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Regina King's 26-year-old son Ian Alexander Jr. dies by suicide


Regina King’s only son Ian Alexander Jr. has died by suicide.

The 51-year-old actress confirmed the tragic news to PEOPLE on Friday with a statement: ‘Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. 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.’

Ian – who celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday – was King’s only child with her record producer ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr.

Regina King's only son Ian Alexander Jr. has died by suicide; Ian and Regina pictured in 2014

Regina King’s only son Ian Alexander Jr. has died by suicide; Ian and Regina pictured in 2014

King shared a close bond with her son – an artist and DJ – who often accompanied her to events and called her ‘super mom’ at the 2019 Golden Globes. 

‘She’s just a super mom,’ he said while speaking with E! on the red carpet. ‘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.’ 

The If Beale Street Could Talk actress separated from Ian’s father in 2007, after nine years of marriage. 

Devastating: The 51-year-old actress confirmed the tragic news to PEOPLE on Friday with a statement: 'Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. 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.'

Devastating: The 51-year-old actress confirmed the tragic news to PEOPLE on Friday with a statement: ‘Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. 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.’

Artistic soul: Ian was an artist and a DJ - known as DJ Buttercream; Pictured attending  Childhelp Hollywood Heroes on October 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California

Artistic soul: Ian was an artist and a DJ – known as DJ Buttercream; Pictured attending  Childhelp Hollywood Heroes on October 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California

His passion: pictured DJ'ing and with actress Rosario Dawson (right)

His passion: pictured DJ'ing and with actress Rosario Dawson (right)

His passion: pictured DJ’ing and with actress Rosario Dawson (right)

In 2011, Regina spoke with Essence and revealed how much she adored her only child.

‘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 she (my mother) is,’ she said. 

She went on saying, ‘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.’ 

Close bond: The actress shared a close bond with her son, who often accompanied her to events and called her 'super mom' at the 2019 Golden Globes

Close bond: The actress shared a close bond with her son, who often accompanied her to events and called her ‘super mom’ at the 2019 Golden Globes

Family: Ian - who celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday - was King's only child with her record producer ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr; Pictured during Legally Blonde 2 Red, White & Blonde - Special Screening in Southampton, New York

Family: Ian – who celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday – was King’s only child with her record producer ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr; Pictured during Legally Blonde 2 Red, White & Blonde – Special Screening in Southampton, New York

The star pictured with her son and her ex-husband at the 2005 Miss Congeniality 2 film premiere in Los Angeles

The star pictured with her son and her ex-husband at the 2005 Miss Congeniality 2 film premiere in Los Angeles

Regina pictured with Ian (left), her sister Reina, and parents Gloria and Thomas at her hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on October 28, 2021

Regina pictured with Ian (left), her sister Reina, and parents Gloria and Thomas at her hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on October 28, 2021 

Meanwhile Ian shared a lovely message for Regina’s 50th birthday last year, writing on his Instagram: ‘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 went on, ‘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 {sic] the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!’ 

Together: The mother and son pictured at the 18th Annual Race To Erase MS at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on April 29, 2011 in Century City

Together: The mother and son pictured at the 18th Annual Race To Erase MS at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on April 29, 2011 in Century City

King and Ian attend Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2017 in New York City

King and Ian attend Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2017 in New York City

The Golden Globe winner and her son pictured attending the GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on January 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

The Golden Globe winner and her son pictured attending the GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on January 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

In 2017 King revealed on an episode of The View that the two share matching tattoos.

‘We were taking Kabbalah classes. 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,’ she shared.

While portraying a grieving mother who recently lost a child in Netflix’s Seven Seconds series in 2019, the actress spoke about how her own experience as a mother prepared her for the role.

‘[My son] makes me happier than anything in the whole world,’ she said. ‘To be in a space of a mother losing her child for six months was terrifying.’

Loving mom: In 2011 Regina told Essence, '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'

Loving mom: In 2011 Regina told Essence, ‘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’

'[My son] makes me happier than anything in the whole world,' the actress said in 2019

‘[My son] makes me happier than anything in the whole world,’ the actress said in 2019 



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