Who is Keke Palmer's boyfriend, Darius Jackson? The Nope actress welcomed her first child earlier this year, but what do we know about her partner?
Some couples are not terribly easy to read: take SZA and Travis Scott for example, or David Corenswet's elusive dating history. Keke, on the other hand, is all about showing love. In fact, she told Bustle in March 2022: “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?”
However, an exchange between the two this summer has definitely raised eyebrows and exposed a side of their relationship fans might not have seen beforehand. But before we get into specifics, let's backtrack.
Who is Keke Palmer's boyfriend, Darius Jackson?
Darius Daulton Jackson is a fitness instructor at Inspire Fitness Studio and an actor, who previously played football in college (per his Inspire bio). You might've thought he looked familiar because he's the brother of Good Trouble's Sarunas J. Jackson. He and Keke met in 2021 and have been together for two years, welcoming their first child together in February 2023.
Keke wrote on Instagram: "Hey Son!!!! Only 48hrs of being parents!" Adding, "Born during Black History Month, with a name to match 😄! LEODIS ANDRELLTON JACKSON, welcome to the world baby Leo."
Darius Jackson Keke Palmer relationship
So how did the pair meet? They reportedly started dating in May 2021, after crossing paths at Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Memorial Day party.
And while Keke has shared more about her boyfriend than any other past relationships—with the pair going Insta official in 2021—she initially kept things very much on the Q.T. While hosting Saturday Night Live in late 2022, Keke announced that she was pregnant, while wearing an outfit that could definitely give Rihanna's pregnancy style a run for its money! Then a few months later, to mark Valentine's Day, Keke treated fans to a TikTok video packed with selfies of her and Darius and a few intimate moments from her pregnancy.
Darius also returned the favor, sharing a similarly romantic post to mark Love Day, posting a carousel with the caption: "Happy Valentine’s Day, mom. ❤️"
A photo posted by on
Is Keke Palmer married?
No, Keke is not married, though she previously shared this iconic video to her TikTok and Instagram (circa April 2021) with the caption: "Don’t believe in girlfriend and boyfriend. I’m single till I’m married. Let’s just kick it love."
Keke Palmer Usher debacle
Fans got a bit suspicious about Keke and Darius' connection after she donned a sexy sheer dress during Usher's Las Vegas residency in June 2023. When a clip of the singer serenading her made its way back to Darius, he tweeted, "It's the outfit tho.. you a mom."
Naturally, this triggered backlash on social media, so Darius followed up with a since-deleted tweet, per Entertainment Weekly, 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."
Keke's response? According to an Instagram Story—which did not even mention Darius' comments—she wrote, "I wish I had taken more pictures but we were running late! I am telling y'all right now, if you haven't seen @usher YOU MUST GO!! HE WAS SO FABULOUS!!"
Looks like she's not letting anyone tell her what to do.
The floodgates opened, naturally, and people were very vocal on social media about his controlling tone. Heck, even celebs publicly showed their support for Keke.
“Can I borrow this outfit @keke? Because if it makes me feel anywhere near as good as you look and feel in it post-baby, I’m ready,” Jessie J wrote on Friday, July 7. “You are GLOWING and INSPIRING and HOT AF. A Mom. A boss. A star.”
Usher serenades Keke Palmer 😍✨ pic.twitter.com/xbMFlXu7FFJuly 5, 2023
After letting things marinate, Keke took to Instagram to respond...with some merch, too.
Seemingly in connection to her boyfriend's comment about her being a mother, she wrote, "One thing is certain and one thing is true, IM A MOTHA, through and through! 😍 "IM A MOTHA" and "Stevie to the bullshit" shirts available NOW! Link in bio :)"
She added, "To all my mom's out there, how did your baby change you?? Mine empowered me! On such another level, my perspective changed because when my baby is good I'm GREAT! Look at that face! Gratitude galore."
We can't help but wonder where this leaves the two at the moment. Although they're seemingly still together—neither party has commented on a split—it seems that there might be a few issues to address in the near future. Watch this space for any updates.
An update on the Keke Palmer Usher dress situation
Since his actions sparked so much outrage, Jackson temporarily deactivated his Instagram and Twitter accounts on Thursday, July 6. But after a few hours without social media, he returned to the platforms on July 7—and did some maintenance in the process by taking down pictures of Keke. The actor has yet to publicly comment on her boyfriend's responses and virtual activity.
Keke Palmer dating history: who has Keke Palmer dated?
Before making her relationship with Darius more public, she revealed that she wasn't really one for cheesy Insta posts or dedications, telling Harper's Bazaar: "I don't really do relationship stuff online, mainly because I don't know how I would do it without looking, like, cheesy or something, you know? Yes, I'm a hundred percent authentic, but there is stuff that I do save for family and friends."
As for previous relationships, the actress has been linked to the likes of Meek Mill, Quincy Brown and Ty Dolla $ign, but there's never been much to go on rumor-wise. Really, until choosing to share her relationship with Darius, Keke has managed to swerve those pesky dating rumors like a pro.
Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, trends, fashion, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life. She also tests and reviews beauty and skincare products and tries out the latest TikTok hacks for My Imperfect Life.
Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.
- Danielle ValenteDigital News Writer
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