'He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others,' King said in a statement.
Actor and director Regina King's son, Ian Alexander Jr., has died by suicide, a public relations representative for King confirmed to publications. According to PEOPLE, Alexander turned 26 last week on January 19. "Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian," King said in a statement provided by her representative. "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." Alexander was King's only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr.
Born on January 19, 1996, Alexander followed in his father's footsteps into the music industry and was a practicing musician and DJ. Performing under the name Desduné, he was due to perform several shows in Los Angeles later this month after releasing his most recent single, Green Eyes, on January 7. Speaking about the deep love she had for her son in a 2011 interview with CNN, King said: "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."
"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," the Oscar winner added. Despite her incredible success as both an actress and director, King said in another interview that her son was her biggest source of pride. After separating from Ian Alexander Sr. in 2007, after nine years of marriage, the star admitted that although being a single parent wasn't always easy, nothing is stronger than her love for her son.
The mother-son duo also has matching tattoos which read "unconditional love" in Aramaic—Alexander's on his shoulder and King's on her arm. "We were taking Kabbalah classes," King explained on The View in 2017. "He said, let's choose three [designs] each and not tell each other which ones they are and whichever one is matching, that's the one we're going to get tattooed—and we both chose unconditional love."
Alexander paid tribute to his mom on her birthday with a moving Instagram post last year, writing: "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. 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 shit on you, you'r the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!"
Regina King’s son Ian Alexander Jr. has passed away at 26. We send our love and deepest condolences to King and the entire family during this time. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/SLvbR6BeGh— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) January 22, 2022
The late musician also often accompanied his mom on red carpets, including the 2019 Golden Globes when he called King a "super mom." Speaking to E! News on the red carpet, Alexander said: "She's just a super mom. She doesn't really let bad work days or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It's really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with."
Mental health is so important and scary cause you could have a momma like this who loves you down and depression will still win. This is hurting me so bad man https://t.co/R5G6t3VKec— 🤎 (@notalottamani) January 22, 2022
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.