The Trials She Weathered
It was a difficult journey for Sofia Vergara to go from Barranquilla, a city in Colombia that had its share of problems, to become the top-earning actress on American television. Despite facing numerous tragic events in her life, Sofia has consistently managed to overcome them while also remaining connected to her roots.
Booking Modern Family
Despite having worked in the entertainment industry for almost two decades, Sofia Vergara didn’t achieve her celebrity status until she landed the role of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the successful ABC sitcom Modern Family. The character’s story was loosely based on Sofia’s own experiences of going from rags to riches. Though the role was a perfect fit for Sofia, it can be challenging to move on from one’s past, no matter how much progress has been made. Sofia’s journey started in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Close To The Land
Sofia, born in 1972 in Barranquilla, Colombia, was part of a family of cattle farmers. While not a flashy profession, it was able to provide for their family of eight and allowed Sofia’s mother to stay home and care for the children, with her father managing the ranch. Despite living in a city that was affected by violent activity related to trafficking, Sofia’s upbringing was relatively peaceful. She attended a private school where she learned both English and Spanish and had no aspirations for fame or stardom.
Sofia had the misfortune of being brought up in a period of extreme violence in Colombia. However, thanks to her family’s financial stability, Sofia managed to avoid getting involved in the ongoing conflict between militaries and the vulnerable government of Colombia. The country’s turbulence made her feel strongly attached to her Catholic beliefs, which almost made her decide against pursuing a career in acting. Nonetheless, Sofia had a gut feeling that her family’s safety was temporary and that they would become a potential target someday.
Vergara did not have any desire to pursue a career in entertainment. Instead, she decided to pursue dentistry at a university after completing her high school education. Although she was aware of her physical attractiveness, she was uncertain about her feelings towards her naturally full chest. Sofia was concerned that a profession that focused on her physical appearance would be deemed inappropriate by the Catholic church. At the age of 17, she was discovered on the beach near her hometown; however, due to her strong religious beliefs, she initially declined the offer.
The Nuns Approved
In 1989, Sofia received an opportunity to feature in a bold advertisement for Pepsi. However, being conscious of how her strict Catholic school’s sisters would react, she hesitated. But, her mother motivated and persuaded her to take the offer. Sofia seemed to be cognizant of how her appearance affected people’s opinions of her, but her mother believed that her curves were divine. Despite the success of her commercial, which became popular across the Latin world, Sofia eventually went back to her ordinary life.
If Sofia had not gotten married to her high school sweetheart at a young age, it is likely that she would not have pursued a career in show business. Despite getting married at the age of 18, she continued to pursue her studies and did not simply follow in her mother’s footsteps. However, she became a mother at a very young age, giving birth to her son when she was only 19. This experience had a profound impact on Sofia, as she became fiercely protective of her child. Unfortunately, despite her best efforts, she struggled to find happiness.
It is quite normal for high school sweethearts to break up during their college years, even if they strongly believe they will stay together forever. However, even though Sofia Vergara was married and had a baby boy, her first marriage fell apart. In 1993, she and her husband Joe Gonzalez parted ways while their son Manolo was just two years old. This left Sofia, who was only 21 and hadn’t completed her college education, as a divorced woman in need of financial support. Consequently, she had to abandon her studies and find a way to earn a living.
Taking To The Capitol
Sofia and Manolo relocated to Bogota with the intention of pursuing modeling jobs that paid better than what she was previously offered. Due to the increasingly unstable conditions in Colombia and her responsibility as a mother to provide for her child, she made it her priority to secure a safe and stable future for both herself and her son. Therefore, she actively sought out work that can offer them protection and hopefully remove them from harm’s way.
Telenovela’s Come Calling
Vergara didn’t plan on becoming an actress, but was quick to accept a part in a Mexican telenovela, Acapulco, cuerpo y alma. This role brought her to the attention of other networks, establishing her as a TV personality. Juggling work and motherhood was challenging for the young actress, but her family’s backing was crucial to her success on the small screen. However, soon she would have to take action to safeguard their well-being.
Escape To Miami
Despite the disappearance of Pablo Escobar, Colombia continued to be plagued by decades-long tumult and brutality in 1994. When Univision offered her a hosting job, based in Miami, she eagerly accepted it as an opportunity to improve her son’s life. According to a friend, she was fully aware of the danger of living in Colombia and promptly agreed to the offer.
Protecting The Family
Sofia was able to bring her mother and sister to the United States when she moved there with her son, which provided them with a safe haven in Miami. As her popularity among Spanish-speaking viewers increased, she transitioned from hosting a travel show in Spanish to hosting a game show in the same language. While she was well-received by Latin audiences, she remained largely unknown to American audiences. She enjoyed a comfortable life in Miami and felt content with her circumstances. Unfortunately, something tragic occurred.
