Who Is Darius Jackson? – Meet Keke Palmer’s Boyfriend and Father of Her Baby Leo

On Saturday, December 3, actress Keke Palmer announced she was expecting a child with boyfriend Darius Jackson while hosting Saturday Night Live the first time.

“There’s some rumors going around, people have been in my comments saying, ‘Keke’s having a baby, Keke’s pregnant,’ and I wanna set the record straight—I am!” Palmer said during her opening monologue before opening her coat to reveal her pregnancy.

saturday night live

NBC//Getty Images

She continued, “I gotta say, though, it is bad when people on the internet spread rumors about you y’all, but it’s even worse when they’re correct. I mean, like, I was trying so hard to keep it on the down low, cause I got a lot of stuff going on, you know? But honestly this has been the biggest blessing, and I am so excited. Guys, I’m going to be a mom.”

She wore a cropped shirt and jacket in the closing credits to emphasize her expecting state one more time as the episode ended.

saturday night live

NBC//Getty Images

After her announcement, many people were wondering about her boyfriend. Palmer has kept her relationship with Jackson fairly private, though when she does speak of him, it’s with glowing reviews. Here’s everything we know.

Who is Darius Jackson?

Darius is the brother of actor Sarunas Jackson, who appeared in Issa Rae’s Insecure. He also is working on an acting career, and has had worked in fitness as an instructor at Inspire Fitness.

How long have Jackson and Palmer been together?

Palmer was introduced to Darius by Sarunas, after she had a cameo on Insecure herself. They reportedly met at a Memorial Day Party in May of 2021, and went public with their relationship in August 2021.

At the time, Darius celebrated Palmer on her birthday, in a post that has since been deleted.

“You’ve been a blessing from above,” he wrote at the time. “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.”

What has Palmer posted about Jackson in public?

In October of 2021, Palmer shared a video of her boyfriend which she has also since deleted, writing, “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. 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.”

The mass deletion of posts happened in March of 2022. There were rumors that they had split up, but in November this year, Palmer made an appearance on The Tamron Hall Show where she explained why she had taken down the photos even though their relationship isn’t a secret.

“It became more difficult to hide,” she said. “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.”

She added, “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.”

Still up on her TikTok account, however, is a video of her leaning in for a kiss from Darius behind a fan, covered with the words, “Lady miss takes what she WANTS.”

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What has she said about her relationships in general?

In March of 2020, before meeting her current boyfriend, Palmer told 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.”

Has Darius commented on expecting a child?

On Sunday, December 4, Darius shared a photo of Palmer looking very obviously pregnant in his Instagram Stories with the numbers, “2023,” and a red heart emoji.

keke palmer

Darius Jackson//Instagram

When were Keke and Darius first seen together after pregnancy announcement?

The couple attended a New York Rangers game on Monday night, just two days after Palmer shared the news of their first pregnancy. She was all smiles with him.

keke palmer and darius jackson

Michelle Farsi/NY Rangers/MSG Sports

How did Keke and Darius announce their son Leo’s birth?

Keke shared the news on her Instagram two days after Leo was born. She wrote:

Hey Son!!!!

1. Only 48hrs of being parents! 😳

2. Darius always made me playlists when we first started dating, “Someone” by El Debarge was a favorite. We became each other’s someone and made a someone, look at God! 😆

3. The baby love Rolling Ray, cause purrr.

4. “I’m not hiding the world from my son, I’m hiding my son from the world.” Hahaha

5. I’m just playing, my baby face is on this slide.

6. And this slide 🤣🥹😅😍❤️🙏🏾😇😭

Born during Black History Month, with a name to match 😄!

LEODIS ANDRELLTON JACKSON, welcome to the world baby Leo.

What has Keke and Darius said about becoming parents since welcoming their son?

Keke has periodically shared family photos since she and Darius welcomed their son Leo, from Easter:

To a family baseball outing:

Why did Jackson’s tweets about Palmer’s Usher concert outfit get attention in July 2023?

Keke Palmer became a trending topic on Twitter in early July 2023 when Jackson tweeted about not approving of what his girlfriend wore when attending Usher’s concert. Palmer did not respond to the tweets, but many expressed disappointment at Jackson for shaming Palmer for her outfit, especially given the fact he did it publicly rather than having a private discussion.

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He doubled down after his initial tweet went viral:

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Headshot of Aimée Lutkin

Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.

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