Keke Palmer’s sister Loreal discusses mental health struggles, divorce and ‘Claim to Fame’ in new memoir

In her memoir “Keep Living,” Loreal Palmer also opens up about the trauma of three miscarriages and having her concerns dismissed by medical professionals.

Who is Loreal Palmer? Keke Palmer sister
Loreal Palmer, the older sister of actress and singer Keke Palmer, has released her memoir titled "Keep Living." (Photo Credit: Post Hill Press; Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images)

Keke Palmer’s older sister refuses to let anyone else share her story.

On Tuesday, Loreal Chanel “LC” Palmer, 35, published her memoir “Keep Living,” giving readers a detailed account of hardships she has faced throughout her life, from never feeling like the “main character” to navigating mental health struggles and divorce.

“I was happy with that role, until I wasn’t,” Palmer wrote about assuming “supporting” roles in the lives of others and subsequently forgetting about herself, Refinery29 reported.

Her turning point came in 2022 when she joined — and eventually won — the inaugural season of ABC’s reality competition show “Claim to Fame,” where 12 contestants related to famous people must conceal their identities while competing to reveal everyone else. In her memoir, Palmer describes how joining the cast helped her recapture her sense of agency and imagine a future where victory was not only attainable but inevitable.

“Once I started to see myself winning, I started to see myself doing a lot of things,” Palmer wrote. “I’m going to define myself for the first time in my life at 35 years. And sometimes, the definition changes. But here we are. I have that power. It’s my power to change that definition as many times as I would like to.”

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However, from resolving a complicated divorce to confronting the stigmas associated with mental health issues — which she has since addressed and sought treatment for — Palmer’s journey to self-discovery was far from easy.

The mother of three found her strength tested as she came to terms with her ex-husband, Frank Wimberly III, coming out as gay during their marriage. Additionally, she battled bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, crippling panic attacks, and three miscarriages.

Just before her third miscarriage, Palmer said she sensed something was wrong with her body; however, doctors and nurses dismissed her concerns. She later learned she would not be able to bring the pregnancy to term,  due to an incompetent cervix.

“Going through that and remembering that — I’m not going to lie — it definitely stirred up some anger,” Palmer wrote in her memoir. “I tried so hard to get someone to believe me, and by the time they reluctantly did, it was too late to do anything.”

“Writing about it kind of gave me that chance to really process it,” she added, noting how the cathartic process forced her to confront long-suppressed grief. 

When asked what drove the self-described private and shy woman to share her story in such a public manner, Palmer told Refinery29 that writing her memoir resulted from her deep-seated need to find acceptance and understanding, recalling the isolation and loneliness she experienced following her divorce. Through her mother Sharon Palmer’s support and an insightful discussion with another writer, she was reminded that others experiencing similar challenges needed to hear from someone like her.

“Past me didn’t make the best decisions,” Palmer said, explaining that she’d grappled with fears of judgment, ostracism, and being misunderstood by those closest to her if she shared her story. 

However, embracing her truth and leaving it all on the pages of her first book gave Palmer a feeling of liberation. “It feels so good to just be like, ‘You know what? This is me,'” she said, Refinery29 reported.