He Slipped Through The Cracks
In 1998, Sofia was settling into a new life in America with her family. However, she had not yet brought over all of her loved ones, and some were unwilling to move. Suddenly, everything changed when her brother Raul was tragically killed during an attempted abduction. Sofia was completely heartbroken. Despite this, she had to continue taking care of her family. Nevertheless, the inquiry into Raul’s death was not finished, leaving a lot of uncertainties.
Caught By The Throat
Vergara barely had time to recover from the tragedy that her family had gone through, when she was dealt with another blow. Medical professionals informed her in 2000 that she had thyroid cancer, which came as a surprise. With fortune on her side, Vergara underwent surgery and radioactive iodine treatment, and the cancer was caught early. Although she received medical clearance in a short time, she faced trouble again as her love life was falling apart. Even though Sofia had achieved success in her profession, she had to deal with multiple personal problems in private.
Close To Her Roots
She may have been attracted to the lifestyle of a mob boss because she was reminded of the widespread crime in Colombia, or perhaps she was enticed by the luxurious living. Regardless, Vergara got tangled up with Chris Paciello who possessed numerous nightclubs that were frequently visited by popular figures in the entertainment industry, like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez. Paciello’s links to the mafia were well-known and his extensive history of wrongdoings earned him the moniker “The Binger.”
After Sofia had a health scare, her ex-boyfriend was accused of committing murder during a burglary that occurred in his hometown of Staten Island back in 1996. He was granted bail for $15 million, which Sofia provided using her house as collateral. Despite admitting guilt and providing valuable names to the prosecution, Paciello was sentenced to six months in prison and thus, his relationship with Sofia came to an end.
She Liked Them Bad
Despite Paciello’s imprisonment, Vergara was still not fulfilled with her attraction to men with bad behavior. Although her career was slowly gaining momentum, with small roles in English TV shows and movies, she also began dating former Colombian kingpin, Andrés López López. The relationship lasted until 2004, during which he expressed his affection for Sofia in an interview.
ABC Comes Calling
Sofia’s life changed forever when she booked a guest role on My Wife and Kids. ABC executives liked the Latin beauty so much that they immediately signed her to a long term contract with the network. Sofia decided to move her and her son out to Los Angeles so she was better positioned to work on bigger budget acting projects. Sofia once shared that she had such a following among the Latin community that the Latin valets were more excited to meet her than Justin Timberlake.
Turning Down Tom
From the moment Sofia arrived in Hollywood, her stunning appearance caught the attention of many, including Tom Cruise. Tom relentlessly pursued her and it appeared to some that he was considering her as a potential wife. However, Sofia’s Catholic beliefs prevented her from accepting Scientology, which caused Tom to leave. Although she avoided that issue, she still faced other challenges.
Extending Her Hand
It’s certain that Vergara is dedicated to her family, and there’s no doubt about it. After her elder brother passed away, Sofia made efforts to assist her family in Miami by bringing her younger brother, Julio, to live with her. However, Julio had his own personal issues and problems, and despite Sofia’s attempts, she couldn’t keep him away from trouble. As a result, her distress over Julio’s troubles continued to increase.
Vergara had a career-changing experience in her breakout role as Gloria Delgado Pritchett on Modern Family. The role was specifically created for Vergara due to the producers’ strong desire to cast her in it, and it infuses many aspects of her own challenging past into the character’s storyline. Once in the public eye, she received both praise and disapproval for her portrayal of Gloria, which some felt relied heavily on stereotypes. Nevertheless, Vergara remained undeterred, stating that her portrayal of Gloria was heavily influenced by her own aunt, Gloria Vergara.
Trouble With Julio
Sofia Vergara was at the peak of her career in 2011, having received several Emmy nominations and dating Nick Loeb, a successful businessman. Unfortunately, her brother Julio had a tendency to get into trouble, including multiple rehab stints and arrests. As a result, the US government decided to deport him, and there was nothing Sofia could do to prevent it. She had to deal with the emotional fallout of the situation.
Another Rocky Relationship
Although she may have had feelings of affection, her connection to Nick Loeb was turbulent from the beginning. Their relationship went through several phases over a four-year period, and they constantly encountered difficulties during their struggles. According to a friend, they frequently argued, which created uncomfortable situations for those around them. She was described as spirited and he as awkward, and they did not get along well. Despite this, Vergara remained devoted beyond what was reasonable, even when it was not beneficial for her.
Although Paciello’s convictions posed a challenge, Sofia had difficulty severing all connections with her previous romantic partner. However, her sense of allegiance caused her problems when Nick Loeb had a disagreement with the security personnel at one of Paciello’s Miami nightclubs during a New Year’s celebration. Afterwards, Vergara tried to distance herself from her ex, but by then, it was too late for her current relationship. The two continued to argue, leading to further deterioration of their relationship.
