Tragic details about Keke Palmer

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This article contains mentions of child sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Keke Palmer rose to fame after starring in the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee, and since then she’s achieved a lot throughout her career. The multi-talented star has dabbled in music and fashion, and even owns her own record label. During a 2018 interview with Billboard, the actor and musician opened up about the unexpected career move of starting a record label. “For me, I’ve been in and out of the music system since I was 12 when I signed my first record deal,” Palmer explained. “It’s about empowering myself. I always felt taken advantage of. As an artist, that really depressed me for a while.” The former child star has been open about much of that hardship over the years.

Despite various challenges, the actress achieves her career goals. In 2022, Palmer told People that she’s inspired by enterprising celebrity icons. “We’ve got a pinch of Oprah in there,” she told the mag. “We’ve got a pinch of Queen Latifah. We’ve got a pinch of Ron Howard. We’ve got a pinch of Jordan Peele. I’m trying to mix it all up. A little bit of Dick Clark too. Maybe a little bit of Desi Arnaz. Tyler Perry for sure. A little bit of Walt.” Disney too.”

In the actor’s book, I Don’t Belong To You, she talks about her humble beginnings and how the hardships she faced got her to where she is today. Let’s check out the tragic details about Keke Palmer she’s been willing to share over the years.

Keke Palmer was diagnosed with PCOS

Keke Palmer is among the many people who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, PCOS causes the ovaries to “produce an abnormal amount of androgens.” This hormone imbalance can lead to a range of symptoms including ovarian cysts, infertility, acne and more. Palmer took to Instagram to share that her hormonal acne led to her discovering she had PCOS. She shared photos of her makeup-free face in a post describing her journey. “Polycystic ovary syndrome has been attacking me from the inside my entire life and I had no idea,” the business owner wrote in the caption of the post.

Palmer went on to explain that she needs to take care of her own health in order to receive a correct diagnosis. “I’ve tried EVERYTHING,” the actor wrote. “I took Accutane TWICE. People say drink water, eat better, but I’ve done all of those things, I’ve eaten all the ‘right’ things, my blood tests have been okay, a history of diabetes and obesity to understand what ACTUALLY happened to me .” She also empathized with others who have been diagnosed with PCOS, prompting commenters to share their own stories.

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A fan made Keke Palmer uncomfortable

Celebrities often have strange encounters with fans, but Keke Palmer described an experience that was particularly disturbing in 2022. “No means no, even if it’s not sex related,” Palmer tweeted. “I was in the bar the other day and this girl asked me for a picture three times and I kindly told her three times I didn’t want it [to] take one with you She still filmed me against my will.” Concerned fans flooded the star’s responses. Many users touched on the topic of fans invading the privacy of stars. One person wrote, in part, “Can we please stop this? EVERYONE has a right to privacy. Even celebrities. It’s so distorted right now that when you’re not on the clock, people really think they’re entitled to you.

When celebrities denounce the behavior of fans, they often face criticism. Though many viewers thought Palmer had every right to criticize the pushy fan, she feared she might face backlash. “If I went for her I would have been wrong so I just laughed nervously while my privacy was invaded,” she wrote in a reply to her original tweet. The actor continued the conversation on Instagram, writing in part, “Breaking boundaries can be so difficult at times, but when you please people or always try to avoid conflict, you let yourself down every time…” Palmer previously told the New York Times, under pressure from fans who wanted photos, “It got to the point where I stopped going places.”

The actor was “sexually intimidated” on set with Trey Songz.

Musician Trey Songz was accused of sexual assault in February 2022 (a case was dropped in April, per People), and it turns out Keke Palmer may have been trying to warn the world about the star’s alleged behavior. In 2017, Palmer took to Twitter to reveal that she was filmed and featured in Songz’s “Pick Up the Phone” music video without her consent. “Just because you give someone food and alcohol and throw in a little bit of sexual intimidation doesn’t mean they give in,” Palmer said in a since-deleted tweet (via Billboard). The situation was so devastating that Palmer had to hide in a closet. “Yet, as a young woman you’ve known since she was 12, you still disregarded the video against my will,” she said.

