“Larry was close to dying and it really shook him," a source tells PEOPLE

By Aili Nahas Natalie Stone
August 21, 2019 05:22 PM

After experiencing a serious medical scare last spring, Larry King‘s outlook on life  — and his marriage — changed drastically.

“Larry was close to dying and it really shook him,” a source tells PEOPLE about the 85-year-old veteran journalist, who suffered an angina, which mimics a heart attack, in April.

At the time, the CNN host underwent an angioplasty and also had stents inserted to reopen the previous bypass from a heart attack he suffered in 1987. “He had an episode with his heart over the weekend and he had an artery opened up and some stents put in,” an insider previously told PEOPLE. “But he’s remarkably strong. His doctors even say they don’t know how he bounces back from everything so quickly.”

Despite his physical recovery following the procedure, the source says the incident highlighted another unhealthy part of his life: his relationship with Shawn Southwick King.

RELATED: A Look at Larry King’s Ups and Downs Over His 8 Past Marriages — A Complete Relationship Timeline

“He realized that he hadn’t been happy for a long time,” the source explains.

On Tuesday, after nearly 22 years of marriage, Larry filed for divorce from his seventh wife, his lawyer confirmed to PEOPLE.

“They fought and argued all the time,” the source explains about the couple. “But also it’s about protecting his kids. Shawn and Larry had essentially been separated for a decade. They sleep in separate bedrooms.”

Shawn King and Larry King
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

“This was a long time coming. The marriage has been over,” the source says, especially after Shawn’s alleged affair in 2016 (which she denied).

The source adds, “Larry is no saint, but he was tired of all the drama.”

RELATED: Everything to Know About Larry King’s Estranged Wife Shawn Southwick King

Shawn, 59, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Larry King and Shawn King
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Larry and Shawn wed on Sept. 5, 1997. They share two sons: Chance, 20, and Cannon, 19.

According to court documents filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, he cited irreconcilable differences, and the date of separation is listed as June 6, 2019.

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