I’m a little sad about them splitting.
    So many couples divorcing in 2023.
    I’m certain the finances and prenup will all be worked out.

    Sofia seems to be a very outgoing personality, Joe seems a little more quiet.
    Recovery is hard. Didn’t Joe at one point have a coke problem? I recall him talking about it years ago.

    So many of her SM posts look like she is always posing in their pics.
    Or maybe the both pose automatically, both so good looking.

  4. girl_ninja says:

    That’s too bad. That’s all I can say. I hope they find happiness apart.

  5. Beenie says:

    “Of course the fact that Sofía is not sober had an impact on their marriage”

    I am sober going on 7 years. My husband of 16 years is not. For us it’s a non-issue, but I can imagine it’s different for everyone. I would not choose to use the words “of course… it had an impact” when describing this dynamic.

    • A says:

      Yeah, I definitely got the vibe that was a little dig at Vergara. That she was in some way an obstacle to his sobriety.

      • Kate says:

        I would hope Joe isn’t blaming her for their relationship breakdown due to her alcohol use. Since he has worked a program I’d hope he takes accountability and responsibility for choosing a partner who uses alcohol in whatever way she does. Maybe the source is being more nuanced that he didn’t heed warnings that their lifestyles would not be a good match, but I can see lots of room for misinterpretation that SHE was the problem.

      • Aurora says:

        Well if Sofia kept alcohol in the house and insisted on drinking in his presence yes she was an obstacle to his sobriety and didn’t understand or wasn’t explained the assignment when marrying a rehabilitated addict. He seemed to be heads over heels for her, and he might have overlooked how their clashing habits would factor into his efforts to keep sober. I don’t think his field is being catty; just ensuring it’s known there was no cheating or abuse on his side, as an assumption many would make. And yes, it’s understandably he and his people would feel frustrated about how she was not cooperating, even if she meant well by making the assumption he wouldn’t relapse after 21 yrs. Sofia seems to be very social and prone to organize get togethers without MF’s workload. There’s only a limit to how much we can supress ourselves for the sake of a relationship. It’s 24/7 work! Sobriety is hard work for most people, and they did the right thing by getting divorced.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Aurora, uhhmm, no. The only obstacle to someone’s sobriety is themselves. That’s it. You can put as much PR odd spin on it as you want. It’s simply not true. An alcoholic/recovering alcoholic recognizes their own responsibility. They recognize their reasons why THEY can’t drink anymore. It has nothing to do with their partner. Other people are not obstacles to one’s sobriety. It’s a choice. People familiar with AA recognize that.

        How about, as a couple, they grew apart? It’s unfortunate. Like CB or Kaiser said, their heat score was something else. JM &
        SV were great for hot couple takes.

    • Lucy says:

      Congrats on your sobriety!

      It is a dig for sure. I wonder if there was a trigger for him that didn’t bother him until it did? Still. I would’ve thought they knew their lifestyles.

      It does make me sad they’re breaking up. I remember him on True Blood, such a hot werewolf (I think? It turned into Passions there after a while). They both seemed very happy together.

      • K says:

        Ha, you’re so right… I hadn’t connected the two, but True Blood totally became as ridiculous as Passions! Just with more awkward sex scenes.

  6. Eleonor says:

    I am not a social drinker, I am a wine lover, once I met a recovering alcoholic, and even if we liked each other we agreed it was better to stop dating.
    I have no opinions on this.
    I am just sad these two are divorcing

  7. BlueNailsBetty says:

    Until a scandal drops on this, I firmly believe they were just too different and the ability to blend their lives crumbled. No one is in the wrong, they just weren’t meant to be a super long relationship.

    Also, regardless of what caused the break up, I’m so glad Sofia and Joe got together when they did. She was going through hell due to her abusive ex and I imagine Joe helped her feel safe and supported.

