Keke Palmer shared an emotional tribute to son Leo while celebrating his first birthday, vowing to “protect” him following her contentious November 2023 split from boyfriend Darius Jackson, with whom she shares the little boy.

“Leo Beo!! Happy Birthday son I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,” Keke 30, began, writing, “You came into my life today at 3:25 p.m., but I knew even before then that you were the strongest person I ever knew.”

“You make my life so worth living. If I’m being honest, I have always teeter tottered with life … But since you my son, I have no confusion on why I am here! On my purpose or my value or why I should stay,” she continued.

“I wanna stay for you. I want to be here to love and protect you and watch you be the good in this world! You are so special and so precious I would take a thousand bullets to the chest, run into a burning building, essentially, I’d die a thousand deaths … or actually I’d LIVE, I’d live a million lives,” Keke described of the lengths she would go to for her son.

keke palmer birthday tribute son leo
Courtesy of Keke Palmer/Instagram

The Nope star went on to say how her son makes all of the ups and downs in her life worth it.

“Even with all the pain and suffering one has to experience here. I will do it over and over again, because I know that I’d be with YOU! I will live, I will smile, I will cry, I’ll be angry, I’ll have love and I’ll have pain, I will find JOY. I will do all the things … for you,” she shared.

Keke showed off a carousel of photos of Leo looking adorable while having a playdate, sporting an Atlanta Braves baseball cap and smiling in a selfie with his mama.

The actress made headlines when she revealed her pregnancy while hosting Saturday Night Live in December 2022, showing off her bare baby bump during her opening monologue.

Keke revealed she and Darius, 29, had welcomed their baby in a February 27, 2023, Instagram post. “Hey Son!!!! Only 48 hours of being parents! Born during Black History Month, with a name to match! LEODIS ANDRELLTON JACKSON, welcome to the world baby Leo,” she shared next to photos of the couple holding their baby in the hospital.

Becoming a mom became the center of Darius calling out Keke publicly for a sheer outfit she wore to an Usher concert in July 2023. The fitness trainer seemed to shame her, retweeting a video of the singer serenading Keke and writing, “The outfit tho … you a mom.”

When fans called him “insecure” for the comment, Darius doubled down.

“We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife and mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others and he gets told how much of a hater he is,” he wrote in a second tweet, adding, “This is my family and my representation. I have standards and morals to what I believe. I rest my case.”

Keke seemed unbothered, posting a series of photos in the sexy dress to Instagram and writing that she wished she had “taken more pictures” from the evening. Shortly afterward, Darius deleted all photos of Keke from his Instagram page. However, in August 2023 he denied the pair had split.

Although neither publicly confirmed their breakup, things got heated in November 2023, when Keke filed a restraining order against Darius.

In the filing obtained by ​In Touch, Keke alleged that there was “physical violence” in their relationship, claiming that Darius was “destroying my personal property, including diaries and prescription eyeglasses, throwing my belongings into the street, throwing my car keys to prevent me from driving away, hitting [me] in front of our son, spewing profanities about me to our son, threatening to kill himself with a gun if I left him, harassment, and other physical and emotional abuse.”

Keke also explained an alleged incident where she was “concerned for Leo’s safety” around her ex. “Darius became very frustrated with him when there was crying while Darius changed his diaper. Darius started getting rough with Leo physically, and I stepped in to make sure Darius would not hurt him,” she wrote. “Darius was angry, and it almost became a tug-of-war with Leo. Darius finally let go, and Leo was not harmed, but as I was holding Leo, trying to comfort him and finish changing his diaper, Darius hit me in the head before storming out of the room.”

Keke was granted a temporary restraining order against Darius and temporary custody sole custody of Leo. On December 15, 2023, Daruis accused Keke of abuse and requested his restraining order be lifted, according to documents obtained by Radar Online.

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at