A Near Miss
Sofia was deeply in love and happy with her new boyfriend when she received an unexpected phone call that shook her. Her beloved Loeb had been hospitalized after a car accident, and Sofia rushed to be by his side, terrified about his condition. Despite being together for only six months, Sofia hoped that her prayers would help her boyfriend make a quick recovery. Fortunately, her prayers were answered, and Loeb eventually made a full recovery.
The Onion Huckster
Nick’s constant promotion of his product Onion Crunch only made his situation worse. One time, he even brought it as a snack for a White House dinner, which infuriated Sofia. Their arguments intensified and he felt embarrassed, while she believed he was trying to dominate her. Nevertheless, Sofia was unable to completely end things with the “Onion Crunch King.”
It Couldn’t Last
Loeb asked Vergara to marry him in 2012 at a Mayan ruin in Mexico. However, their relationship was tumultuous, and even though they were engaged, they couldn’t save it. They finally broke up in May 2014 after being together, breaking up, and getting back together for almost four years. Vergara didn’t appear to be too upset by their split since she began seeing Joe Manganiello less than two months later. She was happier than she had been in any of her previous relationships, which had all been marked by chaos. Her relationship with Joe was the first time she had been involved with someone who wasn’t a “bad boy.”
The Embryos Strike Back
Sofia may have moved on to a more stable partner, but Nick wasn’t quite done with her yet. Sofia suddenly found herself embroiled in a legal battle with her own embryos. The pair had created a couple of embryos via in-vitro fertilization in 2013, following their engagement.The embryos were then frozen, with the intention that the couple would implant them in a surrogate. After their split, however, Loeb decided he wanted to go ahead with implanting the embryos anyway, with or without Sofia’s consent.
The Woes Of A Housewife
Sofia’s life may have stabilized considerably since she finally left Loeb in the dark, but there are still perils to being as famous as she now is. Just a couple of weeks ago, Teresa Giudice of Real Housewives fame began bad mouthing Sofia to the press for not taking a picture with her at a party. Giudice claims her publicist told her to take the photo. In the aftermath, Giudice is quoted as saying that Sofia should be nicer because she’s an immigrant.
On Top OF TV
Still, Sofia is undeterred. She has maintained her status as the highest paid female actress on television for the last few years, and jokes about spending her money on lavish handbags, which she used to say her son can sell if she’s ever short on his college tuition. Despite her intense fame, Sofia is still a family girl at heart, using her success to lavish gifts and vacations on her extended family. Though it hasn’t been easy, Sofia has the last laugh.
Paris Jackson is the late and great Michael’s Jackson’s only daughter. Although ‘The King of Pop’ passed away 10 years ago and his daughter has moved onto a career of her own, it seems as though she couldn’t really break out of her father’s shadow…until now. Paris is finally speaking up for the first time since the release of the HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland. Get the inside scoop on what Paris’ relationship was really like with Michael, what she thinks of the documentary, if she believes the allegations against her father, and more details on her relationship with Macaulay Culkin.
Paris Jackson, now 21 years old, walks to the beat of her own drum, yet she reflects the very essence and soul of Michael. In 2009, when she was just 11 years old, the ‘Thriller” singer unexpectedly passed away at the age of 50. She was crushed.
As a child, Paris and her brothers were unaware of the fact that their father was a global superstar. “I just thought his name was Dad, Daddy. We didn’t really know who he was. But he was our world. And we were his world.”
Growing up, Paris and her siblings actually led a pretty normal life considering who their father was. Although Michael raised his kids on the Neverland Ranch, it was important to him to keep them grounded.
According to Paris, they weren’t allowed to just go on the amusement park rides whenever they wanted to. Rather than spoiling them, Michael rewarded his kids with different activities every other weekend if they behaved well during the week. Paris also recalls that they “had school every single day….[Michael’s] number-one focus for us, besides loving us, was education.”
Gone But Never Forgotten
Michael’s death almost sent the world into a state of shock. When he passed very suddenly in June of 2009, he was wearing a rope-and-jade bracelet from Africa that Paris’ nanny retrieved for her.
with every step i take, you lift my foot and guide me forward. love you ?
A post shared by PK (@parisjackson) on Jun 23, 2017 at 6:44pm PDT
Paris now wears the bracelet constantly and never really takes it off, because it “smells like him.” Though Michael has passed, Paris can still “feel him with me all the time.” The model has even acquired more than fifty tattoos over the years, nine of which are dedicated to her father. So while he may be gone, he is never forgotten.
It is abundantly clear that Paris still has a deep admiration for her late father. After all, Michael taught her the importance of loving yourself and being proud of where you come from. She was truly “Daddy’s Girl”.
He “would look me in the eyes, and he’d point his finger at me, and he’d be like, ‘You’re black. Be proud of your roots.’” According to Paris, Michael was also an incredible cook and “his fried chicken is the best in the world. He taught me how to make sweet potato pie.”
