NICK Cannon brought together all of his children and baby mamas for an emotional conversation about his son’s secret cancer battle before he died at five months, his dad has exclusively told The Sun.
The TV host broke down in tears on his show Tuesday in front of a live audience as he revealed his youngest child Zen had passed away after living with a brain tumor.
Nick and baby mama Alyssa Scott took little Zen to see his last sunset[/caption]
The star’s father James Cannon has opened up about his grandso’s tragic death[/caption]
“Over the weekend, I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus…brain cancer,” he told fans on the show.
“It’s tough. And I have my therapist here, who’s been helping us through it.”
Nick, 41, welcomed his son Zen with model Alyssa Scott on June 23.
Now, his father James Cannon, 85, has revealed how he broke the news to family about his son’s illness, bringing together all of his baby mamas in Los Angeles, except Mariah who remained on the East Coast.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, he said: “Once he learned, he was quietly dealing with it. We talked about it, the whole family did.
“All of his children and baby mamas got together in San Diego in September, all of them apart from Mariah.”
Most read in Celebrity
Rapper Plan B is unrecognisable 11 years after smash hit album
TOP OF THE CROPS
Cheryl shows off new shorter hair after glam makeover
Katie Price has hair extensions and nails removed as she faces Christmas in jail
'will never forget you'
Fearne Cotton heartbroken after death of 'best friend' of 20 years
From dating Zendaya to dad's breakdown, Tom Holland's incredible rise to fame
SET PFIZER TO THE RAIN
Adele bans unvaccinated fans from attending upcoming concerts
The star has twins Moroccan and Monroe, 10, with the singer, along with Golden, 4, and Powerful Queen, 9 months old, with Brittany Bell, and twins Zion and Zillion, three months old, with DJ Abby De La Rosa.
“I didn’t quite understand before why he was bringing all those mothers together, all those children,” James admitted.
“That’s when he explained the situation, it was a simple conversation, he said, ‘This is what we’re dealing with, it’s tough’.
“All of the baby mamas get on as far as I know, Nick is all about family.
“It was a sad day but they didn’t want to make Zen’s illness the focus, they wanted to spend quality time together.
“Alyssa was quiet, it has been very hard for her, those long nights, she’s been all in. And we’ve all prayed. They really treasured their last moments with Zen.
James said Nick has been making Zen his main focus for months[/caption]
The little boy was diagnosed at just a few months old and had to have surgery[/caption]
“I’m absolutely proud of him [Nick], life throws things at you, you’ve got to have hope all the way to the end.
“In a sense, having a big family has helped him, but grief is a lonely thing.
“When a parent passes, they’ve lived a full life, my father died of leukaemia, but when a child passes, I imagine it’s a very different situation.”
James, a self-published author, said Nick will not be taking any time off from his daily chat show, and instead using his job as “therapy” and to connect with his fans through grief.
“When you elevate to a level like he has, every day you’re out there, but I don’t think there are many men, especially African American men, who can speak for an hour, be passionate, and vulnerable,” he told The Sun.
“I applaud him for the way he’s dealt with this. I think work for him is therapy, I don’t believe he will take time off work, but the focus is family.”
James said he is unsure of his relationship status with Alyssa, and confirmed they do not live together, as she is in LA and is mostly in New Jersey where he owns a huge home.
“Something like this brings you together, I’ve met her she’s a nice young lady, all the young ladies that I’ve met are charming, intelligent,” James said.
“I’d spent quality time with Zen since his birth, holidays and such.
“I think if I know my son, he’s going to honor Zen by honoring his mom, making sure she is set and respected, making sure the world knows that she’s loved, whether she’s his girlfriend or not.”
He added: “I haven’t heard about the funeral yet but I know Nick will refer to whatever Alyssa wants, what her wishes are, whether it’s a big memorial or a quiet affair.”
During Wednesday’s show, Nick shared an update on how both he and Alyssa have been holding up.
BACK TO WORK
After telling fans that he’s “vertical and that’s a good start,” he added that he doesn’t want to make it about himself.
The host praised Alyssa for being “strong” though it all.
“I know people were wondering how she’s doing,” Nick told viewers. “She’s taking it five minutes at a time.”
He added that everyone’s “words and tweets” have been “outstanding, they’ve been so touching.”
When the newborn was about two months old, Nick said they thought he had a sinus problem.
After his head appeared to swell, they learned that fluid was building.
Doctors discovered he had a malignant brain tumor that required surgery immediately, but his heath did not improve.
He passed away on Sunday at the star’s home in Burbank and Nick had to fly back to the New York for his job.
Nick has praised Zen’s mom Alyssa for being the “strongest woman [he’s] ever seen” through it all.
“I gotta say thank you to my entire family but specifically to Alyssa,” he added, while thanking everyone for “coming together during this difficult time.”
Nick has other baby mamas including Abby De La Rosa and welcomed four children in one year[/caption]
The TV chat show host dedicated Tuesdays episode to his son Zen[/caption]
The star gathered his family including Brittany Bell and their two children[/caption]