Few would argue with the title of Hottest Couple in Showbiz that Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello seemed to earn the moment they recently began dating. But their attraction to each other is based on something that’s much more than simply skin deep.
The True Blood star’s personal struggles with booze and drugs after moving to Los Angeles in 2000 affords him a unique insight into the dark cloud over Sofia’s family: Her younger brother, Julio Vergara, has battled drug abuse for years.
“Joe really understands Sofia’s torment, knowing she watched her brother crumble under the weight of his addictions,” a friend of the couple tells Star. “It makes it so much easier for Sofia to turn to Joe for support.”
As Star exclusively reported in 2011, Julio was deported in May of that year to the family’s native country of Colombia after nearly 30 apprehensions in the U.S., including felony arrests for cocaine possession and grand theft. Sofia has admitted that her brother abused alcohol, pot, cocaine and crack — which is deja vu for Joe, who has bravely opened up about his own struggles after first arriving in Hollywood.
“My life was in ruins,” admits Joe, who says he was a “ticking time bomb” who was “drinking a bottle of whiskey” every day — and also added “you don’t end up needed to get sober at the age of 25 if drugs aren’t involved.” He’s now been sober for more than 11 years.
“The understanding Joe and Sofia share with each other has really strengthened their bond,” the friend explains. “Their connection is deep and real.”