Keke Palmer is known to make a joke out of pretty much anything, but her relationship with Darius Jackson hasn’t always been a laughing matter. The 30-year-old actress and singer seemed to find her forever person with Darius, who works in both the fitness and entertainment industries, when their relationship began in 2021. After dating for about a year and a half, Keke and Darius announced that they were expecting their first child together. Their son Leodis ‘Leo’ Andrellton Jackson was born in February 2023, and all seemed well with the couple and their new addition. But it didn’t take long for that to change.
In July 2023, Darius publicly outfit-shamed Keke, which led to the pair seemingly breaking up. However, they appeared to reconcile later in the summer. So, are Keke and Darius still together? Here’s what we know.
Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson’s Relationship
Keke and Darius’ relationship dates back to May 2021, when they met at an Insecure after-party. Keke appeared in one episode of the HBO show, while Darius’ brother, Sarunas J. Jackson, had a recurring role, which explains the connection. The couple made their relationship Instagram official in August 2021. “You’ve been a blessing from above,” Darius wrote of Keke at the time in an Instagram post that he’s since deleted. “Never would have expected summer 2021 to turn out the way it did, but here we are. I’m glad we were able to help each other throughout our lowest of times & show one another that what we are bringing to the table is everything that we got,” he added.
In Nov. 2021, Keke opened up about the relationship for one of the first times on The Tamron Hall Show. “It became more difficult to hide,” she admitted. “We spend all this time together and he really is my closest friend, so it just becomes a thing where I’m not going to hide something that makes me happy. It’s not gonna be everything you see. My job is my job, but at the end of the day, this is somebody that is important to me, so why not?”
In March 2022, Keke gushed over Darius and talked about her decision to go public with their relationship in an interview with Bustle. “This is the happiest I’ve ever felt with someone,” the Nope star said. “So why would I go out of my way to hide this person? That’s a lot more work than just living in my life and being in my life. You know what I’m saying?”
While hosting Saturday Night Live in December 2022, Keke revealed that she was pregnant. Keke and Darius’ son Leo was born on February 25, 2023. The actress made the reveal with a series of photos and videos taken inside the hospital after she gave birth. Two months later, the couple brought their newborn son to the closing night screening of Keke’s Big Boss documentary at the 2023 Atlanta Film Festival.
Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson’s Breakup
Keke and Darius hit a low in their relationship in July 2023, when Keke went to the Usher concert in Las Vegas. She was serenaded on stage by Usher, who was singing “There Goes My Baby,” while she wore a form-fitted black sheer dress. Darius outfit-shamed the mother of his child with a tweet that read, “It’s the outfit tho.. you a mom.”
Darius was criticized on the internet for what he said about Keke, so he took to Twitter again to address his comments. “We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife & mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others & he gets told how much of a hater he is,” Darius tweeted on the evening of July 5. “This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals to what I believe.”
Just over a month after Darius’ insulting tweet went viral, a source told PEOPLE that the lovebirds had “broken up” and Darius had “moved on” from Keke. Another source told Entertainment Tonight that the split happened shortly after the outfit drama. “Keke and Darius called it quits shortly after he called her out on Twitter for her outfit at the Usher concert,” the insider shared.
Darius, however, spoke out about the breakup news a few days later, and admitted he hadn’t given a statement to any outlet and said any that were out there were false. “I haven’t spoken to anyone about anything or gave permission to anyone to speak for me.. So all these sites & post about me making any type of statement is false..,” he wrote in a tweet on Aug. 18. He also added a clip from Forrest Gump in which Tom Hanks‘ character quips, “And that’s all I have to say about that.”
Are Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson Still Together?
Keke and Darius seemingly confirmed they were back together when they celebrated Keke’s 30th birthday in August 2023. The pair livestreamed a lunch outing at a restaurant through one of Darius’ social media accounts, and let followers witness some fun banter and conversation between them. Darius even referred to Keke as his “partner in crime” at one point. Keke also thanked Daris for taking her out on her birthday “as always.”
When Keke appeared on Today With Hoda and Jenna on September 25, the actress dodged the question of whether or not she’s dating Darius. “Not y’all tryna get into it,” Keke said with a laugh, before confirming that she’s happy. “Life is good. I have nothing but gratitude. Honestly. Seriously.” When the hosts asked Keke if her and Darius are “together,” Keke responded, “I’m gonna take a page of my girl Beyonce‘s book, mind y’all’s business.”
Most recently, Keke reportedly filed for sole custody of their son on November 9, as reported by US Weekly. In addition, the proud mom filed a restraining order against Darius and accused him of allegedly physically abusing her. In the docs obtained by the mag, Keke claimed that Darius allegedly once “trespassed into my home without my knowledge or consent” and “threatened” her before “lunging for my neck, striking me, throwing me over the couch and stealing my phone.”
She went on to recall “many instances” of alleged “physical violence” that also allegedly occurred in front of their little one. Some of the claims she made included that Darius had allegedly been “hitting [me] in front of our son, spewing profanities about me to our son, threatening to kill himself with a gun if I left him, harassment, and other physical and emotional abuse.” In the docs, Keke confirmed that their romance was officially over. She said that she and her son’s father “finally ended for good” in early October 2023 due to the “physical and emotional abuse” allegedly “inflicted” on her by him. Keke has yet to publicly address the claims at the time of publication.