Palmer was born on August 26, 1993, in Harvey, Illinois, and grew up in a Christian household. Her parents, Sharon and Larry Palmer, who met in drama school, had both worked as professional actors before settling into full-time jobs. Her father works for a polyurethane company, and her mother is a high school teacher who works with autistic children.
The 24-year-old stunned fans in December (16) when she went public with her history of molestation, a subject she tackles in her new book, I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice.
She has since opened up further about the trauma in a candid new interview with Vibe magazine, revealing being inappropriately touched by a female cousin as a child awakened her sexual curiosities and led to her seeking out X-rated films at a young age.
“I felt bad when I was molested, and I started thinking about having sex and masturbating at five years old and watching porn at six,” she explained. “I felt bad. I felt bad about myself, but I was molested.”
Keke, who grew up in poverty in Chicago, Illinois, didn’t know how to deal with the abuse, and ended up burying the problem, which only caused herself anxiety later on in life.
She continued, “I didn’t know that that’s how my mind was going to respond to it. I mean, but this is the problem in these poor communities. If you were in Beverly f**king Hills, your parents would have put you in therapy and you would have gotten a bunch of (anxiety medication) Xanax and nobody would have heard about the s**t. That’s not what happens in the ‘hood.”
Keke went on to become a child star, but behind the scenes, she felt emotionally “lost”, especially after her hit Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP came to an end in 2011.
She became depressed and decided to seek help in finding her spiritual self.
She recalled, “My mom started helping me go to this lady, her name was Sonia… The first day she met me, she grabbed my hand and she started doing this thing where she was clearing my energy, and it was interesting, because I remember thinking, ‘This really feels good, it feels right.’
“My spirit was yearning for it, I think my spirit called to her. It was such a random thing. I’ve worked with tons of people my whole life, but never really met anybody like her.”
Keke reveals her real awakening came as she realised she had stop keeping her childhood abuse a secret to be able to face the future with a clear mind.
The star added, “She (Sonia) said, ‘Everybody in your family has suffered with breathing.’ I remember just trying to decipher what that meant thinking, ‘What the f**k is this woman talking about…?’
“Later on, I came across something that read, ‘Anxiety is holding your breath.’ I immediately thought of that lady and how she said I come from a family of people holding their breath, and it just hit me – I’m suffering from anxiety. My grandmother suffered from general anxiety. My mom has been suffering from it. We never had the resources to understand these things. Black people have been suffering from a lot of this s**t. I started to realise I was carrying all that burden.”
Her spiritual journey helped Keke find new confidence in herself and reestablish her faith in a higher power.
“That’s when my mind really started to change, and my understanding of God started to become even clearer,” she said. “Thinking, ‘Damn God, I got to know you through some pain.'”
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