Nick Cannon Says Daughter Monroe Is His 'Best Therapist' Since Zen's Death

by Julie Scagell
Nick Cannon with his two daughters smiling for a photograph
Frazer Harrison/KCA2018/Getty

Nick Cannon said his kids have helped him through the grieving process

Nick Cannon is opening up more about his son Zen’s death after he passed away from a brain tumor at just five months old. Cannon said his family has been his support system to get through this horrific time, and that includes his ten-year-old daughter, Monroe.

Cannon announced on December 7 that his youngest child, who he shared with model Alyssa Scott, had died. In the wake of their unimaginable loss, he says the outpouring of support has been humbling but that it’s Monroe who has helped him the most. “My daughter, really, she’s so in tune and in line and wise beyond her years,” Cannon told People. “I got a lot of therapists, but she’s probably my best therapist.” Cannon shares daughter Monroe and son Moroccan with ex-wife Mariah Carey.

Zen had been diagnosed with a high-grade glioma, a fast-growing tumor found in the brain and spinal cord. When they found out, Cannon and Scott decided chemotherapy wasn’t in Zen’s future because they “didn’t want [Zen] to suffer.”

Cannon also said Zen’s death has been a difficult one to explain to his other kids. “Having to explain that to ten-year-olds (Moroccan and Monroe) and a 4-year-old (Golden) is pretty intense,” he says. “But their understanding and them being there for me probably helped me keep it together as well as really deal with it. Specifically, even, Roc and Roe. They were there for the entire journey.”

Cannon has been open about this journey on his daytime talk show Nick Cannon as well as through other media outlets. “I’m taking it as my therapist says, five minutes at a time,” Cannon told TODAY‘s Hoda Kotb. “I’m optimistic in finding the purpose through all of the pain, so I’m attempting to smile, I’m attempting to be the high-frequency individual that I’ve set out to be, but along the way there’s definitely some curves in the journey, so I’m taking it five minutes at a time.”

He also said he’s been processing his grief while trying to be there for Zen’s mother. He called Scott “strong,” and said, “I couldn’t imagine — as a father, it’s painful but for a mother who carried a beautiful child for nine months, nurtured and cared for him every single day through this process,” he said, noting the “medicines and trips to the hospital and doctor.” For all he’s done, Cannon’s been most impressed by her. “I attempt to be there for her but I watch her strength and I’m in awe.”

When talking about his “best therapist,” he says Monroe has been able to keep him in check. “She’s so pure and so honest. To be 10, she asks some really strong and powerful questions,” he said. “Really, just it’s all out of love. She’s my oldest child. Even though they’re twins, she came out first and she lets everybody know it. She’s helped me keep it strong.”