Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (2024)

After finding fame, actress Shar Jackson took a step back from the spotlight to focus on being a mom to her four children: Donovan Jackson, Cassalei Monique Jackson, Kori Madison Jackson Federline and Kaleb Michael Jackson Federline.

The Moesha actress became a mother for the first time when she welcomed son Donovan with her high school boyfriend at the age of 17 in 1993, and her daughter Cassie was born one year later. Appearing on the Grade School Media podcast in May 2024, Shar credited her mom with helping her grow into a parent.

Shar went on to welcome daughter Kori with former fiancé Kevin Federline in 2002, followed by son Kaleb in 2004. By then, she was able to be even more present with her kids as her career became more established.

When Shar and Kevin split during her pregnancy with Kaleb, he and Britney Spears welcomed son Sean Preston Federline in 2005, followed by Jayden James Federline in 2006.

Although the Good Burger star had to adjust to the new family dynamics, it was always important to her that her children knew their brothers. “We definitely make sure the kids all bond together,” Shar told reporters in 2007. “They’re siblings — they need each other.”

Shar could not be more proud of her sons and daughters. “A couple of them are in school getting engineering degrees, one is getting her art degree, and then my baby, he’s in high school and just started his first job,” she told Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart in 2021. “That means my duties are pretty much almost done ... Now when people call me and ask me to go out, I can’t use my kids as an excuse!”

Here's everything to know about Shar Jackson’s children: Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb.

Donovan Jackson, 30

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (1)

Shar became a mom for the first time when she welcomed son Donovan “Donnie” Jackson with her high school boyfriend on June 23, 1993.

At the time, she was acting in small parts for shows, including Roc and My So-Called Life, and trying to make it as an actress. Donovan was 3 years old when she got her big break as Niecy Jackson on Moesha, but because she was still up-and-coming, she leaned heavily on her family to help support her on her motherhood journey.

“My mom had to really step up,” Shar said on Hollywood Live. “My mom and my sister actually stepped in and made sure the kids got where they needed to be, took them to all their lessons and classes, and I’d sometimes only make it home to make dinner or put them to bed, and that was rough for me.”

However, once filming for Moesha was over and Shar had more time and resources available, she was able to be a more present mom. “When Moesha ended, the kids were still fairly young, probably 9 and 10, so I was able to throw myself into full motherhood, and it was really good," she recalled.

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (2)

Donovan mostly lives his life outside of the limelight. His career is unknown and his social media pages are private besides one dedicated to cosplay and anime. However, his mom does share glimpses of him on her social media from time to time.

“Screaming happy birthday to my first born... you were the first to make me experience true unconditional love,” Shar wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her son at an event in 2018. “Enjoy your bday baby boy, I love you!”

Cassalei Monique Jackson, 29

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (3)

Shar welcomed her daughter Cassalei “Cassie” Jackson one year later on Sept. 20, 1994.

Cassalei revealed that the toughest part of her childhood came following the Bernie Mac star’s split from Kevin.

“I think the day that my mom and my stepdad Kevin broke up was the day that a really big and important part of my mom died," she shared on an episode of Lifetime’s The Mother/Daughter Experiment in 2016.

Cassalei continued, “We lost our house, and she went from being a loving caring spirit to not wanting to go anywhere or do anything. All of it affected me pretty negatively and it was like, my whole family’s ruined.”

Still, Shar and Cassalei remained close, with Cassalei accompanying her mother to red carpet events and appearing in projects with her, including The Mother/Daughter Experiment and Celebrity Exorcism.

Cassalei focused on a career in computer science and engineering, according to her Instagram, but also followed her mom into the entertainment industry by starring in the reality show Naked and Afraid of Love in 2021.

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (4)

Shar became a grandmother when Cassalei welcomed her daughter Mariah on Jan. 25, 2015, with her ex-boyfriend, actor Christopher Massey.

Cassalei keeps her child’s life mostly private, but shares tidbits through her Instagram Stories. In one sweet birthday post from 2019, she wrote, “I do not share my life with you guys ever, but I’m raising the kindest, most dramatic, and the most caring little girl ever.”

Cassalei has nothing but respect and admiration for her mom, and shared a touching tribute to Shar for Mother’s Day 2017.

“Happy Mother's Day to this beautiful woman who encourages me everyday to find my own way through life,” she wrote on Instagram. “It's so beautiful to know what unconditional love is and it's so refreshing to see someone who was so young when she became a mother handle raising us all so effortlessly. I'm so proud of everything you do and I hope I'm making you proud too.”

Kori Madison Jackson Federline, 21

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (5)

Shar welcomed her third child, Kori Madison Federline, with Kevin on July 31, 2002.

Though the couple split a few years later, Shar has always praised the way Kevin was there for Kori.

“He’s an amazing dad,” she told PEOPLE in 2006. “When Kori was first born, her whole first year and a half, he was there. I mean, he wouldn’t leave her side. He’s a good guy, and when he’s not with [his kids], it hurts his heart that he misses them so much.”

Kori has joined her mom at several special events over the years, including The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor Scares the Ship Out of Celebrities in 2015, and the BoxLunch Holiday Gala Honoring Feeding America in 2023.

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (6)

On Instagram, Kori describes herself as a “carefree, stress-free, happy” artist and gamer, and she shows off her drawings on the platform as well. Video games are a passion she shares with her mom, who is also a self-proclaimed gamer.

Kori has a tight relationship with her mother, but also appears to share a close bond with her former stepmother Spears. She did a shoot with the singer as a toddler, and in 2022, the singer shared a drawing that Kori gave her on Instagram.

“My son’s step sister drew this !!!! … I think she was 12 when she did this ... I’ve kept it all this time ... she did it by hand no tracing,” Spears captioned the photo. “I respect people who can draw like this ... I mean wow … wow !!!!”

Kaleb Michael Jackson Federline, 19

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (7)

Shar’s youngest child is son Kaleb Michael Jackson Federline, whom she welcomed with Kevin on July 20, 2004.

Despite Kevin splitting with Shar while she was pregnant with Kaleb, the teen seems to share a close relationship with his dad and even wore a costume of one of Kevin's music video outfits for Halloween in 2015.

Shar posted a photo of Kaleb posing in a pinstriped outfit and a fedora, writing, “Kaleb is channeling his dad in MJ's ‘rock my world’ video lol.”

While Kaleb appears to be more private as an adult, he frequently attended events with his mom as a kid, including an afterparty for Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical in 2009.

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (8)

In May 2024, Shar shared that she was getting ready to go back to work in the entertainment industry at her kids' urging.

“I am working on some projects... my kids kind of just looked at me and were like, ‘We love that you're home, mom, but imma need you to go to work,’ ” she said on the Grade School Media podcast.

Shar continued, “I started all of these other businesses and things so that I could be home with the kids and they're like, ‘That’s all great and I’m happy that you have that, but uhhh, you should go to work.’ ”

Shar Jackson's 4 Children: All About Donovan, Cassalei, Kori and Kaleb (2024)


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