Tragic Things That Have Happened to Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara has been a bright light on the America’s Got Talent judging panel ever since she joined the show in 2020. The actress has faced numerous tragedies in her life that shaped her into the gorgeous person that she is today. From bad relationships to devastating deaths in the family, Sofia remains a strong and empowering woman.
Tragic Details About Sofia Vergara That Will Shock You
Her Brother Rafael was Murdered in Colombia
Sofia grew up in Colombia during a time where violence and drug trafficking plagued the country. Her older brother Rafael was shot during an attempted kidnapping in 1998. She called this time in her life a “nightmare.” Sofia decided to move her mother, sister Veronica, and younger brother Julio to Miami as she pursued a career on television. Her parents divorced in 1993 and her father stayed behind in Colombia and passed away in 2009 after ongoing health battles.
“Mother was like a zombie,” she said in an interview with Parade. “I got a big house and we all lived together. I am so grateful to be in this country.”
She recalled her brother’s death on America’s Got Talent after an emotional performance by poet Brandon Leake. Sofia has a tattoo on her wrist of an “R” for Rafael in a touching tribute to him. The 48-year-old was inspired to get this tattoo by the late actor Heath Ledger. She met him on the set of Lords of Dogtown.
Ledger and Sofia became close friends. He shared his story about he got the acronym KAOS tattooed on his wrist to honor his sisters and his mom. Sadly Ledger passed away in 2008 of a suspected drug overdose. Sofia has her tattoo as a way to honor both Ledger for giving her the idea and her brother’s legacy.
Sofia Vergara’s Younger Brother Julio Suffered From Drug Addiction
Sofia’s brother Julio was forever changed by Rafael’s death. They were very close to each other and he went off to college in Michigan before hitting rock bottom. He turned to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and crack cocaine to cope with the loss. In 2011, Sofia decided that she wanted to get him the help he needed and planned to move him back to Colombia.
Radar Online later reported that Julio had been arrested over 30 times in 10 years. He was arrested for public drinking, petty larceny, marijuana possession, and several other felonies. After being held in a Miami jail for five days, Julio was deported back to Colombia.
She Battled Thyroid Cancer in 2000
Sofia was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000. She kept her diagnosis under wraps as she was navigating her career as an actress after coming to the U.S. The Colombian beauty did not want to create more stress into her life by making this information public as she battled this disease.
She first found out that she had cancer after taking her son Manolo to an endocrinologist to be checked for Type one diabetes as her family has a history of the disease. While there, the doctor checked Sofia as well and found a lump in her neck. He suggested that she undergo surgery to have it removed.
“I felt no symptoms, so I was skeptical about having my thyroid gland removed,” she told Health. “Plus, the surgery is dangerous. If the doctor makes a mistake, you can lose your speech or the mobility in your face. But I did it.”
Sofia still has to take a Synthroid pill every morning to control her metabolism. She also regularly gets her blood checked to make sure she is in good health. After the surgery, she had iodine radiation because the cancer was not completely removed. Throughout this time, her family took care of Manolo who was 10 years old as she recovered from the painful surgery.
“When you go through something like this, it’s hard, but you learn a lot from it,” she added. “Your priorities change. You don’t sweat the small stuff. And it had a good ending.”
Sofia helps others with cancer in her native Colombia get the treatment they need through the many charities that she works with. She even helped a young boy who needed an urgent bone marrow transplant to get the care he needed in the United States. Giving back to Colombia has always been something that Sofia has been passionate about, even though something completely tragic happened to her family there.
Sofia Vergara and Her Ex Nick Loeb Have Been Involved in a Heated Court Battle Over Frozen Embryos
Sofia got engaged to Nick Loeb in 2012. The pair froze embryos through in vitro fertilization prior to their breakup in 2014. The embryos were frozen in California. They did sign a contract in 2013 stating that the decision to bring the embryos to life needs to be agreed upon mutually. A long legal battle ensued after Nick wanted to bring the embryos to life via surrogate when they broke up.
The legal battle has gone on for years but now a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has barred Nick from using any of the frozen embryos. Sofia was finally granted a permanent injunction this year, which means this is the final ruling. After filing several lawsuits in the past, it became clear that Nick wanted to bring the embryos to life via surrogate while Sofia did not after their breakup.
It looks like Sofia can finally close the door on this chapter and has been happily married to actor Joe Manganiello since 2015. Through everything, she still manages to dominate television, especially after playing the role of Gloria on the hit show Modern Family for 11 seasons. Plus, Sofia was named the highest paying actress on television. Now, she is judging her second season of America’s Got Talent. She is proof that going through all of these hard things has only made her stronger.