Regina King’s only son Ian Alexander Jr. has died by suicide, PEOPLE reports. Ian, who worked as a DJ, just celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday, January 19.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King says in a statement to PEOPLE. “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 was the actress’ only child with her ex-husband record producer Ian Alexander Sr. King separated from Ian’s father in 2007 after nine years of marriage. The actress said it was tough being a single parent but her son’s love helped her sail through.
“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,” King said at the time. “When you experience it, it’s the most fulfilling [thing] ever.”
King often walked the red carpet with her son standing right by her side. In 2019, Ian called her “super mom” while the two were at the Golden Globes. King and Ian are so close that they even have matching tattoos with the words “unconditional love” written in Aramaic.
And last year, in honor of his mother’s 50th birthday, Ian posted a tribute to King on Instagram writing, “…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 shit on you, your the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!”