Dominque Perry and Sarunas Jackson Agree Their Relationship Was “Never Romantic”

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Nov. 30 2023, Published 2:01 p.m. ET

(l-r): Dominque Perry and Sarunas Jackson
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Dominque Perry and Sarunas Jackson had a casual relationship after meeting on the set of Insecure.
  • The actors welcomed a daughter, Zen, in May 2018 and seemingly had a solid co-parenting relationship.
  • In September 2023, Dominque petitioned to establish the parental relationship between her and Sarunas.
  • Sarunas asked for joint custody and said Dominque’s actions were threatening his career
  • Dominque accused Sarunas of “choking” her and his mother, Yhinyer Hubbard Jackson, amid claims from Keke Palmer that Sarunas’s brother, Darius Jackson, is abusive.
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Actors Dominque Perry and Sarunas Jackson rose to fame as recurring characters on Insecure. However, their connection eventually became more personal than professional, with an off-screen relationship many of their fans knew nothing about.

Dominque and Sarunas went from co-workers to co-parents seemingly overnight. And now, amid Keke Palmer’s domestic violence allegations against Sarunas’s brother, Darius Jackson, Dominque has filed a petition that names Sarunas as abusive and negligent of their daughter, Zen Jackson.

So, how did we get here? Let’s look back at Dominque and Sarunas’s relationship timeline.

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Dominque Perry and Sarunas Jackson met on the set of ‘Insecure’ around 2016/2017.

(l-r): Dominque Perry and Sarunas Jackson at the 'Insecure' wrap party in December 2021
Source: Getty Images

Many Insecure fans first met Dominque Perry as Tasha, Jay Ellis’s character and Lawrence’s love interest. Dominque appeared in Seasons 1 and 2 of the series. During the second season, Sarunas landed a recurring role as Alejandro “Dro” Pena, Molly’s (Yvonne Orji) love interest on the show.

Dominque and Sarunas never appeared together in any scenes on Insecure. However, Dominque later revealed that her future baby daddy had his sights set on her while they were on set, though she insists nothing happened between them until her time on Insecure ended.

“It was after,” Dominque told Houston, Texas’ 97.9 The Box (via Madame Noire). “ It wasn’t romance brewing on the set at all. He was like, ‘Ima hit you up after your name’s off the call list.’ That’s what he said.”

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Dominque and Sarunas welcomed their daughter, Zen, in 2018.

After Sarunas ultimately hit Dominque up, they began a casual relationship. They kept their situationship under wraps until Dominque became pregnant with their child in April 2018.

“It’s like … I just felt like finally showing you off, girl,” Dominque wrote on Instagram while showing off her bump in a red ensemble. “You weren’t in my plans, but you were in God's plans, and for that, it’s insane how much I love you.”

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During her pregnancy, Dominque never revealed the name of her child's father. However, when their daughter, Zen, was born in May 2018, she and Sarunas posted identical photos of their baby girl, causing many Insecure fans to send “Tasha and Dro” well wishes to their new baby.

Sarunas and Dominque battled in court over their daughter’s custody arrangements in September 2023.

Sarunas Jackson at the 'Hollywood Unlocked' Awards
Source: Getty Images

Following Zen’s birth, Dominque and Sarunas ended their short-lived romance. Nonetheless, the actors remained in each other’s lives for their child’s sake. Dominque was still a part of Sarunas’s family, even celebrating Keke Palmer’s pregnancy with her and Darius Jackson in 2022.

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Despite seemingly getting along as co-parents, Dominque and Sarunas’s relationship worsened in September 2023. According to Essence, Dominque sought joint physical and legal custody of their daughter, Zen, after she decided to live in Houston, Texas, full-time instead of Los Angeles, Calif., where Sarunas lives. Dominque reportedly asked the judge on the case to reconsider, stating she is their daughter’s “primary caregiver.”

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Dominque stated in court documents that Zen has lived in Texas since the actor stopped moving back and forth between Houston and L.A. for acting jobs. She also said that, while she’s with their daughter daily, Sarunas has directed “emotional volatility and intimidation” towards her and is allegedly “inconsistent” in how he cares for their child.

“[Sarunas’] visitation routines are dependent upon when he expresses a desire to see her,” Dominque claimed in the legal paperwork. “Generally, [Sarunas] requests to see Zen are sporadic. Because [Sarunas] has attained a certain level of success in his career, he generally works and has to travel even more than I do. I am concerned with whom Zen may be left with in the face of his extended absences.”

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Dominque and Sarunas confirm they were never “romantic” amid her abuse allegations against him.

Dominque Perry
Source: Getty Images

In November 2023, more documents from Dominque and Sarunas’s child custody case surfaced. On Nov. 16, Sarunas opposed Dominque’s Sept. 21 petition to determine the parental relationship.

According to People, Sarunas claimed the custody battle with his ex “have made me fear for repercussions in my career” and also stated he was concerned about Dominque’s alleged “looming threat that she would request court-ordered child support for greater than the amount that we have agreed to.”

In the documents, Dominque and Sarunas agreed that they “were never in a romantic relationship” before she became pregnant. However, since they’ve been in each other’s lives, Dominque said she was “regularly bullied and intimidated” by Sarunas and his family and that Sarunas blamed her for their daughter being on the Autism spectrum.

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The Rap S--t actor also said Sarunas had been physically violent towards her and reported a March 2020 argument where Sarunas allegedly “became more angry and grabbed me by the throat and started choking me,” something she claimed is the Games People Play star’s “norm.” She also said Sarunas has been violent with his mother, Yhinyer Hubbard Jackson.

“A few weeks later, he showed up to my residence with scratches all over his neck and face. I asked what happened, and he stated ‘he cornered his mom, and they were fighting,”’ Dominque claimed. “The choking on his behalf is the norm. He is violent with women.”

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(l-r): Dominque Perry and Keke Palmer
Source: Getty Images

Dominque’s allegations against Sarunas came weeks after Keke Palmer accused his brother, Darius, of domestic abuse. In November 2023, Keke stated Darius had been mentally and physically abusive and filed a petition for full custody of their son, Leodis Andrellton Jackson.

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When the allegations surfaced, Dominque came under fire for seemingly laughing at the matter, sharing a gif of Michael Jackson from the “Thriller” video eating popcorn. However, Dominque has since clarified that the post was her way to “laugh to keep from crying,” as she promised her story would be “vindicated” sooner than later.

“I may not be at the highest platform in my career just yet to be heard and/or supported by the public, but whenever that time comes, everyone will listen,” Dominque said. “God is in control of my steps, and I’ll respond accordingly. I will be vindicated in his timing. Pray for the abusers the protected babies will always be fine.”

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