Nick Cannon’s 5-Month-Old Son Zen Has Died of Cancer, TV Presenter Says

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
December 8, 2021 Updated: December 8, 2021

American TV presenter Nick Cannon delivered an emotional statement on Tuesday revealing that his youngest child has died at just 5 months old.

Cannon, 41, shared the heartbreaking news in front of a shocked live audience on his program, “The Nick Cannon Show,” which was published on YouTube.

The comedian told viewers that his son, Zen, whom he shares with model partner Alyssa Scott, had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a form of brain cancer, just months after he was born.

Cannon and Scott welcomed Zen on June 23, making him Cannon’s seventh child.

“I haven’t even shared this with anybody. Not even the crew. Just because there is so much going on in the world. I had a tough, very tough weekend,” Cannon told audience members on the show.

“Over the weekend I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that is pretty much a malignant, midline brain tumor—brain cancer,” he said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, hydrocephalus “is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain.” The condition can occur in anyone at any age but is more common among infants and adults aged 60 and over.

The TV host showed the audience his “pic of the day,” a photograph of Zen, as he broke down in tears before giving details on the tragic loss.

“I always noticed he had a cough and so I wanted to check it out,” Cannon said. “He had this interesting breathing and by the time he was 2 months, I noticed he had this nice-sized head too—a Cannon head. We didn’t think anything of it. But I wanted to take him to the doctor for his sinus and breathing. We thought it would be a routine process.”

The presenter said that after discovering the build-up of fluid in Zen’s head was a malignant tumor, his son underwent brain surgery and a shunt to drain the excess fluid.

However, Cannon shared that things took a turn for the worse at Thanksgiving and the process of Zen’s cancer “sped up” and the tumor began growing much more quickly.

“Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster. And so we knew that time was…,” he said before becoming overcome with emotion. “This weekend I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with Zen. We woke up on Sunday—I got to spend the weekend with him—and I woke up on Sunday and was like, ‘I feel like I want to go to the water.’ We got a chance to go to the ocean.”

Cannon said he and Scott had watched the sunrise and sat on the beach as they cradled their young son “for the last time.”

“It was a beautiful setting,” he explained. “I didn’t know how I was going to handle today, but I just wanted to grieve with my family,” he told viewers, adding that this week’s show was a “special show dedicated to my beautiful son, Zen.”

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.