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Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson says daughter Maia, 25, has died

The former NFL star and ESPN commentator announced the tragic news on social media on Monday. “We are heartbroken and devastated by her loss."
Keyshawn Johnson
“We are heartbroken and devastated by her loss,” Keyshawn Johnson said of the loss of his daughter Maia. Rainier Ehrhardt / AP
/ Source: TODAY

Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson broke the sad news on social media Monday that his oldest daughter, Maia, has died at 25.

“It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful Daughter Maia,” he wrote.

“Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her Mother Shikiri's, life. 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.”

Johnson, 48, asked for the public to give his family privacy while they grieved the loss.

“We are heartbroken and devastated by her loss,” he wrote. “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. Keyshawn Johnson, Sr.”

A cause of death wasn't immediately known. Maia Johnson was one of two children Johnson had with ex-wife Shikiri Hightower. He also has two other children with current wife Jennifer Conrad.

Hightower has not publicly commented on Maia’s death. In 2017, she shared a series of photos on Instagram in honor of Maia's 22nd birthday.

“22 years ago, your dad and I proudly brought you into this world. I was 19, a sophomore at USC, your dad was 22, like you are today. We were so young, wanting nothing more than to be your parents,” she began.

“My fearless, beautiful, intelligent, well-traveled, resourceful daughter, my mini-me, throughout our journey, we literally have been growing up, figuring life out, together,” she added.

Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft out of the University of Southern California, played with four teams over 11 seasons in the league and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He currently works as a commentator for ESPN and hosts “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin” with Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti on ESPN Radio.

"Our thoughts are with Keyshawn and his family as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy,” ESPN said in a statement. “He has the full support of his ESPN family."