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Regina King's Son Ian Alexander Jr Has Died By Suicide Aged 26

by : Hannah Smith on :
Regina King's Son Ian Alexander Jr Has Died By Suicide Aged 26
Regina King's Son Ian Alexander Jr Has Died By Suicide Aged 26 (Alamy/Regina King/Instagram)

Regina King's son Ian Alexander Jr has died by suicide aged 26, the actor and director has confirmed.

In a statement issued overnight, King said, '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.'

Alexander Jr was King's only son, whom she shared with her former husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. He had celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday, January 19.

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Ian Alexander Jr (left) and family (Alamy)
Ian Alexander Jr (left) and family (Alamy)

Following in his father's footsteps, Alexander Jr had been embarking on a career as a musician and had recently released his latest single, Green Eyes, under the name Desduné.

With King and Alexander Sr having divorced in 2007, the Oscar-winning actor has previously spoken about the challenges of raising a child as a single mother, but often said in interviews that her son was her greatest source of pride.

'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'd previously told PEOPLE. 'When you experience it, it's the most fulfilling [thing] ever.'

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The pair's close bond was evident throughout Alexander Jr's life, as he frequently accompanied his mother during red carpet appearances, with the pair even getting matching tattoos reading 'unconditional love' in 2017.

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On the red carpet of the 2019 Golden Globes, where King won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk..., Alexander Jr described King as a 'super mom', with King in return telling her son he made her 'happier than anything in the whole world'.

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In an Instagram post celebrating King's 50th birthday last year, her son wrote:

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 sh*t on you, [you're] the real superhero!

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123

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If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism and culture.

Topics: Celebrity