Regina King, the actress perhaps best known for her role in the film If Beale Street Could Talk, is grieving the death of her son, Ian Alexander Jr. Ian was Regina’s only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband, Ian Alexander Sr.

What Happened to Regina King’s Son?

Ian died by suicide on January 19, 2022, at the age of 26. His manner of death was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Coroner.

Regina gave her first televised interview regarding her son’s tragic death during a March 14, 2024, appearance on Good Morning America.

“When it comes to depression, people expect it to look a certain way and they expect it to look heavy,” she explained to GMA coanchor Robin Roberts. “And people expect that … to have to experience this and not be able to have the time to just sit with Ian’s choice, which I respect and understand, you know, that he didn’t wanna be here anymore, that’s a hard thing for other people to receive because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian’s journey.”

What Has Regina King Said About the Death of Her Son?

In her first statement following his death, the actress told People she and her family were “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,” she continued in her message before asking for “respectful consideration” during the “private time.”

The Living Proof actress explained to Robin Roberts during her March 14, 2024, interview on GMA that she was a “different person” than she was before the untimely loss of her son. “Grief is a journey, you know?” she told Robin. “I understand that grief is love that has no place to go.”

She also opened up about the mental health treatment Ian had received before his death, including attending therapy and psychiatry appointments.

“I was so angry with God,” Regina admitted about watching her son struggle. “You know, why would that weight be given to Ian?”

Two years after his death, Regina told GMA she still grappled with “a lot of guilt” over the loss. “When a parent loses a child, you still wonder, ‘What could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened?’” And while she said the “sadness will never go away,” she thinks of her grief as “a reminder of how much he means to [her].”

“My favorite thing about myself is being Ian’s mom,” she concluded. “And I can’t say that with a smile, with tears, with all of the emotion that comes with that. I can’t do that if I did not respect the journey.”

What Did Ian Alexander Jr. Say About His Mother Regina King?

One year before his death, Ian paid tribute to his mother in an Instagram post for her birthday.

“Happy birthday to my co, so extremely proud of you and inspired by your love, artistry, and gangsta!” he wrote, in part, at the time. “To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for.”

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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