    I wish them both a life of happiness. I know Joe has questionable taste in friends but he also seems like the kind of person who sees good in people and he might also be the kind of person who manipulators seek out. But that could be my wishful thinking…

  8. Jen says:

    My dad was in recovery when he met and married his second wife. She was a social drinker. She kept alcohol in the house. At first he had a handle on it, but as soon as something emotionally volatile reared it’s head, my dad went straight for the alcohol in the house. He relapsed in a big way and died of liver failure five years into the marriage. I don’t know if you have to quit drinking all together, but if you get seriously involved with someone who is a recovering alcoholic, you can’t keep alcohol in the house or drink in front of them in social situations. It’s a recipe for disaster, especially so for someone like Joe who has 20 years of sobriety. The people who are sober for that long are the exception, not the rule. If she really did keep alcohol around the house or drink in front of him then maybe their lifestyles just aren’t suited for each other. It probably is best for them to part ways. I wish my dad had done that.

    • Jessica says:

      Right, I don’t understand keeping alcohol in the house, I know everyone is different but people are too casual about alcohol in my opinion, it’s the worst drug out there, by far. Alcohol causes so much death and destruction , why keep it in the cupboard if your house is sober?!

      • DK says:

        Yeah, I’m not sure this story is the real deal.

        I’m a social drinker (and even at that, am rarely in situations where I drink socially) and my spouse can’t drink (he seems to lack the enzyme for processing alcohol, so anything more than 2-3 sips and he gets drunk; a whole glass of alcohol would probably make him sick but in 15 years together I’ve never seen him drink that much).

        I keep wine at home and occasionally drink it with dinner. And I go wine tasting with friends (and sometimes my spouse will come along as the DD.)

        So I know in many ways our situation is different from that of someone living sober, who would have a different relationship with alcohol and not drinking it than my spouse. And that my social drinking isn’t an important part of my life/ who I am, and maybe it is more important to some people, including Vergara. So maybe I just don’t understand well enough.

        But I just can’t imagine keeping alcohol at home, or drinking socially *if your spouse needs you not to.* I would get rid of my wine collection and stop drinking entirely if my spouse needed my support in that way.

        Especially after how many years they have been together (I could see people early at the outset of a relationship deciding not to continue if alcohol seems like a big deal in different ways to both/either of them), but they’ve put in so much time, and presumably their situation worked for a long time. If he is going through something now that means he needs her support through giving up alcohol, and she can’t/won’t give it, my bet is there is waaaaaay more going on. And this might get messy.

        Which is a too bad. They were a couple I was totally rooting for.

    • Doobif says:

      This is your situation and not a blanket approach for every person in recovery.

  9. Nicole says:

    As someone who has a lot of friends in recovery, I don’t see an issue with this. He did what he needed to do to maintain his sobriety. My guess is the constant temptation of alcohol in the house was difficult, as was social gatherings. If she is a social drinker, being the only sober one can be quite grating at times. Sober events in the 12 step fellowship is a completely different vibe.

    • Marietta2381 says:

      For me, I’ve been sober 18 years. Over the years, I’ve realized it’s not necessarily I can’t be around alcohol – it’s EVERYWHERE. You honestly can’t avoid it. You learn to deal with it. But what I did realize was I have a preference for dating someone/living with someone who doesn’t drink. Only being because I don’t like kissing someone with alcohol on their breath.

      It’s enough that practically every social event, every restaurant, everywhere I go there’s alcohol. On the the side of the bus, commercials, print… it’s literally everywhere. As an alcoholic, I tune it out… on good days. But if the person I live with is actively drinking? It can become quite tiresome over time.

      Sure once in a while it’s ok, but what I also came to find – if you give some one an inch, they’ll take a mile. It never ended well for me. For my sobriety, I got out of those relationships because the person (in my opinion) didn’t have enough respect to not drink around me. And the guys I dated made it about them. Just my take. I’ve always liked them as a couple and this bummed me out yesterday.

  10. ML says:

    What I don’t like about Sofía not being “sober” is that 1. What exactly does this mean: that she’s not a tee totaler or that she’s a drunk?, and 2. It’s coming from PageSix: they seem to be on Joe’s side. Buzzfeed had an article on this divorce, which quotes from PageSix and lists signs that their marriage has been shaky: the comments section is awesome! They’re not here for the sexist Latina stereotype that Joe’s “sources” want out there.

