Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson has announced the death of his ‘beautiful and beloved’ 25-year-old daughter.
Johnson, 48, said he was ‘heartbroken and devastated’ after his eldest daughter Maia Highwater-Johnson died, describing her as a ‘constant beloved presence’ and the ‘joy of my life’.
The former NFL wide receiver did not reveal the circumstances surrounding Maia’s death.
Johnson said in a statement: ‘It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful daughter Maia.
‘Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her mother Shikiri’s, life.’
Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson has announced the sudden of his 25-year-old daughter
Johnson, 48, said he was ‘heartbroken and devastated’ after his eldest daughter Maia Highwater-Johnson died, describing her as a ‘constant beloved presence’. Pictured: Maia (right) with her mother and Johnson’s ex-wife Shikiri Hightower
Keyshawn Johnson released a statement to announce the death of his daughter Maia
Maia was Johnson’s first child with ex-wife Shikiri Hightower, who he was married to between 1998 and 2002.
Johnson, who now works for ESPN as a NFL analyst and radio host, added: ‘She came into our lives just as we were both coming of age as adults and has been a constant beloved presence for both of us.
‘We are heartbroken and devastated by her loss. Shikiri, Maia’s siblings, our family and me appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
‘We also all appreciate your support and respect for our privacy as we move forward. Thank you all, God Bless.’
Maia (left) was Johnson’s first child with ex-wife Shikiri Hightower (right), who he was married to between 1998 and 2002
Maia was one of Johnson’s four children and the cousin of Michael Johnson, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver.
Johnson had his son Keyshawn Jr., 22, with Shikiri before marrying his current wife Jennifer Conrad who he has two children with.
Maia’s mother, Shikiri, is a fashion entrepreneur and gave birth to her daughter when she was a 19-year-old student at the University of Southern California and Johnson was 22.
Johnson went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers before retiring in 2007 to become an analyst.
Johnson (pictured in 2004 playing for Dallas Cowboys) went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers before retiring in 2007 to become an analyst
In 2017, Shikiri posted an emotional message on Instagram to celebrate Maia’s 22nd birthday.
She wrote: ‘We were so young, wanting nothing more than to be your parents. Four months later, your dad became the number one draft pick, our lives were forever changed.
‘We went from inconspicuously driving you around campus in a beat up used Honda to life in a fish bowl, all eyes on us, without us truly understanding what that meant.
‘Our once private dysfunction was suddenly on blast, all of it playing out as folk’s entertainment.’
She continued: ‘My fearless, beautiful, intelligent, well-traveled, resourceful daughter, my mini-me, throughout our journey, we literally have been growing up, figuring life out, together.
‘Have we made mistakes? Absolutely, but I believe God allows us to make mistakes, for us to learn, to understand how to win.
‘And my precious child, with you plus God, that’s all you’ll continue to do, win, even when it feels like you’re losing. For every pain, remember, it’s strengthening you, making you better, stronger.
‘Continue to follow your light. You are destined for greatness. Happy 22nd birthday Maia. I love you, Mom.’