Regina King is grieving the death of her son Ian Alexander, Jr.
The actress and director said her “family is devastated at the deepest level” in a statement to USA TODAY confirming her 26-year-old son’s death.
“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 said.
A family representative confirmed to The Associated Press that Alexander died by suicide. No further details were released.
Alexander is King’s only child, whom she shared with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr..
The 26-year-old was a budding DJ/producer. In an interview with USA TODAY in 2018, the “Watchmen” actress shared that she and her son were extremely close, detailing they had matching tattoos on their forearms reading “unconditional love” in Aramaic, which they learned while studying Kabbalah together.
“That mama bear thing where I’ll do anything for my child, I’m one of those moms,” King said at the time. “I’ll give my right arm – and that’s my writing arm – for my child’s safety, and so my child can advance and reach higher than I’ve ever reached.”
Many celebrities shared their condolences on social media to the Oscar-winning actress.
“Sending love, light and the armor of God to @ReginaKing. May her and her loved ones find comfort and peace,” journalist Jemele Hill wrote.
“The Real” co-host Loni Love wrote, “Love you Regina King …”
Author Michael Arceneaux wrote: “I offer nothing but love and pray to Regina King.”
“Praying for Regina King. She needs all the grace and light that can flow her way right now,” activist Bernice King wrote.
Actress Danielle Pinnock wrote: “Praying for Regina King and her family. This news about her son’s passing is absolutely heartbreaking.”
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.
Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
Contributing: Patrick Ryan, The Associated Press