    • Ange says:

      I didn’t like that wording either. ‘Sober’ is a loaded word when you’re talking about alcoholism and recovery. Theoretically if she’s a social drinker, she doesn’t need to be sober as she doesn’t have a problem.

  11. M says:

    I never understood how they were together in the first place. He’s very geeky, and I get the feeling he’s a homebody too. That doesn’t seem like her speed at all. Has she worked since Modern Family ended? Maybe she got pissed he’s getting jobs and she isn’t.

  12. lucy2 says:

    Maybe that’s part of it, but this is coming from Page 6, so grain of salt and all. Like most relationships that fall apart, it was probably a combination of things.
    I can’t see either of them getting nasty about it, with a prenup and both parties being self sufficient, it should be a pretty simple split.

  13. H says:

    If you’ve been paying attention to the blinds (for years!) Sofia is NOT just a social drinker…

    • Doobif says:

      Yeah I have read several items where she is a seeming drunk. Nobody wants to be around that.

    • Ameerah M says:

      This wouldn’t surprise me. And would explain the issue if you are in recovery.

    • Kitten says:

      Can we not accuse a woman of being an alcoholic based on pics or “items” about social events where most people are partaking in some kind of party favor? Very gross assumption to make without any proof at all.

  14. HeyKay says:

    Sobriety is a day to day job.

    JMO, I would not keep liquor in the house if my spouse was in recovery.
    It is easy enough to avoid liquor if you so choose. Kind of like smoking, once you give it up, it surprises you that anyone still smokes.

    Of course, none of us know the why, and it’s none of our biz either.

  15. Sue E Generis says:

    Seems to me like they cared for each other but were never really committed to each other. They weren’t entangled in any way, kept everything super separate. Seems like a run of the mill relationship that ran its course. Maybe the only thing they really had in common is that they’re both gorgeous.

  16. Turkeylurkey says:

    Sometimes it’s the drinker who has a problem with that one sober person who they may feel is watching and possibly judging them. I found that with some friends who drank and I didn’t. I made them uncomfortable, not the reverse.

    • May says:

      💯. As someone who doesn’t drink and has a ton of food allergies, in my experience, my being in a group of people and not drinking and not eating the canapes seems to make other people uncomfortable and not me. Which I always found really weird! Why should it bother someone else that I am not drinking?

  17. Ameerah M says:

    Everyone handles their sobriety differently and if he needed to end the marriage to maintain his I don’t have any issues with that. If there was alcohol in the house and he couldn’t handle it and there were no changes made to assist him (i.e, not keeping alcohol in the house), that could have been very difficult for him. Spouses are not responsible for their partner’s sobriety, but I would also hope that the partner’s sobriety and would be supported.

  18. Spillthattea says:

    The comments here are mostly very on target and supportive, which is great to see.
    There definitely seems to be a subtext here. Speaking as an ACOA (Adult Child of Alcoholics), my dad struggled all his life with alcoholism and when he came home from rehab, my mother had wine in the house. I remember being horrified and asking her how she could do that and not support his efforts to stay sober.
    It’s s fine line and accusations and assumptions don’t help. But if one is trying to stay sober and the other isn’t supportive/has a drinking problem of their own, that can be a deal breaker.
    Bog props and respect to anyone out there working a program. ODAT 🙏

  19. rbunny says:

    I am in recovery and married for 20 years to a social drinker. We have alcohol in the house. An alcoholic will find any way to get alcohol. In my experience, there is no difference if it is in the house or not. Alcohol is everywhere in our society. My recovery is my own. To put someone’s recovery on another person is unhealthy. These are adults and neither at fault. A 7 year marriage is not that long. After 20+ years, I have learned to not expect society to change their habits (social drinking) to accommodate me. It is a reality of recovery. Expectations lead to resentment and people are people.

    • Tamra says:

      You have a great attitude! You are correct, it is your own! I wonder, if this was a Hollyweird marriage to boost careers? Good luck with your sobriety!

    • Kitten says:

      Exactly. Presumably, he knew she was a social drinker when he met her. It’s his responsibility as a recovering addict to know his boundaries and what he can handle being around.

