‘I Wanted to Keep It Private But She Didn’t’: Gary Owen Hits Back at His Estranged Wife Kenya’s ‘Deadbeat Dad’ Allegations

Gary Owen candidly discussed his estranged wife Kenya Duke’s ‘deadbeat dad’ claims and shared details about his pending divorce on Thursday, June 10, while appearing on “The Wendy Williams Show.” Owen, who was promoting his latest film “The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2” starring Mike Epps, revealed at the 2:50 mark of the interview that his children that Duke claimed he hasn’t seen in months are adults. 

He said when Williams asked about the former couple’s children, “We have adults. Yea, we have adults. I just want to make sure, there’s no child support. No, for real, it got out there that I’m a deadbeat dad.” Owen and Duke share two children: Austin Owen, 21, and 18-year-old daughter Kennedy Owen. Duke’s oldest child, Emilio Owen, 30, was adopted by the actor soon after he and Duke got married.  

Gary Owen addressed his estranged wife Kenya Duke’s ‘deadbeat dad’ allegations and shared details about his pending divorce while appearing on “The Wendy Williams Show.” Photo:@thewendywilliamsshow/YouTube

As Owen wrapped up his statement, the daytime television host added that Duke started those allegations by writing a lengthy post on Instagram, claiming the actor hasn’t seen his children in months.

Duke uploaded a detailed post on June 6 about Owen after the “Daddy Day Care” actor shared a photo of himself wearing a shirt with the words “breadwinner” and its definition written on it. The mother of three uploaded the initial photo and expressed how she allowed Owen to carry on with this false narrative about their estranged relationship and their children before disclosing that the comedian hasn’t financially “supported” them since April.

Toward the end of the caption, Duke said Owen hadn’t seen their daughter “in over 6 1/2 months” and their son in four. Owen later admitted in the interview that his “breadwinner” shirt wasn’t a dig at his estranged wife but more so a fashion statement.

After addressing that allegation, Owen then transitioned to his marriage of 17 years and the reason behind the divorce when Williams asked if an extramarital affair was a factor. Owen said on mark 3:15, “I’ve been silent the whole time because social media is like a soap opera, and I was a guest with the divorce.

I don’t plan on being a regular cast member. But my lawyer doesn’t want me saying anything because we have a lot of legal stuff we have to go through. But I’ll just say there’s a big twist in my divorce a lot of people don’t know about. It’s a doozy, but I can’t speak on it yet, but it’s big. It changed the whole dynamic of the divorce.”

When asked if he had a baby with another woman, the “Think Like a Man” star exclaimed, “No! Nothing like that; it’s not scandalous.” He continued by explaining the sole reason behind the divorce, “This is one of those it’s not a tragic ending. You’re with someone for 23 years and you know the marriage ended and it happens. It’s okay. It’s okay it happens. I wanted to keep it private but she [Kenya] didn’t.”

The comedian also denied the cheating accusations between him and Claudia Jordan and one of Jordan’s friends stemming from a previous social media post Duke shared in March, seemingly blasting Jordan for her alleged involvement in the deterioration of the mother of three’s marriage.  

(L-R) Comedia/Actor Gary Owen and Kenya Duke attend Atlanta Premiere of “Think Like a Man” at Regal Atlantic Station on April 3, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)

Owen claimed that throughout the course of his marriage with Duke, Jordan has been nothing but a “good” friend to both of them. 

As Owen began to wrap up the conversation about his personal life, he stated because his children are adults, it’s not uncommon for them not to see each other for “months” because of his constant traveling for work. The 46-year-old also added that despite Duke’s unsolicited rants on social media about him, he would never speak ill toward his estranged wife. 

Owen and Duke, who have been together for a total of 23 years, announced back in March that they were getting a divorce. At the time when the news was released, no specific reason was provided behind the demise. According to TMZ, Duke initially filed for divorce.

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