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Kenya Barris ends his marriage to his estranged wife, Dr. Rania “Rainbow” Barris, after being together for over 20 years, has confirmed PEOPLE.
The blackish The creator filed for divorce in the Los Angeles Superior Court on June 1, citing “irreconcilable differences,” according to a court document obtained by PEOPLE.
The legal paperwork also stated that the couple, who share six children, including four minors — Lola, 16, Beau, 14, Kass, 12, and Bronx, 5 — have been separated since September 2020. In addition to requesting joint and legal custody of their children, Kenya also indicated that spousal support will be paid to his ex, according to the document.
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This isn’t the first time a couple has moved to break up their marriage legally – Rania, 47, first filed for divorce in 2014, but withdrew her request less than a year later, after the duo reconciled, according to the Associated Press.
The outlet also reported that Kenya, 47, filed for divorce in 2019 before it was later called off.
The Barrises married in 1999. Their love story served as the inspiration for the ABC sitcom’s central relationship, earning Emmy nominations for actors Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as Andre “Dre” Johnson and Rainbow “Bow” Johnson.
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Remarkable, blackishThe Season 4 finale seemed to draw on the real-life couple’s experience, as it showcased Dre and Bow’s marital struggles.
In an interview in 2018 with Weekly entertainmentRania said she told her husband, “I think you owe it to your viewers to show this.”
She added: “Because so many of the stories are situations that are very precise for our lives, Kenya as a writer can’t help but make Bow’s character more prominent. [and] important.”
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Kenya has also spoken about the marital problems facing his characters and said he wanted to portray real-world situations on screen.
“Growing up, I never saw couples fight in the family sitcoms I loved watching,” he shared. EW in 2018.
“Then, when hard times started in my own relationship, I was unprepared and I felt so isolated and alone,” he continued. “Marriage issues were not part of the story that television told me was a ‘working relationship’.”
Kenya is also producer of the sitcom spin-off mature-ish and was a writer on the 2017 film Girls trip†
Its representatives did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.