Why did Gary Owen get divorced? All about his wife and kids as comedian opens up on estranged relationship with his family

Gary Owen and Kenya Duke got married in 2003. (Image via Ethan Miller/Getty)
Gary Owen and Kenya Duke got married in 2003. (Image via Ethan Miller/Getty)

American comedian Gary Owen has opened up about how he is alienated from the members of his family. While appearing on The Breakfast Club podcast on August 23, the 48-year-old star revealed that he has not spoken to his kids in a year amid his divorce from his estranged wife, Kenya Duke.

The comedian further stated:

“I’ve done everything. I’ve gone to Greensborough because my daughter is at A&T, knocked on her door, she wouldn’t answer. Tried to see her at the airport. I’m blocked on social media. I’ve gone through every outlet to try and get in touch with my daughter. I reach out, then I’m blocked.”

Owen also said that his children got to know about his divorce, not from their parents, but from news outlets and social media:

“We didn’t tell the kids. We were gonna wait and do it together but TMZ- that’s how they found out.”

A year later, Owen has now decided to break his silence on the situation in order for his kids to hear his side of the story. On the podcast, he said:

“Everybody kept telling me to tell my side. And honestly, it’s also another effort for my kids to hear it.”

Gary Owen's estranged wife filed for divorce in 2011


Gary Owen and Kenya Duke tied the knot in 2003. Together, they share three kids, Emilio, Kennedy, and Austin. Their eldest child, Emilio, who is 31, is the biological son of Duke and Emilio Toliver Senior. Kennedy and Austin, 21 and 20 respectively, are the biological children of Owen and Duke.

In March 2021, news broke that Duke had filed for divorce after 18 years of being together due to irreconcilable differences, in Los Angeles County Superior Court, California.

In June of that year, People Magazine reported that Duke had asked for a $44,000 per month spousal support from Owen since she had left her "promising career as an account manager" for the comedian.

Gary Owen and Kenya Duke at the premiere of Ride Along. (Image via Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty)
Gary Owen and Kenya Duke at the premiere of Ride Along. (Image via Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty)

Duke further claimed during the time, saying:

"I am requesting that Gary be ordered to continue making the monthly deposits of $44,000 as that has been our status quo for approximately four (4) years' as well as a lump sum payment of $88,000 for the last two months he has failed to provide me with funds."

However, the podcaster and entrepreneur did not hold herself back from spilling the secrets behind her marriage on social media. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Duke accused Gary Owen of having extramarital affairs during their marriage and also of withholding finances from the family.

According to Hot New Whip Whop, Kenya Duke shared a lengthy post where she tagged the comedian and asked him to "stop lying about paying the mortgage," which she allegedly paid.

She further added:

"Those squatters that you talk about living here, they don’t. We only got 1 problem a lying narcissist and he don’t live here no more. I am over here doing me. We don’t bother you at all for nothing. You push too far. The daddy you so viciously talk about on stage, about how terrible he was to you, when he was in his 20’s is who you are at 48 years old."

In June 2021, Gary Owen also broke his silence on Kenya's accusations when he appeared on the Wendy Williams Show. He stated that his lawyer had asked him not to comment on the matter at the time, but apparently there is a "big twist" in his divorce with Duke.

"It's a doozy, but I can't speak on it yet -- but it's big. It changed the whole dynamic of the divorce."

During the same interview, Gary Owen also addressed media reports that he has not met with his kids, stating they are all adults and, "it’s not uncommon when you have adult kids to not see them for a couple of months." He shed more light on the matter, saying:

“My daughter was in college when the news broke. She’s staying with Kenya, and she has a job. I’m on the road. We’re talking, we’re texting."

Gary Owen also added that he is not a "deadbeat dad" as Kenya Duke once called him after making infidelity accusations against him.

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Edited by Susrita Das
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