The only son of award-winning director and actress Regina King passed away just days after his 26th birthday
On January 22, Regina King’s representative confirmed that her 26-year-old son Ian Alexander Jr. died by suicide. His 26th birthday was on Wednesday.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level of the loss of Ian,” King’s statement says. “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.”
King shared Ian with ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. Like his father, Alexander Jr. worked in the music industry. He deejayed and performed under the monikor Desduné. He had just released a new single on January 7 and had scheduled performances in Los Angeles for the end of the month.
King has always gushed about how proud she was of her son. In 2011, she told CNN, “”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,” King said.
Even as her career skyrocketed, King made her son a priority, saying he taught her what “unconditional love” truly 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,” she explained at the time. “When you experience it, it’s the most fulfilling [thing] ever. So, that is the greatest part about me. Being a mom to Ian.” The two even got matching tattoos that read “unconditional love” in Aramaic, with his on his shoulder and hers on her arm.
Last year, Alexander Jr. celebrated his mom on her birthday with this heartwarming Instagram, saying, “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, your the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!”
Friends and fans are showing an outpouring of support and condolences as King navigates this devastating loss
As soon as the news broke, people began sharing their condolences and prayers with King. “PRAYERS for Regina King family & Ian Alexander Sr. family 🙏🏾,” Missy Elliott wrote. “Dear LORD give them STRENGTH during this time 🙏🏾 💜”
“Sending our love and deepest condolences to Regina King for the loss of her son. Please keep her and her family in your prayers during this most difficult time. We love you 🙏🏽” tweeted NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “Friends, check in on your loved ones today. You never know what someone is going through,” he added.
All of our love goes out to King and her family.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.