Check Out How Joy McManigal’s Ex-Husband Giancarlo Esposito Planned His Own Death

Joy McManigal was still married to Giancarlo Esposito when he contemplated hiring a hitman to stage his own death for the benefit of their children's financial future!

By Chakku HaruPublished on: April 22, 2024 Updated on: April 23, 2024
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Joy McManigal, the ex-wife of Giancarlo Esposito, has forged a successful career path of her own as an author, advisor, and more. Her former husband Giancarlo, notably recognized for his role as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, once faced bankruptcy and plotted a drastic escape to secure his children’s future through life insurance. But, in 2009, his career revived with a crucial role in Breaking Bad.

Now divorced, Joy and Giancarlo still maintain a solid friendship.

McManigal and Esposito’s Marriage Endured Substantial Challenges, Including Financial Distress

They tied the knot in 1995, during which Giancarlo had already established himself with roles in Guiding Light (1982-83), Bakersfield P.D. (1993-94), and Fresh (1994). For years, they enjoyed a fulfilling marriage while Esposito pursued a successful acting career. However, 2008 brought financial hardship that threatened their stability.

Joy and Giancarlo
Esposito and McManigal on July 8, 1997, at the Avco Cinema Center in Westwood, California. (Image: Getty)

During this challenging time, the actor faced the possibility of bankruptcy and home foreclosure. In an emotional low, he considered a drastic solution to secure his children’s financial future: staging his own death to claim life insurance. This idea was influenced by a discussion with his ex-wife’s father, McManigal, an insurance expert. Giancarlo said in an episode of SiriusXM’s Jim & Sam,

I had four kids. I wanted them to have a life. It was a hard moment in time. I literally thought of self-annihilation so that they could survive. That’s how low I was.

This plan highlighted his despair, as he contemplated a staged death to ensure a financial safety net for his family. Yet, the potential emotional impact on his family deterred him; he could not reconcile the lifelong trauma it would cause them.

Speaking to AP News, Esposito discussed how his own past hardships mirror those of his character in the crime drama Parish. The series, set in New Orleans, portrays Gray Parish, a former getaway driver turned taxi entrepreneur whose life unravels after his son’s murder, leading to financial woes and entanglements with a human trafficking gang. Recalling his own life, Esposito shared,

I was a man up against the wall 10, 15 years ago—completely. Went bankrupt. Lost my house. Divorced, you know, wound up living in a goat barn for a while… Didn’t know if I’d ever get my career back on track. Just didn’t have any sense of hope—that’s where Gray is—until a moment where I thought of some desperate ways to have my family survive.

Thankfully, Giancarlo’s role as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad marked a significant turnaround, revitalizing his career and financial situation. This comeback also paved the way for further successes in several other successful projects like The Mandalorian and The Boys.

Also Read: Giancarlo Esposito Found His Girlfriend in the Netherlands Through a Viral Drawing

They Are Divorced Now But “Are Very Dear Friends”

“Well, I’m divorced from my wife, although we are very dear friends,” Giancarlo told CLUB while discussing his role in the second season of Breaking Bad and how his performance was admired by his kids and ex-wife Joy. “My ex-wife watches it, as does my eldest daughter, who’s 15. All of my children have come to Albuquerque this season—this has been a brutal season, and thank goodness they all arrived early.”

They have four daughters Kale Lyn, Shayne Lyra, Syrlucia, and Ruby Esposito.

Giancarlo's wife and children.
With her ex-partner Giancarlo and three daughters. (Image: Instagram)

Joy McManigal Has A Diverse Career Spanning Global Impact

McManigal has crafted a multi-faceted career that stretches across continents and industries. Since January 2023, she has been the author of The Good You: Do Good + Feel Good—a guide designed to assist young adults through the complexities of mental health and adult life. Additionally, she founded The Good You in 2015, aiming to inspire young adults to engage in positive actions.

Her career includes significant roles such as advising at World Merit, where from 2013 to 2015, she developed strategies to engage young entrepreneurs globally. In 2014, she directed the Girls Worldwide Leadership program at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill.

Joy with her puppy.
(Image: Facebook)

McManigal’s earlier experiences include managing creative projects at Bhakti Productions from 1996 to 2014 and orchestrating major donor campaigns at Bard College’s Center for Civic Engagement from 2010 to 2013.

In 2008, she established the Woodstock Center for Global Citizenship, fostering an academy and eco-village in the Hudson Valley.

She previously also owned and managed McManigal’s Pub in Ireland from 1985 to 1989.

Besides, her academic background is equally rich and diverse. She completed her Master of Arts in International Relations and Economics at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) between 1984 and 1986. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in 1983, where she was active on the softball team.

She also studied Government and Physics from 1979 to 1981 at The University of Texas at Austin and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma society.

She Lost Both Of Her Parents in 2021

McManigal faced a year of significant loss in 2021. Born in August 1961 to Morland ‘Mac’ McManigal and Gloria McManigal in Green Valley, Joy grew up alongside her siblings Jay and Jill. The latter is a co-founder and CIO at Kids for Peace.

Unfortunately, her father, Morland, a former army serviceman, passed away at the age of 90, surrounded by his family at home on May 22, 2021. Just five months later, on September 25, 2021, her mother, Gloria, a professional teacher who was born in 1932 in Sioux City, also passed away peacefully at home.

Where Does Joy McManigal Live Now?

She currently resides in Bethel, CT with her family. Like her former husband, Esposito, she is also not officially married at this time.

About Author: Chakku Haru

Chakku, a seasoned celebrity content writer with a profound passion for the entertainment industry. With years of experience in the field, Chakku specializes in capturing the essence of actors, singers, YouTube stars, and journalists. His expertise extends to providing in-depth insights into their lives, from their career milestones to personal anecdotes that resonate with fans worldwide. Through his captivating writing, Chakku brings the stories of these luminaries to life, leaving readers inspired and engaged