Actress and director Regina King’s son, Ian Alexander Jr., has died by suicide, her representative confirmed to NBC News Saturday.
The Academy Award winner confirmed the tragic news in a statement to PEOPLE.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” the statement said. “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 Alexander’s 26th birthday was on Wednesday. Alexander was the only son of King and her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander, Sr.
Alexander was a DJ and “an amazing young man,” King, 51, previously said.
“You don’t know what unconditional love is,” she reportedly said of her son in 2007. “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.”
According to a report, King and her late son shared matching tattoos reading “unconditional love” in Aramaic- his on his shoulder and hers on her arm.
Last year in In honor of King’s 50th birthday, Alexander paid tribute to his famous mom on Instagram, writing, “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 continued, “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— on you, your the real superhero! Love you, mom! This day and every day YO DAY!!”
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We send our deepest condolences and prayers to Regina King and her family during this difficult time.
Exclusive: Regina King’s Son, Ian Alexander Jr., Dead at 26 After Apparent Suicide. #reginaking pic.twitter.com/8i2BQjeeXW
— Atlanta Transplant (@theconnectsean) January 22, 2022
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If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health crisis, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.