Grieving a heartbreaking loss. Regina King’s only child, son Ian Alexander Jr., has died. He was 26.
The 51-year-old Watchman star’s son — whom she shared with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. — died by suicide on Friday, January 21, just days after his birthday, according to TODAY.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King told the outlet in a statement. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”
After Ian’s death, several of King’s famous friends offered their condolences and support during this difficult time for the actress.
“My heart breaks for you @ReginaKing Ian was sweet & kind,” Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Garcelle Beauvais tweeted on Saturday, January 22.
Bernice King, for her part, wrote on Saturday, “Praying for Regina King. She needs all the grace and light that can flow her way right now.”
Ahead of Ian’s death, he had been candid about his mental health struggles.
“You know that episode of SpongeBob where they go inside his brain and it’s a bunch of mini spongebobs just losing their s—t … yea that one really hits home,” he tweeted on January 14. “I don’t think Instagram is healthy for me.”
The late musician — who performed under the moniker Desduné — also shared a close bond with the Oscar winner.
“Happy birthday to my co, so extremely proud of you and inspired by your love, artistry, and gangsta! To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something I will forever be grateful for,” he shared a sweet birthday tribute to his mother via Instagram in January 2021. “But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for. To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable. The whole marvel universe ain’t got s—t on you, [your’re] the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and every day YO DAY!!”
King — who welcomed her son in 1996 with her then-husband, now 64 — has been vocal about her motherhood experience and raising Ian through the years.
“I get emotional because my son is an amazing young man, and it took me to be a mother for me to realize how incredible of a woman [my mother] is,” she opened up during a “Red Chair Interview” for CNN in October 2020. “You don’t know what unconditional love is. You may say you do, but if you don’t have a child, you don’t know what that is. But when you experience it, it is the most fulfilling ever. So, that is the greatest part about me. Being a mom to Ian.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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