Gary Owens Explains Strained Relationship With His Adult Children

Gary Owens didn’t hold back while recently discussing his private family matters! In a sit-down with Shannon Sharpe, the comedian revealed that his relationship with his adult children has been strained for the last three years.

He admits that things soured during his divorce from his wife of nearly 20 years, Kenya Duke. She’s previously alleged that she filed to end the marriage after Gary was unfaithful, which he has since admitted.

When they met in the early 2000s, Kenya was already a mother to a son named Emilio, whom Owens considers his eldest. During their relationship, Gary and Kenya added two more kiddos to their family, Austin and Kennedy. All three are now adults.

Gary Owens Said THIS On ‘Club Shay Shay’

The conversation about Gary’s adult children began after Owens confirmed that he recently welcomed twins with a woman named Briana Johnson.

After joking about one of his twins being Black and the other white, he spoke about his adult children. He admitted that he didn’t think he’d have more kids and shut the notion of doing “right this time.”

“I don’t think I did it wrong the first time. I was very conscious of how I spoke to them, how we disciplined them. I never put them down…I was the fun dad,” Owens said. “It’s two-fold, I didn’t see myself being a dad but I think not having a relationship with my kids, you know…the twins are…in their idolizing dad stage.”

Owens said that his adult kids do not have a relationship with his twins and have not met. He called the years-long estrangement with Emilio, Austin, and Kennedy “a nightmare.”

“It’s like they’re my greatest accomplishment and greatest failure at the same time. But to see how it’s just crashed and burn since the divorce…”

He partially blamed the divorce for straining their relationship. But ultimately, Gary Owens took the blame for not ensuring his bond with them was solid enough to survive anything. He said he doesn’t know “where it got so bad.”

Owens also revealed that he recently ran into Kenya during a shared flight. When they spoke, he alleges he asked her to try to help smooth things out.

Swipe below to see Gary’s comments on his twins and estranged relationship with his adult children.  

Kenya Duke Reacts To Her Ex-Husband’s New Interview

For context, this isn’t the first time Gary has opened up about not seeing or speaking to his adult kids in years. In Nov. 2023, he admitted to the same fact on his podcast ‘Get Some.’ At the time, he had the same understanding energy as he did while speaking to Shannon Sharpe.

“…As a lot of people know, I haven’t seen my kids in almost three years, or spoken to ’em, since the divorce. And I understand they’re just I guess, healing in their own time, and I try to reach out and try to see ’em but it just hasn’t, hasn’t worked out yet.”

Gary also shared how he’s tried to stay connected to them by showing up, despite their estrangement.

See everything Owens said below. 

Following that video, Kenya Duke clapped back online. She accused her ex-husband of sharing “half the story for sympathy,” per Atlanta Black Star. She implied that he could’ve reached out to a family therapist, sent his video to the kids, or called/ texted them if he “wanted healing.”

Additionally, she accused him of having no “empathy for [their kids’] feelings” and doing “some foul things.”

“I remind them of your birthday and Father’s Day. I encourage them to give you a 2nd chance,” Kenya reportedly said. “I share info with you about them because I would hope that, if the tables were turned you’d do the same.”

In previous posts since their divorce, Duke has accused Gary of paying prostitutes for sexual intercourse, having an affair, and vacationing with a nurse.

However, her energy appeared more reserved in her response to Owens’ interview. She said she’s “wishing [him] well” while also accusing him of selling “false narratives for sympathy and attention.”

“@garyowencomedy it has been 3 years. I am always kind and cool with you. I purposely, never make it awkward. I never bother you. I have given you my suggestions on the situation but you don’t respect their boundaries. Which is why you discussed this again on social media. I don’t know what else to do to help you. Always wishing you well,” Duke wrote in her caption.

See her full post below. 

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