Songz responded to Palmer’s tweets, and unfortunately for the actor, he took no responsibility for his alleged actions. “Baby girl buggin. Point blank point. Got my number, could have called, saw the cameras and the lights, heard the action,” the musician tweeted. Songz insisted that Palmer reach out to him through his phone number and not Twitter, so he doesn’t seem to appreciate the backlash on social media. However, Palmer told Larry King that she gave a resounding “no” to the producer, the video’s assistant, and Songz himself.

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If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, help is available to help. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact the RAINN National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Keke Palmer was abused by an older cousin

Keke Palmer recounted her dark childhood in her memoir, I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice. In the book, she revealed that she was molested by a cousin as a child. In a 2017 interview with Vibe, she explained that living in poverty meant she didn’t have access to the resources needed to process the abuse. “I mean, but that’s the problem in these poor communities. If you were in Beverly Hills, your parents would have put you in therapy and you would have been on a bunch of Xanax and no one would have heard about shit,” Palmer said. “That doesn’t happen in the Hood.”

She went on to detail the cycle of abuse that existed in her family. When asked about her older cousin, Palmer said, “Yes, she was older. But she was also abused. And her mother abused my mother when my mother was younger Shit, it goes on…” In the same interview, the actress was brought to tears at the memory of the events, so it seems she’s still in the healing process. She wrote in her book that it took me a long time to understand how the abuse affected her.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, help is available to help. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact the RAINN National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

The Scream Queens star grew up in poverty

Unlike many of her peers, Keke Palmer wasn’t born into fame or fortune. Palmer spoke of her humble upbringing in her memoir: “I don’t belong with you.” Both of her parents worked to support the family, but it took them some time to bounce back and get out of public housing. Palmer explained that her mother worked as a teacher while her father, who had studied communications, worked in a factory. Her parents’ hard work finally paid off and the family was able to escape poverty. “He had finally worked his way up to the front office – a goal he’d had all along,” the star wrote, referencing her father’s success. “After seven years he had gotten the big promotion he wanted at his job and that enabled him to own our first house!”

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This was the beginning of Palmer’s journey to stardom. She wrote that her family was eventually able to relocate to California, where she focused on auditioning for acting roles. It looks like the star’s parents made the right decision as their daughter now has an estimated net worth of $7.5 million and a long list of accolades including her impressive filmography, Primetime Emmy win and six NAACP Image Awards. Despite experiencing depression and anxiety along the way, Palmer uses her platform to empower young people. “I’m from the Hood, and that’s the beauty of it, and I don’t want to hide that from other little Hood girls,” she told Dr. oz.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800 -950-NAMI (6264) or visit the National Institutes of Mental Health website.

The business mogul experienced colorism

Keke Palmer experienced colorism and racism not only in her childhood but also in Hollywood. During an interview for TheGrio, the star revealed that she first developed insecurities about her complexion due to bullying in the classroom. “My mother gave me a lot of encouragement when I was a little girl,” Palmer explained during the interview. “I was teased at school for being the only black girl in my class. … They sometimes made fun of my hair and the way I spoke. … Sometimes I was sad.” Luckily, the actor’s mother seems to have made an effort to rebuild her daughter’s confidence, as she continued, “My mother has always encouraged me and made me proud of who I am because everyone on his way is beautiful.”

Although Palmer appeared to have a strong support system, her self-esteem was still severely affected by the bullying. Speaking before the Hollywood Confidential Panel in 2013, she revealed, “When I was about 5 years old I prayed for fair skin because I always heard how pretty this little fair skinned girl was or I heard I was pretty dark skinned to be. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I really appreciated the color of my skin and knew I was beautiful” (via BET). Unfortunately, Palmer was probably reminded of this bullying when she first entered Hollywood. She explained to TheGrio that she hasn’t seen many women with her complexion book lead roles.