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Keke Palmer opens up about ‘abusive relationships’ after Darius Jackson breakup

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Keke Palmer has revealed what she’s learned about unhealthy relationships following her breakup from ex-boyfriend Darius Jackson.

The Nope star, 30, recently admitted she had a “rude awakening” after witnessing firsthand the effects of toxic relationships in a new episode of her podcast, Baby, This Is Keke Palmer. In the podcast episode, titled: “How to Deal with Abusive Relationships, Boundaries, and Narcissism”, Palmer sat down with guest Dr Drew Pinsky for a wide-ranging conversation about narcissistic personality disorder and setting boundaries.

The Nickelodeon alum began by praising her mother and father, Sharon and Larry Palmer, for providing an example of healthy relationships while she was growing up. However, the actor soon learned that not all partnerships are the same. “I’ve been really naive because my dad is great and my uncles are great, so misogyny came at me hard and quick,” Palmer said. “I grew up in a house where my mom would say: ‘This is what it needs to be.’ And Larry would be like: ‘Okay, Sharon. Go on ahead, Sharon.’”

“When I entered outside of my household and I saw that everybody doesn’t really respect their wives or even women in the way that my dad respects my mom, it was a pretty rude awakening,” she continued.

Earlier this month, Palmer was granted temporary sole custody of her eight-month-old son – Leodis “Leo” Andrellton – after accusing Jackson of domestic abuse. The Hustlers star alleged in a court filing on 9 November that her ex-boyfriend and father of her son exhibited violent behaviour towards her, at times in front of their child, as she detailed several instances of alleged abuse.

Speaking to Pinsky, Palmer echoed a similar sentiment that many people ask themselves after ending an unhealthy relationship. “I think a lot of people have this question and the question is: ‘Am I the bad one?’” she asked.

“We’re all in different dynamics with friends, family, lovers, and you find yourself saying: ‘Well, damn it. Am I playing a game on myself, and I’m actually the person that’s doing wrong?’” Palmer wondered. “How does someone know if they’re – and look, it takes two to tango, right? – but how does someone know when they did the wrong thing and they’re really the issue? How do you know when you’re the issue?”

However, the TV personality assured Palmer that those who engage in self-reflection on the heels of a bad breakup are usually not the person who’s in the wrong. “Keke, the person who is re-evaluating themselves, trying to do what’s right, contemplating they could be doing what’s wrong, that is rarely the person who’s doing wrong,” he replied.

In court documents filed in California Superior Court, Palmer claimed that several incidents of Jackson’s alleged abuse included “striking and grabbing me around the neck, descriptions of Darius destroying my personal property”. She also alleged that Jackson, who she split from earlier this year, “hit” her and spewed “profanities about” her in front of their son.

The “Serious” singer stated that the most recent incident took place on 5 November, when Jackson allegedly “trespassed” into Palmer’s home “without my knowledge or consent, threatened me, then physically attacked me – lunging for my neck, striking me, throwing me over the couch, and stealing my phone when I told him I was going to call the police”.

After news of Palmer’s legal action broke, Jackson posted a photo with their son on X, formerly known as Twitter, with the caption: “I love you, son. See you soon.”

Following the court filing, a Los Angeles County judge declared that Jackson must stay 100 yards away from his ex and son. A hearing is scheduled for 5 December to determine further action about the temporary restraining order.

While Palmer has yet to directly address the legal battle, she did reveal that she’s decided to choose happiness at this moment in her life. “And at that point, it was just like, I choose happiness and I choose joy, and I don’t choose to go back there,” she said. “And like you said, as time goes on, I’m like, I’m good. Whatever that was, I’m good.”

The national domestic abuse helpline offers support for women on 0808 2000 247, or you can visit the Refuge website. There is a dedicated men’s advice line on 0808 8010 327. Those in the US can call the domestic violence hotline on 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Other international helplines can be found via www.befrienders.org.

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