Magician Criss Angel Says His 5-Year-Old Son's Cancer Is Back: 'He Had a Relapse'
Magician Criss Angel‘s 5-year-old son Johnny Crisstopher’s cancer has returned.
In an interview with TMZ on Tuesday, the illusionist — who shares Johnny with Shaunyl Benson — revealed that Johnny is going back to the hospital after his cancer returned following a brief remission. Johnny was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2015.
“Johnny Crisstopher — he got diagnosed with pediatric cancer before he was 2 years old — he’s been in treatment for over three years, he’s been in remission,” Angel, 51, said, “but unfortunately … he had a relapse and he’s going back into the hospital on Monday.”
Angel said that he’s been spending time having fun at theme parks in California with Johnny before he returns to the hospital.
“That’s why we’re partly out here in California, because we take Johnny to Disney[land], I’m taking him to Universal [Studios] tomorrow,” Angel explained.
A rep for Angel did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
During the interview, Angel also revealed that he will be hosting an event at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas next year to raise $5 million for children with pediatric cancer. The musician called on the public to help support the event, details of which will be announced soon, he said.
“We just want to thank everybody for their support over the years,” Angel told TMZ. “We want to try and raise five million bucks, so we need your help.”
In 2016, Angel opened up to PEOPLE about the moment when he learned Johnny had been diagnosed with cancer, saying he felt “helpless.” Angel also shared that it was difficult watching his son experience the side effects of cancer treatments, which included hair loss and behavioral changes.
“Johnny is a happy, fun, loving boy, but the steroid treatments have a profound effect on his mood,” he explained. Johnny began throwing “violent” tantrums. “That’s hard to see, but that’s not our Johnny. That’s the steroids,” Angel said.
“My son is supposed to outlive me. I’d rather it be me that was sick,” Angel added at the time. “I want Johnny’s future to be long and happy. That kid is just a bundle of love. He’s the truest form of magic.”