Keisha Nash, Ex-Wife of Forest Whitaker, Dead at 51

UPDATE: Keisha Nash’s cause of death has been revealed.

According to a copy of her death certificate obtained by TMZ, Keisha’s cause of death has been labeled as “due to alcoholic liver disease.” The documents further revealed that Nash had lived with the disease for “years” and also listed acute renal failure as another condition that may have contributed to her death. 

Keisha Nash, who was married to Forest Whitaker for 22 years between 1996 and 2018, is being taken away from us far too soon. It was confirmed by her 25-year-old daughter, True Whitaker – the youngest of their brood – who took to her Instagram Story to pay tribute to ‘the most beautiful woman in the world.’ 

“Goodbye, Mommy. I love you 4ever and beyond. The most beautiful woman in the world… thank you for teaching me every single thing I know. I’ll see you in my dreams, and I’ll feel you in my heart,” she wrote in a text overlay on her Story. The caption was accompanied by a black-and-white photo of her ‘Mommy.’ 

True, who appeared in five episodes of The Godfather of Harlem alongside her father (the star of the show), shared a second photo of her mother – this one accompanied by the song ‘A Song For You’ by Donny Hathaway. A cause of death has yet to be revealed, but she struggled with anorexia for years.

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“Keisha battled anorexia for years. And in 2014 she entered rehab in Chicago. Forest stayed by her side during those difficult times, but [soon after] he filed for divorce,” one source told the Daily Mail. The actor filed for divorce in 2018 due to ‘irreconcilable differences after spending 22 years by each other’s side. 

Keisha Nash, Ex-Wife of Forest Whitaker, Dead at 51 – No Cause of Death Revealed
via Shutterstock (Everett Collection)

Keisha Nash met Forest Whitaker in 1994 when they were both cast in the 1994 film Blown Away – Whitaker as Officer Anthony Franklin and Nash as Franklin’s girlfriend. They started dating in real life not long after that, and he got on one knee and proposed the following year – their love blossomed quickly. 

The couple tied the knot in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 4, 1996. At the time, Forest was already the father of a son (Ocean Whitaker), and Nash was already the mother to a daughter (Autumn Whitaker) – from previous relationships. Forest helped Keisha raise Autumn, but they also had two kids of their own.  

They welcomed their first daughter together, Sonnet Noel Whitaker, in 1996 – she’s 27 now and is pursuing a career in the music industry. The couple welcomed a second daughter, True Whitaker, in 1998 – she’s 25 now and is pursuing an acting career (following in her mother’s and father’s footsteps).

Keisha Nash Opened Up About Her Marriage in 2008

In 2008, Keisha Nicole launched a makeup company called Kissable Couture – it debuted in a local Lynn, MA (where she was born and raised) boutique that was owned by one of her friends. At the time, she sat down with Northshore Magazine to talk about her life as a mom, wife, entrepreneur, actor, and producer.

Keisha Nash, Ex-Wife of Forest Whitaker, Dead at 51 – No Cause of Death Revealed
via Shutterstock (Debby Wong)

She was at the height of her fame, but admitted that it was hard to juggle multiple responsibilities at once. “My kids say, `Mom, you’re not blending! You’re wearing three-inch heels and you have a film crew with a boom mic following you,’” she said of her attempts to blend in while at one of her children’s soccer games.

Keisha Nash, Ex-Wife of Forest Whitaker, Dead at 51 – No Cause of Death Revealed
via Shutterstock (DFree)

She did, however, credit her nanny for helping her keep the kids entertained when she’s not around. “He can do everything. He teaches us hip-hop; he can pick out Manolos, hang with the soccer moms and plan parties. And he makes a mean apple crumble!” she said of the couple’s former nanny (15 years ago). 

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As for Forest, Keisha Nash was quick to commend him for his dedication. “He opens his eyes every day with a smile. If he’s got just a three-day break from filming, he’ll fly home even if it’s just for a day and a half.” Forest has yet to comment on his ex-wife’s passing, though many outlets have reached out. 

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