Regina King touches on her son’s legacy and how his suicide challenged her faith

Francis Akhalbey March 19, 2024
Regina King and son, Ian. Photo: Instagram/desdunemjv

Award-winning actress Regina King in a recent interview for Harper’s Bazaars April 2024 cover story reflected on her son’s death as well as his legacy and how she’s trying to establish a spiritual bond with him.

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Ian Alexander Jr. died by suicide on January 21, 2022. The tragic incident occurred just two days after he celebrated his 26th birthday. 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.

“I feel like I am in a place now where my faith has really been challenged,” King told the women’s fashion magazine. “I don’t know that I should say this, because I feel like it’s where I used to be, but that idea that what you put into it is what you get back—it’s been proven to me that that’s not necessarily true.”

“When I look at all of the work and everything that we and Ian put into trying to move through the depression … I mean, he’s pure joy and pure light,” King, 53, added.

“But he was struggling so much. We knew. We knew what we were going through, but he never presented that way. That’s why I know that a smile doesn’t always mean happy. He would never not let whoever he was with feel like they were the most special person in the world. So for me, I’m like, ‘Man, he was putting a lot into things, a lot into people, a lot into this world, and yet it wasn’t translating back.’ ”

The veteran actress continued: “If I was told, ‘Do you want to do this again, but it’s going to be exactly the same?’ I would say yeah, just because of how much Ian gives me.”

The Boondocks star also touched on establishing a spiritual connection with her deceased son. “Right now, it is me trying to better understand this new relationship with Ian that the universe has chosen,” she said.

“We always talk about spirit: They’re always with us in spirit. But his physical absence is so loud that it’s hard to sometimes tap into that spiritual connection.”

The Oscar winner produced and starred in Shirley, a Netflix biopic in which she portrays Shirley Chisholm – the politician who became the first Black woman to be elected to the United States Congress. The movie was ultimately completed some months after Ian died, per Harper’s Bazaar. King drew inspiration from Ian for her role in the movie.

“I know Ian would have felt like if I didn’t finish something because of a choice that he needed to make, then I wasn’t honoring him,” she said. “We all landed at the finish line on Ian’s wings. He guided us there.”

Despite his passing, King said Ian continues to teach her. “Usually, with mothers, our kids are teaching us about ourselves, our abilities, things that we never thought we could do, things we never would’ve wanted to do that we do,” King said. “Ian taught me—and is still teaching me—so much.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 19, 2024


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