Sofia Vergara’s co-star criticized after joking about her divorce

Amid recent reports of actress Sofia Vergara’s divorce from her husband Joe Manganiello, a comment made by her America’s Got Talent co-judge Howie Mandel during one of the show’s episodes last week has garnered attention. According to a report by People, Howie made a light-hearted remark about the 51-year-old actress now being single and potentially open to new relationships.

During a live episode of America’s Got Talent last Tuesday, ventriloquist and mentalist Brynn Cummings performed an act in which she tried to “set up” Heidi Klum with an eligible bachelor puppet named Lovebird. After praising the performance, Howie added, “I have one more piece of advice for you: if you’re looking for eligible bachelors, you should’ve talked to Sofía because she’s in the market right now.” This comment was a direct reference to Sofia’s recent divorce from Joe Manganiello, although it seemed to receive mixed reactions from the audience.

Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara’s former co-star on Modern Family, also shared her thoughts on the news of Sofia’s split. Speaking to E! News, Julie said, “Everything she does, she does with grace. And she rises above and she just goes forward. She’s warm and generous and giving to everybody around her. I have no doubt that if she wishes to be in a relationship she will be but she sure don’t need one.”

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello had announced their divorce last month, marking the end of their seven-year marriage. In a statement reported by Page Six, the couple 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.” Sofia and Joe had been growing apart for a while and are now taking some time apart to reflect on their future.

Sofia and Joe had tied the knot in Palm Beach, Florida, in November 2015. Prior to her marriage to Joe Manganiello, Sofia was married to her childhood sweetheart Joe Gonzalez. The Modern Family star gave birth to her son, Manolo, in 1991.