They say third time’s a charm – but what about the seventh? Television and radio host Larry King, 85, has filed for divorce from his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King, 59, after 22 years of marriage. According to court documents, King cites irreconcilable differences for the divorce. The divorce filing lists the date of separation as June 6, 2019.
Here’s what we know about the Larry King divorce.
This isn’t the first time this marriage has experienced bumps in the road. In 2010, Larry King filed for divorce after reports came about that stated Shawn had had an affair with a man named Hector Penate, the couple’s son’s baseball coach. Penate later confirmed the affair but Larry retracted the paperwork after the couple resolved their issues.
On September 5, 1997, Larry King and Shawn Southwick married in his Los Angeles hospital room just three days before King underwent heart surgery. They have two sons, Chance, born in 1999, and Cannon, born in 2000. The divorce is causing quite a stir in the tabloids after it was reported that Larry and Shawn’s children were the ones who pushed him to file for divorce.
Cannon King vehemently denies these claims, even going so far as to write an Instagram post stating that the rumors were “completely false”: “I CAN say that what was said about my ‘begging/urging my dad to do something’ is completely false. It hurts my heart to think that anyone might think that about me or my brother. All I want is eternal happiness for each of them. They both deserve it,” the post read.
He explains in his post that his parents have influenced his life greatly and he is thankful for both of them: “I love my parents SO, SO much. They have had a great influence on my life and I’m so thankful for each of them. We will always be family no matter what.”
Other rumors state that the sons were worried that Shawn was trying to steal their inheritance. Chance King turned to social media to dispute this: “I love my family very much and want what’s best for both of my parents. Despite what is being reported, let me set the record straight My mother never tried to steal my inheritance or my brothers. I want what any son wants for his family: health, happiness and peace”
Larry King is no stranger to divorce: he has been married a whopping eight times – to seven different women.
The Many Marriages of Larry King
Larry King’s seven wives and eight divorces span a period of almost 70 years:
- Freda Miller, 1952-1953
- Annette Kaye, 1961-1961
- Alene Atkins, 1961-1963
- Mickey Sutphin, 1963-1967
- Alene Atkins (Remarried), 1969-1972
- Sharon Lepore, 1976-1983
- Julie Alexander, 1989-1992
- Shawn Southwick, 1997-2019
Of King’s eight marriages, he has five children, nine grandchildren, and four-great grandchildren. Annette Kaye gave birth to Larry’s first son, Larry Jr., in November 1961. King did not meet him until Larry Jr. was in his thirties.
King also adopted Alene Atkins’s son, Andy, in 1962. When he remarried Atkins in 1969, the couple had a second child, Chaia. In 1997, Larry co-authored and illustrated a children’s book with Chaia. The book, titled Daddy Day, Daughter Day, recounts the true story of Larry King’s divorce with Atkins, and how quality moments spent between parents can help children heal from the pain of divorce.
There is no word yet on whether a prenup was signed between Shawn and Larry King, so only time will tell how assets between the two will be divided. Regardless of the outcome of this divorce, it is clear from both Chance and Cannon’s social media accounts that they are in full support of their parents’ future happiness:
“No matter what happens moving forward, you’ll ALWAYS be my kind, compassionate, amazing parents,” read Cannon King’s Instagram post.
This being King’s seventh divorce, it does not necessarily make it any easier for him, as every divorcing couple has their own issues to resolve. This type of divorce – often called a gray divorce – in itself presents its own challenges and hardships, given Larry’s age and the length of the marriage itself (22 years). We wish them a peaceful divorce and happiness for the family and children involved.
Update: In mid-September, Shawn Southwick broke her silence about the split, telling DailyMailTV that the divorce “crushed” and “blindsided” her. According to Southwick, she only learned of the news that King had filed for divorce when she received a phone call from a reporter.
“I’m sad, I never expected to be at this place in my life, in our lives and have this happen in such a public way. I don’t think, again I’m not in Larry’s head, I refuse to believe that he intended to humiliate me. It’s strange, I can’t quite wrap my head around it, but it is what it is… it hurts,” she said. Southwick also states that she has not been served with any paperwork related to the divorce — yet.
“We’re a very passionate couple, neither one of us are quiet, we’re horrible at divorce, we tried but we didn’t ever quite get there, but you know, we’ll see what happens. It has been weeks and I haven’t been served.”