Actor-director Regina King's son Ian Alexander Jr has died by suicide, days after his 26th birthday on Wednesday. "Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian," Regina said in a statement sent to People magazine.
"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," the statement added.
Ian was Regina's only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. Following in his father's musical footsteps, Ian was a deejay. Regina previously told People magazine that he was "an amazing young man."
Despite her growing success as an actor and director, Regina said at the time that Ian was her biggest source of pride. After separating from Ian's father in 2007 after nine years of marriage, she admitted that being a single parent wasn't always easy, but said that nothing is stronger than her love for her son.
"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 explained at the time. "When you experience it, it's the most fulfilling (thing) ever."
The mother-son duo also has matching tattoos, which read "unconditional love" in Aramaic -- his on his shoulder and hers on her arm.
"We were taking Kabbalah classes," she said of the ink in 2017, adding, "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."