Larry King's Divorce 'Was a Long Time Coming,' Says Source: 'He Hadn't Been Happy for a Long Time'

Larry's lawyer confirmed to PEOPLE on Tuesday that the television personality filed for divorce from his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King

Larry King‘s decision to file for divorce from Shawn Southwick King did not come as a shock to those who knew the couple well.

Though Larry and his seventh wife were married for 22 years, a source close to the television personality tells PEOPLE that their divorce was “a long time coming,” especially after Larry’s recent health scare and Shawn’s alleged affair in 2016.

“Larry was close to dying and it really shook him,” the source says. “He realized that he hadn’t been happy for a long time.”

In April, Larry suffered angina and he underwent angioplasty. At the time, the CNN host, 85, also had stents inserted to reopen the previous bypass from a heart attack he suffered in 1987.

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

“Larry is no saint, but he was tired of all the drama,” the source adds, confirming that previous reports of Shawn’s alleged affair were true. “This was a long time coming. The marriage has been over.”

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

Shawn King and Larry King
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

Larry and Shawn, 59, wed on Sept. 5, 1997. They share two sons: Chance, 20, and Cannon, 19.

On Tuesday, Larry’s lawyer confirmed to PEOPLE that he had filed for divorce from Shawn after nearly 22 years of marriage. The Blast first reported news of the split.

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

The Kings’ marriage was a rocky one: Sources confirmed to PEOPLE in 2016 that the broadcast icon was distraught about an alleged yearlong affair his wife had been having.

“It’s true, and Larry is completely embarrassed and anguished by all of this,” one source close to the situation told PEOPLE of the alleged infidelity. “He doesn’t know what to do.”

Another insider claimed to PEOPLE that Shawn, a former singer and TV host, told her alleged lover that her marriage to Larry was over.

Larry King (C), his wife actress Shawn King and their son Cannon King
Larry King with his wife Shawn and their son Cannon. KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty

But Larry and Shawn denied any reports of cheating in an interview with Home & Family in August 2016.

“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,” he 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.”

Added Shawn: “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.”

It’s not the first time he has submitted paperwork to end their union.

In 2010, Larry filed for divorce after the National Enquirer reported that Shawn had an affair with one of their sons’ baseball coaches, Hector Penate. Penate later admitted to the affair, but the couple decided to stay together.

The CNN host has previously been married seven times (to six other women), while Shawn was married once before.

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