REVEALED: Larry King’s wife Shawn King, 59, was ‘blindsided by his divorce petition following 22-year marriage and TV host, 85, has left her devastated’ – amid rumors of infidelity and a money battle
- Larry King, 85, filed for divorce from seventh wife Shawn King on Tuesday
- The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court cited irreconcilable differences and listed the date of separation as June 6, 2019
- Larry and Shawn married in 1997 and have two sons: Cannon, 19, and Chance, 20
- Insiders claim the TV icon’s sons convinced him to start divorce proceedings
- Shawn recently presented Larry with documents that would give her the rights to their property and would negatively impact Cannon and Chance
- Their marriage allegedly reached a ‘breaking point’ when Larry was hospitalized in April following a heart surgery
- A source told People: ‘Larry was close to dying and it really shook him. He realized that he hadn’t been happy for a long time’
- The insider said Larry and Shawn have been sleeping in separate bedrooms
- Larry filed for divorce once before in 2010 amid rumors Shawn cheated on him with one of their son’s baseball coaches, but the couple reconciled
- Rumors that Shawn was cheating with public speaking guru Richard Greene surfaced in 2016
- Shawn is Larry’s seventh wife and it’s his eighth marriage
- His ex-wives include Freda Miller, Annette Kaye, Alene Akins (whom he married twice), Mickey Sutphin, Sharon Lepore, Julie Alexander, and Shawn
- Shawn herself has been married three times before
Larry King’s wife was reportedly ‘blindsided’ by his divorce petition.
The 85-year-old TV legend filed legal documents on Tuesday to terminate his 22-year marriage to seventh spouse Shawn Southwick King and she is said to be ‘devastated’ by the move.
Sources told TMZ that the Christmas Eve actress, 59, had no idea Larry was planning to file for divorce until she received a call from one of the tabloid’s reporters.
The couple have been married since 1997 and have two adult sons together.
Their marriage has reportedly been on the rocks for the past few years amid cheating rumors and a battle over ownership of their property.
MailOnline has contacted a spokesperson for Larry for comment.
Larry King filed for divorce from his seventh wife, Shawn King, after 22 years of marriage on Tuesday. The couple are pictured above in December 2018
Larry, 85, and Shawn, 59, have been married since 1997 and have two adult sons together. The family are pictured at a movie premiere in 2005
Insiders claim Shawn was completely blindsided by Larry’s filing for divorce. The couple are seen locking lips at their wedding reception in 1997
The star has reportedly accused Shawn of being unfaithful to him, with rumors swirling of a cheating scandal back in 2010 and 2016.
The tension in their relationship finally reached a breaking point in April when Larry underwent heart surgery. His rep said that he did not suffer a heart attack but successfully underwent an angioplasty operation.
While Larry was in the hospital Shawn allegedly presented him with legal documents that would give her rights over their property and negatively impact their two sons, Cannon Edward King, 19, and Chance Armstrong King, 20.
Outraged, the sons pleaded with their father to end the marriage, leading to the split, TMZ reported.
However, an insider who spoke with Shawn said she’d been told Larry may only have three days to live and their estate planning lawyer had advised them to update certain documents, which they had mutually agreed to do, and so she presented them to him in his hospital bed.
Shawn ‘strongly denies’ doing anything that would compromise her offspring’s inheritance.
In the divorce filing Larry cited irreconcilable differences listed the date of separation as June 6, 2019.
The petition didn’t mention a prenuptial agreement between the two and didn’t make any requests in the support department, according to The Blast.
It’s being claimed that it was Larry’s sons Cannon and Chance (pictured in 2018) who persuaded him to split from Shawn once and for all after they accused their mother of trying to gain rights over certain property that would negatively affect them
King shared this photo on Twitter on Monday posing with his sons with Shawn – Cannon and Chance – saying: ‘I’m so proud of my boys’, a day before he filed for divorce
Larry’s decision to file for divorce reportedly didn’t come as a surprise to many people who knew the couple well.
A source told People that the split was ‘a long time coming’ and was hastened by his health scare earlier this year.
‘Larry was close to dying and it really shook him,’ the source said. ‘He realized that he hadn’t been happy for a long time. They fought and argued all the time.
‘But also it’s about protecting his kids. Shawn and Larry had essentially been separated for a decade. They sleep in separate bedrooms.’
The source confirmed that rumors of Shawn’s 2016 affair were true, adding: ‘Larry is no saint, but he was tired of all the drama.’