  20. Stephanie says:

    Joe is tight with Marilyn Manson, supports Johnny Depp, and is a Trump guy. He doesn’t make smart decisions even with his sobriety, but his light suggestion that Sofia is a drunk who messed up their marriage sure seems to be picking up steam if this comment section is anything to go by.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah it’s always been so weird to me how favored he is around here when other actors are absolutely eviscerated for far less. Idk if he’s a Trump guy but he def has some very questionable friends. And it’s not like Manson and him just had a few social encounters—they’re tight AF. The company you keep…

  21. Lizzie says:

    There is a certain gossip website, the one with all of the blind items. For years he claimed these two were not a real item, just a contract for public image. I had been doubtful of his blind items for a long time but this one sealed the deal and I knew a lot, maybe most, of the blind items were made up. Shortly after I made the realization, the site turned savage against the Sussexes so I quit it completely.

  22. Tamra says:

    I think it was money. She has/makes more and despite what they say, it is hard for men to handle. I am a R.N. and have experienced this in every relationship I have had.

  23. blue says:

    I think that social events would eventually become difficult when only 1 partner is sober. Does Joe stay home when Sofia parties with friends & colleagues? What about entertaining at home? Serve no wine with fine dinners or beer at summer BBQs?

    • Jaded says:

      There is no evidence that Sofia drinks to excess, she has a very busy career and focuses on that. She couldn’t do it if she was drinking too much. I don’t like the term “sober” people are using against her as it implies someone who is drinking regularly to the point where they are drunk, not just having a glass or 2 of wine with a meal. Joe is friends with some very icky people, people I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole, and that raises all sorts of red flags. I imagine their political differences became a bone of contention between them, not her staggering around drunk.

  24. Lisalemann says:

    Yeah – I think this is overdramatic – they likely just didn’t have that much in common (from what it sounds like) and grew apart – it happens. He had been sober for years before he even met her, so I doubt that was an issue. I once dated an Irish guy who owned a bar (several bars, in fact) – and guess what – he was a recovered alcoholic – hadn’t touched a drink in over 20 years – but he owned BARS and spent all day in them. I, being in my mid 20’s did drink – I met him at his bar – but we broke up because of the age difference (he was quite a bit older) and I realized that in the dynamic of our social scene – He was Sam Malone, and I was becoming Diane Chambers – which was not for me. Some recovered alcoholics that I know are like that and it’s no issue for them – others struggle daily with it – it just depends on the person.

  25. Rad says:

    I consider myself to be a recovering alcoholic. In my 20’s and early 30’s, I was a raging drunk – 3 to 5 nights a week. It was so bad that I gave up my rent control apartment in Boston to move into a “trendy”, high-rent dump so that I did not have to stop drinking in order to make the last subway back to the apartment. My first lover was a raging alcoholic, too. He would guzzle vodka from first thing in the morning until I had to pick him up off the floor of his studio each night. His WBC plummeted until he landed in the hospital twice was one reason we separated (that, and discovering he was cheating on me with his physically abusive Ex.) He had since died of the alcoholism.

    It took me taking a piss in a gay dive bar in Tampa Bay where there was a bright, white florescent light and a mirror hanging above the trough urinal. I was 4 sheets to the wind and the face looking back at me in the mirror scared the crap out of me. I looked like someone who died. I took myself home to sober up and made the conscious decision to stop drinking to excess. That was in 1996.

    I still drink. Love a great martini on occasion, my husband (25 years) and I will share a glass of wine with dinner a couple of times a week. Our liquor cabinet is beyond well stocked, but… not drinking is perfectly fine for me and for us. I have friends who are members of AA, their lives have benefited from the organization, and in no way does it make us judgemental in either direction. We respect each other and love sharing our lives.

    It sounds like Sophia may have a problem beyond a casual drink, and it deeply impact the relationship with Joe. I know what it is like when you live with someone who drinks in excess – and sees nothing wrong with it. There are only so many times you can pick the person up before you realize that it’s a losing battle for you.