Who Is Keke Palmer’s Boyfriend, Darius Jackson? Here’s What We Know

The pair share a child together

Keke Palmer and Boyfriend CAT2
Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images

Keke Palmer, 30, and Darius Jackson, 30, first crossed paths in May 2021, when the pair reportedly met at a Memorial Day party hosted by Diddy and Issa Rae, per US Weekly. Apparently, the pair secretly started dating, but they made it a point to keep their romance out of the public eye.

Fast forward to December 2022, Palmer announced her pregnancy during her opening monologue on Saturday Night Live. During the episode, the actress popped her blazer open to reveal her baby bump and...the rest is history.

Now Palmer and Jackson are the proud parents of a baby boy named Leodis Andrellton Jackson. So, who is Darius Jackson? What does he do for a living? And are the pair still dating? Here’s everything we know about Keke Palmer’s on-again/off-again boyfriend.

Keke Palmer Opens Up About Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’, Says She Was ‘In Shock’ About Her Character

1. Darius Jackson Is the Younger Brother of Insecure Actor Sarunas Jackson

Darius Jackson (who also goes by the name Darius Daulton) has a famous brother in the entertainment industry: Insecure actor Sarunas Jackson. Aside from starring in the beloved HBO series, Sarunas, 33, has made appearances in shows like Good Trouble and Games People Play.

2. Darius Jackson Is a Fitness Instructor and a Writer 

According to his Instagram bio, the 30-year-old is a father, actor, writer and sports content creator. He also happens to be a fitness instructor at Inspire Fitness Studio. His interest in sports drove him to pursue a career in sports media, going to school for a certificate in broadcasting.

3. He Earned a Football Scholarship and Played in College 

According to his fitness bio on the Inspire Fitness Studio website, Jackson grew up playing sports and earned a football scholarship at Fresno State University.

Keke Palmer and Boyfriend Darius CAT
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

4. Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson Became Instagram Official in August 2021

Jackson confirmed his romance with the Nickelodeon alum in August 2021. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Jackson dedicated a heartwarming message to Palmer during the first few months of their relationship. 

“Never would have expected summer 2021 to turn out the way it did, but here we are,” he wrote, according to People. “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.”

That same month, the pair subtly made their “hard launch” on the ‘gram, thanks to a birthday post shared on Palmer’s 28th birthday. The celebratory Instagram slideshow features a photo of the Akeelah and the Bee actress kissing her boo. “It’s the details for me. Nobody was on they phones, we had that before MySpace feeling…. I’m so happy,” she wrote in the caption. “Awesome Birthday, so grateful.”

Keke Palmer and her boyfriend, Darius Jackson.
Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

5. Palmer and Jackson Initially Kept Their Relationship Private

After meeting at the Memorial Day Party in May 2021, Palmer and Jackson chose to keep their relationship a secret from the public. The pair kept a relatively low profile and refrained from sharing photos together on personal social media profiles.

However, in October 2021, the Jump In! star gushed about her romance with Jackson in an Instagram video, which has been deleted. “Without being too mushy because I HATEEEE THAT, it feels really nice to not be afraid to show this kind of care for someone that I don't share the same blood with,” Palmer wrote in the caption, according to Life & Style. “I thought it could never happen, I can be quite guarded, but I appreciate you for being a safe space. I will always cherish what you have given me.”

Later on that year, Palmer made an appearance on The Tameron Hall Show and shared why she no longer wanted to keep her relationship a secret. “It became more difficult to hide. We spend all this time together, and he really is my closest friend, so it just becomes a thing where I'm not gonna hide something that makes me happy.”

In a March 2022 profile interview with Bustle, Palmer shared that being with Jackson is the “happiest” she’s ever been. “I just think [this] was a moment in time in my life where I really stepped into this kind of boss behavior [of doing] whatever the hell I want to do,” she told the publication. “This is the happiest I’ve ever felt with someone. 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?”

6. Darius Jackson Deleted His Pics with Palmer in 2022

Speaking of keeping things low-key, both Jackson and Palmer quietly deleted all pics of each other from their Instagram pages in March 2022. And according to OK Magazine, they also unfollowed each other, sparking breakup rumors.

But, those speculations were put to rest after Palmer debuted her baby bump on Saturday Night Live later that year, confirming she was expecting her first child with Jackson.

“I'm especially glad to be here though, because there's some rumors going around,” she said. “People have been in my comments, saying ‘Keke's having a baby,’ ‘Keke’s pregnant.’ And I wanna set the record straight: I am.”

Following her SNL appearance, Palmer and Jackson proceeded to not post photos/videos of the other online. But there was only one exception. In January 2023, the Scream Queens actress dedicated a sweet birthday tribute to her man on Instagram. On her page, she posted a video of the two of them singing along to the radio.

“It’s so cringy writing a birthday post for you because the love is so sacred,” Palmer wrote in the caption. “It almost feels asinine to try to share or give a glimpse into something that only we could understand. I can share most things so easily, but not you.”

7. Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson Welcomed Their Son in February 2023

After confirming that they were expecting their first child in December 2022, the happy couple welcomed their son, Leodis "Leo" Andrellton Jackson, on February 25, 2023. On Instagram, Palmer shared a slideshow of pics featuring the newborn and wrote, "Born during Black History Month, with a name to match! LEODIS ANDRELLTON JACKSON, welcome to the world baby Leo."

8. Darius Jackson Is Currently Working on a New Film

So far, the actor has appeared in Games People Play and Ultraman: A New Chapter. Now, he's working on a new sci-fi movie called Dawn of the Predator, where he'll play Agent Moyo.

Per IMDB, the film will follow a group of soldiers who battle it out against deadly robots while trying to retrieve technology from an alien crash. Other cast members include Daz Crawford, Ashley Park, Ho-Sung-Pak and Leticia LaBelle.

9. Darius Jackson Called Out Keke Palmer on Social Media

In July 2023, Jackson called out Palmer on X (formerly known as Twitter) after a video of the actress dancing with Usher onstage at one of his concerts appeared online. During the show, Palmer was wearing a black sheer dress with a bodysuit underneath and heels.

“It's the outfit tho.. you a mom,” he wrote in the tweet. He posted a follow-up response that read, "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. This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals to what I believe. I rest my case.”

Shortly after the incident, a source told Entertainment Tonight that the couple supposedly called it quits. “Keke and Darius called it quits shortly after he called her out on Twitter for her outfit at the Usher concert. Keke is focusing on her work and her 6-month-old son,” the source said at the time. “The actor and Darius have been co-parenting, but for now, they aren’t together.”

But in August 2023, Palmer makes a surprise cameo in Usher’s music video, “Boyfriend,” and the Disney Channel alum poked fun at the situation. "I’m so tired... Now I'm a mother after all," she says in the video.

10. Are Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson Still Together?

Well, we’re not too sure. Though multiple news outlets reported the couple split, Palmer made an appearance on Jackson’s Instagram Live in August 2023. In the video (shared by PopCrave), the two appear to be having a meal together on Palmer’s birthday.

“D, know you've been taking me out on my birthday as always. I mean, it's not always my birthday but you always do take me out. But I just thank you for making it special for my birthday, that's so sweet,” she said during the IG Live.

Jackson went on to call Palmer his “partner in crime.”

And when Palmer made a surprise appearance on the Today show the following month, she was asked about her relationship status. To that, she replied, “I’m going to take a page out of my girl Beyoncé's book. Mind y’alls business.”

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Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...

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