This divorce will be Larry’s eighth divorce if it goes through. His ex-wives include Freda Miller, Annette Kaye, Alene Akins (who he married twice), Mickey Sutphin, Sharon Lepore, Julie Alexander, and Shawn.
It also isn’t the first time the former CNN host has moved to divorce from Shawn, who has been married three times.
Back in 2010 he filed for divorce after the National Enquirer reported Shawn had been having an affair with one of their sons’ baseball coaches, Hector Penate.
At that time Shawn had intended to file for divorce before her husband but his legal team beat her to the punch.
2010 cheating rumors: Shawn was accused of having an affair with her son’s baseball coach former Yankee Hector Penate (pictured above in 2010)
In 2017 there were reports that family members were trying to convince Larry to split from his wife. The couple are pictured here in November 2018 with son Cannon
After reports broke that she was dating her son’s baseball coach and Penate admitting to the affair, Larry and Shawn eventually reconciled but were hit with cheating rumors again in 2016.
Shawn allegedly carried on a year-long affair with public speaking guru Richard Greene, a friend of Princess Diana.
The pair allegedly met when Greene was a guest on Larry and Shawn’s podcast, Back and Forth with Shawn & Larry King, and he has worked with worked with everyone from Princess Diana and Naomi Campbell to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Despite the rumors, the couple put on a united front and were pictured holding hands soon after the allegations broke out.
But a source confirmed to People at the time: ‘It’s true, and Larry is completely embarrassed and anguished by all of this.’
2016 cheating rumors: Shawn allegedly had a year-long affair with public speaking guru Richard Greene in 2016. While Larry and Shawn dismissed the rumors, a source close to the family said ‘It’s true, and Larry is completely embarrassed and anguished by all of this’
According to an insider, Shawn was alleged to have told Greene that she had split from Larry.
In August 2016 the couple put on a united front denying the cheating rumors in an interview with Home & Family.
‘You said an interesting word, ‘rumor.’ I’ve been in the business — next May, it’ll be 60 years — and I’ve dealt with rumors a long time,’ Larry said.
‘Interviewed people involved with rumors. Rumors are what they are — they’re rumors. And I tell you the truth, I don’t pay any attention to them.’
Shawn added: ‘Last week, there was a rumor going around about Larry and a speech he made in Kiev. This week, I’m the latest pinup girl. You just have to develop a shell around yourself and not get hard on the inside, and stick together.’
Even after the 2016 cheating rumors, reports revealed Larry was unhappy in his marriage and was ‘miserable for a decade’, according to Page Six.
In October 2017 a family source accused the couple of faking a happy relationship and claimed Larry’s family wanted him to end the marriage to Shawn.
That same year he celebrated his 84th birthday – but Shawn wasn’t present.
At the time the duo were said to be talking to divorce lawyers after a brief separation that summer.
Larry King has had a long string of wives, starting out his high school sweetheart Freda Miller, who he was married to from 1952 to 1953 when he was 18. Their marriage was annulled by their parents who didn’t approve.
He then had a short-lived marriage to Annette Kaye in 1961 with whom he welcomed first son Larry Jr. with the same year.
From 1961 to 1963 he was married to Alene Akins, a former Playboy bunny and adopted her son Andy.
He then went on to marry Mickey Sutphin from 1964 to 1967 who he shares daughter Kelly with.
His second marriage to ex-wife Alene Akins happened the following year and Alene gave birth to their daughter Chaia during the three year stint.
In 1976 to 1983 Larry was wed to Sharon LePore, a production assistant, before moving onto businesswoman Julie Alexander who he was married to from 1989 to 1992.
Larry has been married eight times. From 1961 to 1963 he was married to Alene Akins, a former Playboy bunny. They separated but married again from 1969 to 1972 (above)
Larry is pictured with sixth wife Sharon Lepore. They were married from 1976 to 1983
Larry is pictured with seventh wife Julie Alexander. They were married from 1989 to 1992
LARRY KING’S MARRIAGES: TIMELINE
FREDA MILLER – 1952 to 1953
Larry King’s long line of marriages began with his high school sweetheart Freda Miller, whom he married in 1952 when he was 18 years old.
The marriage was annulled a year later by their disapproving parents.
ANNETTE KAYE – 1961
King was married to Annette Kaye for less than a year in 1961.
In November of that year Kaye gave birth to their first and only son, Larry Jr, but didn’t tell her estranged husband about the child.
In his 2009 memoir My Remarkable Journey, King revealed that he didn’t meet Larry Jr until more than 30 years later.
