Mourning the actress Regina King before the death of her only son

NEW YORK– Ian Alexander Jr., the only son of the award-winning actress and director Regina King died. On Wednesday he turned 26.

“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” said a family statement shared Saturday by a spokesman for King. “He is such a shining light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time.”

A family representative confirmed the death was a suicide. No further details have been provided.

The “One Night in Miami” director fathered Alexander with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. The two divorced in 2007 after 10 years of marriage. The young Alexander was a DJ who often accompanied King to red carpet events.

He told E! News at the 2019 Golden Globes: “She’s just a super mom. She really doesn’t let bad days at work or anything come back and ruin the time we have. It is really amazing to have a mother that I can enjoy spending time with.”

The couple had matching tattoos that said “unconditional love” in Aramaic.

“We were taking Kabbalah classes,” King told The View in 2017. “He said, let’s pick three designs each and don’t tell each other what they are and which one matches, that’s the one we’re going to get tattooed. — and we both chose unconditional love.”

For his mother’s 50th birthday last year, Alexander posted a tribute on Instagram that read in part: “Getting to see you take this life by the throat and make it your own is something I will always be grateful for. But having you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for.”

Taking to Instagram a week ago, King shared a clip of his son’s latest song, “Green Eyes,” urging his followers to check it out. In an interview with People, she once called her son “an amazing young man” and talked about the love between mother and son.

“You don’t know what unconditional love is. You can say yes, but if you don’t have a child, you don’t know what that is,” said the Oscar, Golden Globe and four-time Emmy winner. “When you experience it, it’s the most rewarding thing there is.”

News of Alexander’s death quickly spread on social media.

“Deepest condolences and prayers for strength to @ReginaKing. I return all the warmth, light and support you have given me and so many others,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, posted on Twitter.

King, a star in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and many other films, received two NAACP Image Awards.

Bernice King, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change and daughter of the civil rights icon, posted on Twitter: “Praying for Regina King. She needs all the grace and light that can flow her way right now.”

The PAS Line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to help people with suicidal behavior or mental health problems such as: depression, domestic violence and anxiety disorders, among others. If you have or know someone with suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-981-0023 immediately.

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Mourning the actress Regina King before the death of her only son