Everything to Know About Larry King's Estranged Wife Shawn Southwick King
Larry's lawyer confirmed to PEOPLE on Tuesday that he filed for divorce from Shawn after nearly 22 years of marriage
Larry King and his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King, are approaching the end of their marriage.
After nearly 22 years as husband and wife, a lawyer for the television personality, 85, confirmed to PEOPLE on Tuesday that Larry was filing for divorce from Shawn, 59.
Throughout their two decades of marriage, the couple experienced both highs and lows. They welcomed two sons — Chance, 20, and Cannon, 19 — and had each other to lean on while Larry was going through multiple health scares.
But the CNN host and his actress wife also weathered allegations of infidelity, and Larry originally filed for divorce from Shawn in 2010 before retracting the paperwork.
Here’s everything to know about Larry’s estranged seventh wife, Shawn.
Shawn Is Multi-Talented
Aside from being the wife of Larry and mother to two young men, Shawn is a former singer, television host, actress and producer.
When she was a child, Shawn sang in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television film, had a solo in Nat King Cole’s Christmas special and worked with Bobby Sherman on the Oscar Meyer wiener commercial, according to her bio from Latter-day Saints Musicians.
In recent years, Shawn starred on television series including Knight Rider, Remington Steele, Cover Up, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and Who’s the Boss? She also appeared in films such as Bombshell, Monaco Forever and Christmas Eve, which she produced.
For six years, Shawn hosted the USA Network’s weekly entertainment news show, Hollywood Insider, from 1990 to 1996.
Aside from her endeavors on-screen, Shawn pursued her music career and released an album called In My Own Backyard in 2005. She also sang a Christmas track on a compilation CD by the same name, according to her bio.
In 2012, Shawn also founded on-demand video network, Ora TV, with partner Carlos Slim.
She Grew Up in a Musical Family
Shawn, whose maiden name is Shawn Ora Engemann, is the daughter of Karl and Jerri Engemann. She grew up in the North Hollywood/Studio City area of California.
Her father is the former Vice President of Artist & Repertoire at Capitol Records, worked as Marie Osmond’s manager for 35 years and currently manages Larry.
Shawn’s mother sang with the Ray Conniff singers, a 12-woman and 13-men group that performed in the 60s, and was a studio singer for Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, according to her bio from Latter-day Saints Musicians.
Her sister Shannon is also a singer while Shawn’s Uncle Bob Engemann is an original member of the 1960s pop trio, The Lettermen.
She’s Been Married Before
Prior to tying the knot with Larry in 1997, Shawn married professional football player Daniel Southwick in 1980.
The former pair had one child in 1981, son Danny Southwick (who, like his dad, played professional football for the AFL’s Columbus Destroyers), before they called it quits years later.
She and Larry Made It Official in A Hospital Room Before Starting a Family
On Sept. 5, 1997, the pair got married, officially making Shawn Larry’s seventh wife.
Their nuptials occurred in Larry’s hospital room as the television personality was preparing to undergo surgery to clear a clogged blood vessel in his heart, according to The Blast.
On March 9, 1999, the couple welcomed their first child together, son Chance Armstrong King.
A year later, on May 22, 2000, they welcomed their second child, son Cannon Edward King.
She’s a Mormon
Shawn is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and went to college at Brigham Young University in Utah, which is owned by the church.
Her father also attended the private Utah university, and it appears that Shawn has also raised her sons to be Mormon, as well.
She Struggled with Substance Abuse Amid Her Troubled Marriage
In June 2008, Shawn entered rehab for an addiction to migraine pain killers, the HuffPost reports.
Two years later, however, the mother of two was found unconscious by her father in Utah after a suspected painkiller overdose in June 2010, according to the outlet. Shawn has since been treated for her alleged drug dependency.
Her reported overdose came just two months after Larry filed for divorce for the first time 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.
Trouble hit their marriage again in 2016 when multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE that the broadcast icon was distraught about an alleged yearlong affair Shawn 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 told her alleged lover that her marriage to Larry was over.
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.”
Despite their claims, things took a turn on Tuesday when Larry filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to court documents, Larry cited irreconcilable differences, and the date of separation is listed as June 6, 2019.
The Blast first reported news of the split.