Sofia Vergara has recently been speaking about the difficult times she’s faced over the years (Picture: REX)
The Colombian actress, 51, initially studied dentistry before dropping out of university to pursue opportunities in modelling and acting.
However, in 1998 her older brother Rafael was murdered, which then sparked Sofia to move to the United States, where she first settled in Miami.
Although she went on to pick up small roles in films and TV shows, it was Modern Family that saw her become a household name, eventually becoming the highest-paid actress in America for a time.
But it is her starring role in the new Netflix series Griselda that has seen her speak more about her private life and the tragedies that she experienced as a young woman.
In it she plays Griselda Blanco, a Colombian drug lord who was known as the ‘Godmother of Cocaine’.
Speaking about the show ahead of its release, Sofia has also shared more about her connection to the story and how her family was impacted by the violence that unfolded during the time Griselda operated.
What happened to Sofia Vergara’s brother?
Her brother Rafael was killed in 1998 (Picture: Sofia Vergara/ Instagram)
In 1998, Sofia’s older brother Rafael was murdered in Colombia.
The 28-year-old was murdered on the streets of Bogota in a kidnapping gone wrong.
The actress has previously spoken about how her family’s social standing made them a target.
Although Sofia’s sibling usually travelled with bodyguards, they were not there the day he died.
‘We come from a successful family, and he knew he was a target for kidnapping,’ she once said.
‘He always had bodyguards. Then one day he went out alone and was shot dead [in a kidnapping attempt]. I was devastated.’
In 2013, it was reported that authorities had reopened the investigation into her brother’s death, however she hit back soon after.
‘This is not news. This is disrespectful,’ she posted on social media at the time.
Julio Vergara was deported in 2011
‘We know everything we need to know about my brother’s death.’
During a recent interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Sofia also briefly mentioned how her brother had been caught up in Colombia’s drug trade.
‘I grew up during that time. I know that business. You know, my brother was part of that business. He was killed in the 90’s,’ she told the talk show host.
One of six children, Sofia also faced the loss of another brother, Julio, who has battled drug and alcohol addictions.
Although she had brough him to Miami after their older brother’s death, over a decade Julio was arrested over 30 times.
In 2011, he was deported back to Colombia.
She once told Parade: ‘To see somebody dying over 10 years, little by little, that’s the worst punishment. Now he’s like another person.
‘With so many bad things happening, it creates a tough skin…even when horrible things happen to me, I go on.’
In 2000, Sofia had also been diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged 28, however treatment proved successful.
Is Sofia Vergara still with Joe Manganiello?
She was married to Joe Manganiello for seven years (Picture: John Shearer/Getty Images)
When she was 20, Sofia married her childhood sweetheart, José ‘Joe’ Gonzalez and a year later, in 1991, gave birth to their son Manolo.
Following her move to the US, Sofia became engaged to businessman Nick Loeb in 2012 after they had been dating for two years.
However, two years later they split.
Six months later the actress announced her engagement to True Blood star Joe Manganiello, with the couple getting married in 2015.
Nick Loeb took her to court to fight to keep their embryos (Picture: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Yahoo News)
However, from that year until 2017, Sofia found herself in the centre of a legal dispute regarding the future of two fertilised embryos produced by IVF while she was still in a relationship with Loeb, who filed for custody of the embryos.
The case was eventually thrown out of court.
After seven years of marriage, in July last year Sofia and Joe announced they had separated.
In a statement to Page Six they said: ‘We have made the difficult decision to divorce. As two people that love and care for one another very much, we politely ask for respect of our privacy at this time as we navigate this new phase of our lives.’
Do they have any children?
Sofia with her son Manolo Gonzalez-Ripoll Vergara (Picture: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
This week Sofia shared that it was not wanting to have any more children that led to her marriage breakdown.
Speaking to the Spanish publication El País, the actress revealed her 47-year-old ex-husband wanted kids and she did not.
‘My marriage broke up because my husband was younger; he wanted to have kids and I didn’t want to be an old mum,’ she explained.
‘I feel it’s not fair to the baby. I respect whoever does it, but that’s not for me anymore.’
Mentioning her son Manolo, she added: ‘I had a son at 19, who is now 32, and I’m ready to be a grandmother, not a mother. So, if love comes along, he has to come with [his own] children.
I’m almost in menopause; it’s the natural way of things.
‘When my son becomes a dad, let him bring the baby to me for a while and then I’ll give it back to him and go on with my life; that’s what I have to do.’
Griselda is streaming on Netflix.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
Entertainment – MetroRead More