‘Modern Family’ Star Julie Bowen Didn’t Even Know She Was Divorced

On Modern Family, Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil Dunphey (Ty Burrell) stayed together. Their marriage lasted all 11 seasons of the show and presumably forever after. In real life, Bowen divorced her husband Scott Phillips in 2018 after 13 years of marriage. She didn’t even realize the divorce was final. 

Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell
Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen | ABC/Eric McCandless

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Bowen was a guest on Justin Long’s Life Is Short podcast on July 21. The two had costarred on the series Ed from 2000 to 2004. When they caught up on the podcast, Bowen revealed she didn’t even know when she was finally divorced.

Julie Bowen was expecting a divorce to be as outrageous as ‘Modern Family’

Bowen and Phillips still co-parent their children, Oliver, John and Gustav. So they continued to see each other. Bowen was expecting some sort of major finality that never came.

“Divorce is weird,” Bowen told Long. “They don’t send you a diploma. I thought you got like in the movies and you sit there with a pen and you look at it longingly and then there’s a montage of all your memories like wedding and babies being born. And a single tear and then you sign it and send it off.”

Julie Bowen’s ex broke the news to her that they were divorced

Bowen recalls spending time with Phillips waiting for their divorce to go through. She was rather oblivious.

Julie Bowen and Jesse Tyler Ferguson | ABC/Eric McCandless

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“One day I was talking to my ex and we’re still really close,” Bowen said. “We live really close, we talk all the time. I said, ‘Doesn’t that happen after you get divorced?’ He goes, ‘Julie, we’ve been divorced for months.’ I’m like what? I didn’t even know. They don’t give you a big moment like when you’re getting married and they’re like, ‘I now pronounce you…’”

She hasn’t started dating again

Bowen has been busy since her divorce. She had to finish Modern Family. Then as soon as she was free again, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut everything down and made a social life impossible.

“I’ve been single for two and a half years,” Bowen told Long. “I moved two and a half years ago.”

Julie Bowen: Modern Family
Julie Bowen | ABC/Jill Greenberg

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Well, if they’re not going to throw her a divorce party, at least Bowen can make a clean break. She admitted she has been on both ends of a breakup that dragged on and on.

“There should be the final moment,” Bowen said. “I had to do this once in a breakup. It was like here are the keys to the house, I will be gone for this weekend and you will come and get your sh*t. I had to learn that the hard way because otherwise it was like a dribble drabble of drumsticks or underwear or a special shampoo. By the way, on my side as well.”