Kenya Duke: Meet the love of Gary Owen’s life for 18 years

Kenya Duke: Meet the love of Gary Owen's life for 18 years

In 2021, the public got hit with the news of famous comedian Gary Owen’s divorce from his wife of 18 years, Kenya Duke. The story was met with several mixed reactions, with many calling for them to patch things up considering the years they have been together.

While Gary Owen was the most popular of the pair, Kenya Duke caught the public’s attention after news emerged that she had filed for an enormous amount in monthly spousal support. Her demand was considered outrageous by some, while other individuals were in support of her.

While not so much is known about the pretty ex-wife of the comedy maestro, we have however managed to dig up details about her life and some facts surrounding her publicised divorce from Owen.

Kenya Duke biography

Kenya Duke smiling

Kenya Simon Duke is an American entrepreneur, podcaster, and philanthropist. She was born on July 26, 1974, in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The caramel-skinned beauty is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs between 59 and 63 kg.

Duke is of black ethnicity and was born to African-American parents. Her father is named Roland Smith Watts, and her mother is Barbara Jean. Duke had once revealed in the past that she was quite close to her father before his death. Duke is a proud mother of three kids, she also has one known cousin named Gigi.

After completing high school, Duke went on to attend the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a degree in business administration.

She is known to have built a successful career in the entertainment industry and has worked as a talent manager and producer.

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Kenya Duke career

Kenya Duke portrait

Kenya Duke grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and from a young age, she developed a passion for business.

After she graduated from the university, Duke pursued a career in marketing, working for several high-profile companies, including Procter & Gamble and the Walt Disney Company.

In addition to her corporate career, Duke also worked as a television producer. She co-produced several reality TV shows, including The Gary Owen Show, which aired on BET from 2016 to 2017. The show followed the lives of Owen and his family, including Duke and their three children.

She is the founder and CEO of Premier Sports and Corporate Consulting, a sports and entertainment marketing firm based in California. The company specialises in event planning, athlete management, and corporate branding.  She has worked with numerous high-profile clients, including sports teams and celebrities.

Duke is also involved in several philanthropic endeavours. She has supported organisations such as the American Heart Association and the Los Angeles Mission, which provide services to the homeless community. She has also donated time and money to organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Overall, Duke has carved a niche for herself as a successful businesswoman and television producer who is still making significant contributions to the entertainment industry.

Kenya Duke’s net worth

a happy Kenya Duke
Kenya Duke

The radiant beauty makes a decent living from her work in the media sphere as well as from other ventures. Kenya Duke is said to have an estimated net worth of between $1 million and $1,5 million.

Also, her divorce settlement from Gary Owen is likely to put some money in her pocket. In 2021, she officially filed for a monthly spousal support payment of $44,000 to be paid to her by the comedy veteran. Gary Owen is reportedly worth $3 million.

Kenya Duke family

Kenya Duke and her family

Kenya Duke was married to the American comedian, Gary Owen. The couple got married in 2003 and were together for almost two decades before filing for divorce in 2021. Duke and Owen share three children: two sons, Emilio and Austin; and a daughter, Kennedy. Emilio is Duke’s firstborn child from her previous relationship. Owen has always referred to Emilio as his son.

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Owen rose to fame through his stand-up comedy and appearances in various movies and TV shows and has been a force in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. The couple met in 1997 when Owen was performing at a comedy club in California. Duke was working at the club at the time, and the two hit it off immediately. They started dating soon after and got married six years later.

In March 2021, the couple filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The news came as a surprise to many fans who had followed the couple’s seemingly happy marriage on social media. Owen also confirmed the split on Instagram, stating that he and Duke had decided to end their marriage after 18 years together.

Divorce controversy

Kenya Duke and her husband smiling at a party

Following the news of their divorce, there were rumours of infidelity and financial disputes between the couple. However, neither Owen nor Duke publicly commented on these allegations during the initial stage of the divorce. However, Duke later confirmed the claims through a series of Instagram posts directed at her estranged husband. 

In her post, Duke accused Owen of having illicit extramarital affairs, claiming that she met him when he had “nothing but raggedy truck and good credit”. She also insinuated that the comedian carried out the act with the knowledge and help of reality TV star, Claudia Jordan, a claim which Jordan subsequently denied.

The situation got a little bit messier when Duke filed a Request for Order (RFO) in May 2021, requesting a monthly payment of $44,000, while also requesting that another $88,000 be paid to her to cover the first two months of Owen’s absence. In her claims, she stated that before their divorce, Owen regularly made monthly deposits for the family’s upkeep, which covered bills, credit card payments, kids’ welfare, and her spending. 

During an interview on The Breakfast Club, Owen spoke about his reason for a divorce. The comedy star stated that he was the one who filed the documents first. Owen made it known that he was unhappy during his marriage to Duke and that though they had tried to work things out, albeit unsuccessfully.

Kenya Duke and Gary Owen
Kenya Duke and Gary Owen

In his words: You can get in all kinds of reasons but at the end of the day—you’re not happy. Then you sit here and stay in it for the kids […] and you’re like ‘man, I’m miserable.’ And it’s weird because you feel selfish for choosing your happiness.

The divorce was finalised In November 2021. The couple has since moved on with their separate lives, as seen in social media posts. Duke seldomly posts on her Instagram. She, however, runs a podcast dubbed “Truly Kenya” and seems to also be focused on fitness, while Gary continues to focus on his comedic and acting careers.

Kenya Duke Instagram

Kenya Duke has an active Instagram profile, with the handle: @trulykenya. She makes random posts, ranging from selfies, family, vacation photos and work-related items She currently has a follower count of 76,500, as of the time of writing this article.

Kenya Duke age

Duke was born in July 1974. She is currently 48 years old.

Kenya Duke podcast

Kenya Duke in her office smiling

Kenya Duke released a podcast episode titled “The Raw and the Real with Kenya Duke“. In this podcast, Duke talks about her life and experiences, including her marriage to Owen, which ended in a contentious divorce in 2021.

Throughout the podcast, Duke spoke candidly about her relationship with Owen, describing the difficulties they faced as an interracial couple and the challenges that came with Owen’s career as a comedian. She also discussed the emotional toll of their divorce, which she says was initiated by Owen.

Duke’s podcast has garnered significant attention in the media, with many people praising her for speaking out about her experiences. In particular, Duke’s candid approach to discussing the difficulties of her marriage has resonated with many listeners.

Despite the personal nature of her podcast, Duke also uses her platform to discuss larger societal issues, including racism and discrimination. She speaks about her own experiences with racism and encourages listeners to engage in meaningful conversations about race and equity.

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