Leaving Neverland is a 2019 documentary that focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and their relationships with the global superstar. At the height of his stardom, Michael began long-running relationships with Robson and Safechuck when they were just 7 and 10 years old.
Now in their late 30s with kids of their own, they tell the story of how they were “allegedly” abused by Jackson. The documentary originally premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was later broadcast on HBO in two parts in March 2019.
The documentary includes stories in which Wade Robson (36) and James Safechuck (40) go into graphic detail about how they were young boys when they were brought into the music icon’s world. The world didn’t know what was happening backstage.
Safechuck met Michael on the set of a Pepsi commercial when he was only 10 and Robson met Jackson during one of his concerts when he was 7. They both recount experiences in which they were abused by Michael from the ages of 7 to 14. The singer allegedly exploited the workings of the entertainment industry in order to take advantage of these underage boys.
Leaving Neverland has received quite a slew of mixed reviews since its release. The documentary was met with immediate backlash from the Jackson family, who slammed the production in the press repeatedly.
The Jackson estate also filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO before its premiere date, calling the documentary “unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself.” Dedicated fans have questioned the reliability of Safechuck and Robson while others, like Sheryl Crow and Oprah, have spoken out to express their support for the two men.
Everyone remembers the moment that Paris, surrounded by family, stood up in front of crowds of people during her father’s memorial service in 2009. With tears running down her cheeks, she said “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.”
Naturally, the Jackson family had concerns about Paris once the documentary was released. According to a source, Paris was in a fragile place and “the whole family is really worried for [her] because she is telling everyone who knew Michael that they need to take action to stop this.”
Despite her family’s concern, Paris seems to be handling the allegations with ease. Following the release of the documentary, she actually took to Twitter to dispel reports and respond to a tweet from Gay Star News which said that “Paris Jackson believes her father, Michael, is innocent” of these claims.
Paris called out the tabloids in a tweet of her own that said she actually hasn’t “made any statements yet, especially regarding how it affects my work life. You guys are reaching a bit. At least this wasn’t a disgusting and attacking article though.”
Hate The World
While Paris hasn’t made any official statements about the documentary, there is no doubt that she believes in her father’s innocence.
During a sit-down interview with Rolling Stone, Paris revealed that Michael “would cry to me at night. Picture your parent crying to you about the world hating him for something he didn’t do. And for me, he was the only thing that mattered. To see my entire world in pain, I started to hate the world because of what they were doing to him.”
“Not My Role”
MJ’s fans aren’t too happy about the fact that Paris hasn’t done more to stand up for her father post-doc. But whether or not she believes these allegations, she doesn’t feel the need to publicly defend him.
She took to Twitter to address this issue, saying that “it’s not my role….There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said in regards to defense.” She also added that she supports her family’s efforts to clear Michael’s name and that her cousin, Taj, “is doing a perfect job” as the Jackson family spokesperson.
Despite the fact that Paris has been staying pretty silent since the premiere, tabloids have released reports that she fears that the documentary will have a negative impact on her acting career.
According to a source, “the worry is that any movies she stars in will be derailed if Michael’s abuse scandal is all people think about when they see her on screen.” Apparently, the aspiring actress doesn’t want the documentary to scare casting directors away, as it could ruin her chances of making it in Hollywood. Let’s be real, though, tabloids can be pretty unreliable…
Paris chose not to weigh in on the documentary itself. Instead, she told those who were upset about the claims against Michael to “think about the bigger picture” and “chillax my dudes.”
Shortly after these ‘statements,’ though, tabloids began reporting that Paris allegedly attempted to take her own life. She blasted these lies by tweeting that the media “didn’t get the crazy reaction they wanted from the doc….A chill, mellow reaction doesn’t sell stories so why not lie and create a story that does sell?”
While Paris refuted any and all stories alleging that she attempted to harm herself, she did happen to check herself into rehab for her emotional and physical wellbeing.
According to a source, “she suffered a complete breakdown” following the release of Leaving Neverland. Reports have said that she was left absolutely distraught and just “isn’t ready to face the cameras on a subject that keeps breaking her heart,” a friend says. “She’ll resurface sooner or later,” though.
“She Is Beloved By Me”
Another important character in this saga is actor Macaulay Culkin. He met MJ in the early ’90s in NYC. Culkin was only 9 years old when he started visiting the Neverland Ranch.
He also happens to be Paris’ godfather and the two share a very strong bond. “I am close with Paris,” Macaulay said on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. “I’m going to warn you now I am very protective of her so just look out….She is beloved by me.” What does he have to say about all this?
It is clear that Paris shares the same mutual feeling for Culkin that he does for her. For his 38th birthday, she honored him by posting a heartwarming tribute on her Instagram page.