With the ink still drying on Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello’s divorce papers, Howie Mandel couldn’t help but crack a joke about Vergara’s new relationship status on TV.
And even after online criticism that the gag was too soon, Mandel defends the moment and claims Vergara was involved in the joke.
The panelists watched Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent, which features Mandel as a judge alongside Vergara an act of ventriloquism Bryn Cummings. During the performance, 12-year-old Heidi Klum, also a judge on the show, asked her to help her choose a “suitable bachelor” for the ventriloquist dummy.
After the fact, Mandel previously praised the act as “amazing”. Ribs Vergara. “If I had any advice, if you’re looking for suitable bachelors, you should have spoken to Sofia because she’s on the market right now,” he said.
As the live audience at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium responded with a mix of cheers and groans, Vergara looked down with a shy smile before beaming, stretching out her arms and shouting, “Yes!” She turned to Klum and laughed.
However, the show’s host, Terry Crews, interrupted the moment and shouted from the stage, “No, we don’t do that here.”
While “people killed Mandel online for the joke” and criticized him for being “too early” and “tasteless,” The comedian doubled down about his humorous attitude when he told Entertainment Tonight that he was “helping Sofia.”
“It’s not too early,” Mandel continued. “It’s too soon if she’s still married. Last season was too early. Even if she saw it coming. I don’t think she did. I’m just saying it was too early. As soon as she’s free, as soon as they live in separate houses, the door is open, folks!”
Mandel then affirmed that Vergara stopped by “and she thought it was funny” and “approved of the joke.”
“I’m her Bumble,” he added.
After nearly eight years of marriage, Vergara and Manganiello announced their divorce in late July. “As two people who love and care deeply for each other,” they said in a joint statement page six“We politely ask for respect for our privacy at this new stage in our lives.”
The acting couple had no children together, huh TMZ And People The possible reason for the separation was mentioned: Manganiello wanted her and Vergara didn’t. She already has a grown son, Manolo González Vergarawhom she gave birth to at the age of 18. She was also involved in a lengthy custody battle over two embryos with her ex, Nick Loeb won in 2021.
Divorce papers filed by Manganiello on July 19 showed that the couple had been separated since July 2. Court records show that Vergara responded on July 31 and filed her own petition to have her marriage dissolved. Both cited “irreconcilable differences,” saying in court documents that they entered into a prenuptial agreement and would decide who gets what and how much.
Nardine Saad, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.