Keke Palmer And Darius Jackson's Dramatic Split Explained

Keke Palmer's relationship with her boyfriend, Darius Jackson, briefly collapsed after they came to blows on social media. 

2023 has been full of ups and downs for Palmer and Jackson, who recently welcomed their firstborn into the world. Months after Palmer weaved her pregnancy announcement into an "Saturday Night Live" monologue, she gave birth to Leodis Andrellton Jackson. Little Leodis made his highly-anticipated entrance into the world in late February 2023.

Palmer announced her baby's arrival during her first post-birth Instagram post, where she and Jackson looked equal parts excited and fatigued. "Only 48 hrs of being parents!" Palmer captioned a slideshow, which featured a video of herself driving while wearing a messy bun and glasses. Meanwhile, Jackson looked casually cool in a hoodie and sweats. This was the first time Palmer showed the baby's face, but it would not be the last. Two months later, Palmer and Jackson took their newborn to his first Angels' game, where the happy family posed in the stands.

By July, Jackson and Palmer's romantic relationship had taken a turn for the worse. Their issues stemmed from Palmer's (viral) interactions with Usher when she attended his Las Vegas Residency. During the moment, Palmer flaunted her amazing post-baby body in a skin-tight dress, as Usher treated her to a flirtatious serenade of "There Goes My Baby." While Palmer (along with her fans) seemed to love the special attention, Jackson did not — and he just had to tell the whole wide world.

Keke Palmer's star shone too bright

Keke Palmer has been an obvious star ever since she starred in "Akeelah and the Bee," but it seems that she recently blinded Darius Jackson with her light. Not long after the internet swooned over her super adorable moment with Usher, Jackson took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and threw water on her moment. According to People, Jackson re-posted Palmer's video with Usher and lambasted her revealing look. "It's the outfit though.. you a mom," he wrote. And though Jackson has since deleted the criticism, his words spurred a contentious social media debate around society's expectations about motherhood.

Fortunately, much of the internet was on Palmer's side. However, the debate sparked some harsh reactions about Palmer's exchange with Usher, including a follow-up from Jackson where he defended his tweet. "This is my family & my representation," wrote Jackson. "I have standards & morals to what I believe. I rest my case." One month later, Entertainment Tonight reported that Palmer and Jackson were done. "Keke and Darius called it quits shortly after he called her out on Twitter for her outfit at the Usher concert," revealed an insider. "Keke is focusing on her work and her 6-month-old son." The source also revealed that Palmer and Jackson were strictly focusing on raising their son.

Keke and Darius may be giving things another go

Things weren't looking great for Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson after the "Hustlers" actor linked back up with Usher to star as the leading lady in his music video for "Boyfriend." The song, by the way, totally seemed to taunt Jackson with lyrics such as, "Somebody said that your boyfriend's looking for me" (via Genius). Then, Palmer spoke to The Cut and vaguely addressed how she was handling motherhood amid her tension with Jackson. "I'll be honest, I think before I even had the baby, I was really actually quite self-conscious" shared Palmer. "After having my baby, I've gotten so much more powerful." Palmer also revealed that she was embracing her post-baby figure.

While Palmer's comments seemed to confirm a split, her bond with Jackson may be mightier than any social media debate. Weeks later, Palmer seemingly confirmed that she and Jackson were still involved after she flaunted a tattoo of his birth date on her own birthday. During the unveiling of her NSFW 30th birthday photos, fans noticed Palmer's tattoo of the date, "January 21st, 1994" — Jackson's birth date, according to Us Weekly. And though Jackson didn't appear on Palmer's special birthday episode of "Baby, This Is Keke Palmer," where he's regularly served as a commentator, he did celebrate her big day. "Happy Birthday to a one-of-a-kind being," tweeted Jackson in a now-deleted post. "Hoping your 30s bring you many joys & triumphs."