Larry King and Shawn King married in 1997. However, in 2019, King filed for divorce from Shawn citing irreconcilable differences.
Legendary television host, Larry King passed away on January 23, 2021. His estranged wife, Shawn Southwick King, broke her silence following King's demise and confirmed that he has been laid to rest.
Talking about the "beautiful" ceremony that was attended by his family members, Shawn told Entertainment Tonight, "We laid him to rest this morning. And in the Jewish faith, they do it very quickly, so you almost don't have time to, for me, to process. I'm still processing. And as are the boys, the whole family is just, you know, yeah."
King was known for donning suspenders all the time, and his family paid a tribute to his signature look in the right way. "We all, it was just family, we wore Larry's suspenders, every one of us," added Shawn. "And it was a beautiful, loving … just perfect, just perfect. It was family. There was no showbiz, no, none of that."
The 87-year-old's demise comes a month after he was hospitalized in December for COVID-19. Talking about the last time she spoke to King, Shawn revealed that even in his last few moments, it was his family that was on his mind. "We were able to do FaceTime in the hospital and it was hard for him to talk, but the one message that he wanted to make sure I heard was, 'I love you, take care of the boys,'" she revealed.
Shawn also confirmed that King's death wasn't because of COVID-19 but of an infection. "It was sepsis," she said. "Well, he was finally ready to go, I will tell you that. You know, he never wanted to go but his sweet little body was just, it had just been hit so many times with so many things and once we heard the word COVID, all of our hearts just sunk. But he beat it, you know, he beat it, but it did take its toll and then the unrelated infection finally is what took him, but boy, he was not gonna go down easily."
Shawn also spoke about King's declining health and the struggle the family went through watching their beloved endure it all. "His mind wasn't right, and his body was going, and so that was hard to witness because Larry, as we know him, is the guy that goes, 'Come on, let's go, you're late, get out of here,'" she recalls. "It's always, 'You're late.'''
Even though King and Shawn have been estranged ever since the broadcasting giant filed for divorce in 2019, Shawn said that they were close till the end. Stating that they finalized their divorce, the 61-year-old said, "In my heart, I didn't think it was really going to happen and it never did. We were partners in every sense of the way, in business, and in, well, first in our family and then in business. But we're a close family. You know, family is the most important thing, and God."
Shawn believes that even in death, King is still with the family. She said, "I believe he's still around us and I can feel him," and must be "happy at the coverage that his passing has gotten" as he "was a little boy in so many ways." Noting that even though King has done a lot of "wonderful things" in his life along with his long and successful career, Shawn said that his greatest legacy was his family.
Although he struggled to find love even after eight marriages, King was dedicated to fatherhood as much as he was to his career. During an interview with People in February 2020, he said, “I’m very proud of what I do. And I’m a good father — nothing beats parenthood. There’s an element of pinching myself every day. Look at what I’ve come through. All in all, if you look at it, I’ve had a blessed life.”
Unfortunately, the father of 5 lost his 65-year-olf son Andy King to a heart attack. Just weeks later, his 52-year-old daughter Chaia King passed away after her lung cancer diagnosis. His surviving kids Larry King, Jr., 59; Chance King, 21; and Cannon King, 20, released a joint family statement on Twitter saying, “The world knew Larry King as a great broadcaster and interviewer, but to us, he was 'dad'."
"He was the man who lovingly obsessed over our daily schedules and our wellbeing, and who took such immense pride in our accomplishments -- large, small, or imagined. And, through it all, we knew without a doubt in the world that he loved us more than life itself.”
Calling him an "amazing father" and a "friend," the trio added, “We will miss him every single day of our lives."