Keke Palmer welcomes first child with boyfriend Darius Jackson and defends son’s name

Keke Palmer (Getty Images)
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Keke Palmer has welcomed her first child with partner Darius Jackson.

On Monday 27 February, the 29-year-old actor announced on Instagram that she gave birth to a baby boy named Leodis "Leo" Andrellton Jackson. The sweet slideshow showed heartwarming photos of the new family of three, including a picture of their baby boy wrapped up in a light grey onesie and white beanie.

“Hey Son!!!!” the Nope star captioned the post, before giving a glimpse into their first 48 hours as new parents. “Born during Black History Month, with a name to match! Welcome to the world baby Leo.”

In one video, Palmer and Jackson are seen smiling and singing in the car to “Someone” by El Debarge as they drive their baby home from the hospital.

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

Another photo showed baby Leo resting on Palmer’s chest just moments after she gave birth, as the new parents looked on at their bundle of joy. The final two images included close-ups of their son’s face, snuggling next to a stuffed animal.

“‘I’m not hiding the world from my son, I’m hiding my son from the world,’” Palmer joked. “I’m just playing, my baby face is on this slide.”

The birth announcement prompted thousands of comments from fellow celebrities and fans congratulating Palmer on welcoming her baby boy.

“so precious!!!!” commented The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey.

“Congratulations!!!! Beautiful baby,” wrote actor Viola Davis.

“So happy for you!” said Lupita Nyongo.

Meanwhile, rapper Lil Nas X and Jimmy Fallon each left a single red heart emoji.

Despite the overwhelming love in the comments section, some people still had mixed reactions after Palmer revealed her baby boy’s name.

“That name sound like it led a civil rights March,” said one person on Twitter in response to baby Leodis "Leo" Andrellton’s name.

The Hustlers star expertly responded to critics with her classic humour, writing: “It’s giving I marched with Martin, purrrr.”

Others expressed their disappointment that the True Jackson VP alum didn’t name her son after her Nickelodeon show, which ran from 2008 to 2011.

“You know you was suppose to name that baby Tru JACKSON lol congratulations,” said one fan. “And born during black history month”.

In December 2022, Palmer revealed during her Saturday Night Live opening monologue that she was expecting her first child with boyfriend Darius Jackson, a fitness instructor and former college football player. Palmer, who has been dating Jackson since 2021, shared the pregnancy news by first addressing rumours that she was expecting.

“There’s some rumours going around, people have been in my comments saying, ‘Keke’s having a baby, Keke’s pregnant’ and I want to set the record straight,” she began, before ripping open the long brown jacket she wore onstage and declaring: “I am!”

“I gotta say though, it is bad when people on the internet spread rumours about you ya’ll, but it’s even worse when they’re correct,” Palmer said, after showing off her baby bump as the audience cheered. “I mean, like, I was trying so hard to keep it on the downlow, ‘cause I got 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.”