The Truth About Julie Bowen's Divorce

On February 1, 2018, People reported that Modern Family star, Julie Bowen, and her real estate investor husband, Scott Phillips, were separating. Five days later, TMZ reported that Bowen filed for divorce from Phillips, whom she wed in September 2004.

As of this writing, neither Bowen nor Phillips has commented on the matter, but People has also pointed out that the pair's last public outing was a February 2017 Harlem Globetrotters game. So truth be told, there aren't a ton details available about their break-up just yet, but in the past year or so, there may have been some clues that this was on the horizon.

Cracks beginning to show

In 2016, eyebrows started to raise when Bowen showed up to the Emmys sans Phillips. It was the first time he failed to do so since Bowen's been attending, according to People, and it also happened to be the couple's wedding anniversary that day, making his absence even more suspect. Bowen told the tab that Phillips chose to go play in a tennis tournament that day instead, because "he's come every year, he's been so supportive ... and I wasn't nominated as an individual so I said, 'What do you want to do on our anniversary?'" So ostensibly, Bowen was cool with it, but could it have been one of those oh-so-tricky "Seriously, don't buy me a gift" situations that every husband will eventually be tested with?

Damage control?

When addressing Phillips' Emmy no-show, Bowen told People that she was sure to tell to tell him that she would still love him if he skipped the awards. She also joked that she didn't even remember the majority of their marriage, saying, "Honestly I only remember up until we had the kids. Then you're like, 'What?' Twelve years. We've had children for nine. So I remember the first three years, the rest of it is like a blackout."

About a week after the 2016 Emmys, Phillips was in attendance with Bowen at The Los Angeles LGBT Center's 47th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards when she joked to Us Weekly about them being "too tired" to split up. "We watch all these people get married and split up and go, 'Wait, did they get married after us or before us?'" she said, ironically adding, "We outlast all these people." Yeah, that statement has already not aged well.

The cracks begin to widen

Bowen traded her usual jovial wisecracks for some surprisingly candid admissions about her relationship in November 2017 when she told Us Weekly, "I've spent a lot of time in excellent therapy and butting heads is part of life. Being perfect is not a good model for your children." She went on to reiterate that her and Phillips are "not perfect people" who see value in making sure their children witness the "resolution" of "tension and arguments." Sure, it's a valid parenting technique, but it begs the question: Just how much arguing was going on?

In another telling moment from the interview, Bowen talked about how the "thriving activity" of raising their three kids is "the hub" of her life. Then she added, "I'm sure that that's true for Scott as well, but you'd have to ask him." Grab a coat, because it's cold over here in that shade.

Separate Lives

One month after Bowen's admission to Us Weekly about having frequent couple fights, another admittedly dubious tabloid, In Touch Weekly, ran a story claiming "an insider" told them that Bowen and Phillips have been "living separate lives for a while now." The insider also claimed the couple "tried to keep it together for their three sons" but also described their marriage as "hanging by a thread."

Bowen, of course, didn't speak directly with the tab about her marriage, but when asked about "her favorite romantic thing to do over the holidays," she allegedly said, "The holidays are about the kids," then again referenced her sole interest in the kids when asked about a second honeymoon.

Granted, that's a lot of hearsay from a questionable source, but when paired with the news a few months later of the separation announcement followed quickly by a divorce filing, it makes it all pretty easy to believe.