ALENE AKINS – 1961 to 1963
King was married to Alene Akins, a former Playboy Bunny, two separate times in the span of ten years.
Their first marriage lasted three years from 1961 to 1963. During that period he adopted Akins’ son Andy.
MICKEY SUTPHIN – 1964 to 1967
King married Mary Francis ‘Mickey’ Sutphin in 1964, and together they had a daughter named Kelly.
Sutphin divorced King in 1967.
ALENE AKINS – 1968 to 1971
After his divorce from Sutphin, King reconciled with Akins and they remarried in 1968.
Akins gave birth to daughter Chaia in 1969, and the couple divorced for a second time in 1971.
SHARON LEPORE – 1976 to 1983
King married production assistant and math teacher Sharon Lepore in 1976. The couple were together for six years before they split in 1983.
JULIE ALEXANDER – 1989 to 1992
King met businesswoman Julie Alexander in 1989, and they were married a few months later.
The couple legally separated the following year and their divorce was finalized in 1992.
SHAWN SOUTHWICK- 1997 to 2019 (pending)
King’s marriage to Shawn Southwick is by far his longest, running 22 years and counting.
The couple were married in 1997 and have two adult sons together, 19-year-old Cannon and 20-year-old Chance.
King filed for divorce from the actress the first time in 2010 amid rumors she was having an affair with one of their son’s baseball coaches. The couple reconciled before the divorce went through.
They hit another rocky patch in 2016 when Shawn was rumored to be cheating on King with public speaking guru Richard Greene.
King filed for divorce from Shawn a second time on August 20, 2019.
Larry opened up about his tumultuous romantic history during an interview with Anderson Cooper in 2009.
‘I don’t really regret it,’ he said of being married so many times. ‘I love being in love.’
‘In retrospect, I only loved three. The current, of course, and two previous,’ he added, referencing Shawn but not specifying the two others.
‘Beyond that, I think it was just – I never lived with anyone. I don’t even think I spent the night over at anyone’s house.
‘I was raised, you like someone, you got married.’
‘I don’t have any regrets. Some great kids were brought out of them.’
Cooper then asked Larry about a part of his 2009 memoir, My Remarkable Journey, where he revealed that he didn’t meet his first child, Larry Jr, until he was in his 30s. He alluded to the fact that the boy’s mother, Larry’s second wife Annette Kaye, didn’t tell him she’d given birth because it happened in the wake of their split after less than a year in 1961.
‘That was extraordinary,’ Larry said of learning about his first son.
‘Let me tell you. To sort of know I had a child. Probably I did. But I wasn’t sure. And then to get the realization that I did. And then he turns out to be one of the great people I know.’
WHO IS SHAWN SOUTHWICK KING
Shawn Southwick King is a former singer, actress, TV host and producer, as well as a mother of three and wife of Larry King for 22 years.
She was born Shawn Ora Engemann in Studio City, California, in 1959.
She got an early start in show business, singing in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television film, Nat King Cole’s Christmas special and acting in an Oscar Meyer Wiener commercial as a child.
In the 1980s she starred in a number of prime-time TV shows including Knight Rider, The A-Team, McCormick, Hardcastle and Riptide. She also co-hosted The Spectacular World of Guinness Records with David Frost.
Shawn also appeared in several films, including Bombshell, Monaco Forever and Christmas Eve, which she produced.
In 1990 she was brought on as a host of The USA Network’s Hollywood Insider.
She left the show in 1998 and took a break from her career while raising her two sons with Larry King, whom she married in 1997.
Shawn came back on the radar in 2005 when she released her country music album In My Own Backyard, followed by Gotta Love the Holidays in 2012, a compilation CD in support of the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.
Shawn has been married twice, first to professional football player Daniel Southwick in 1980.
The couple welcomed son Danny in 1981.
In 1997 she and Larry King tied the knot in a hospital room as the TV icon was preparing to undergo heart surgery.
Shawn and Larry welcomed their first son together, Chance Armstrong, in 1999, followed by their second, Cannon Edward, in 2000.
Shawn’s parents are Mormon, and she is still a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Both she and her father went to Brigham Young University in Utah, which is owned by the church.
It’s believed Shawn raised her sons to be Mormon as well.
History of substance abuse
Shawn reportedly entered rehab for an addiction to migraine pain killers in 2008.
Two years later, as her marriage hit the rocks amid cheating rumors, Shawn was allegedly found unconscious of a suspected overdose.
She has since undergone treatment for addiction.
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