American actress Regina King is "devastated" after the loss of her son, Ian Alexander. Get inside the "The Harder They Fall" star's motherhood.
Actress Regina King is mourning the death of her only child and son Ian Alexander, who died by suicide on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, just before launching his music career.
King shared a close bond with Ian and would be deeply saddened by his demise and how it happened. Find out everything to know about King's motherhood and her sad loss.
Actress Regina King listening at an event. [Left] | Actress Regina King with her late son Ian Alexander. [Right]. | Photo: Getty Images
WEEKS BEFORE DEATH
If King and Ian's appearance at a New Year's interview with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen was anything to go by, no one could have seen his death coming.
King was joined by Ian and another man named Brandon, whom she described as her "bonus son" during a virtual appearance on Cohen and Cooper's New Year's Eve show.
Regina King at the amfAR Cannes Gala 2021 during the 74th Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cap d'Antibes, France on July 16, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images
The trio seemed in good spirits during their appearance and toasted one another during a large family gathering for a holiday. While speaking to Cohen and Cooper, King said:
"Twenty years, we're all together, this whole family of people are together because of these two [Ian and Brandon] and their lives together that brought us together."
Before his death, Ian was a DJ and singer-songwriter. He performed with the stage name Desduné. Also, he was set to launch his music career and recently released a single titled "Green Eyes."
On January 14, King posted a snippet of the song on her Instagram page. She also shared another picture of Ian holding a pack of cigarettes in his left hand while throwing many cigarette sticks away with his left. He also had a cigarette in his mouth.
Kind did her best to garner support for her son's musical career in the post's caption as she urged people to stream the song. She wrote:
"Now listening to 'Green Eyes' @desdunemjv said he'd quit smoking if he gets a million streams….Maaaan Listen…I got this jam on repeat!"
INSIDE KING'S SON'S DEATH
King sent a statement to People confirming her son's death on his 26th birthday. In the statement, the bereaved mom said:
"Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others."
King's family also requested respectful consideration amid the tragedy. King, who shared Ian with her ex-husband and record producer Ian Alexander Sr., has stayed out of the spotlight since his death.
Although no one saw Ian's death coming, haunting last messages he posted on Twitter in the days leading to his demise revealed how he felt. Five days before taking his life, Ian tweeted:
"You know that episode of SpongeBob where they go inside his brain and it's a bunch of mini spongebobs just losing their [expletive]…..yea that one really hits home."
In another tweet, he talked about how unhealthy Instagram was for him. While Ian's tweets showed he was struggling with his mental health, his recent Instagram posts were more positive as he promoted his show scheduled for last Friday in Los Angeles.
It remains unclear why the upcoming singer took his own life, but all thoughts remain with his mom and family.
It is not surprising that the 51-year-old actress has many quotes about motherhood in her lifetime.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, SUPER MOM
King and Ian shared a close bond and have shown it multiple times through the years. However, after nine years of marriage, the actress who separated from Ian's dad admitted that being a single parent was not always easy.
She also said that nothing was stronger than her love for Ian. In an interview, King reportedly said one does not know the true meaning of unconditional love until they have a child. She added that unconditional love is the most fulfilling thing ever.
Ian also paid tribute to his mom when she turned 50 last year. He took to his Instagram page and shared a snapshot of them touching heads and smiling as they posed. In the post's caption, he wrote:
"Happy birthday to my co, so extremely proud of you and inspired by your love, artistry, and gangsta!"
Ian added that being able to watch his mom take this lifetime by its neck and make it hers was something he would forever be grateful for. He also wrote:
"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."
In the concluding part of Ian's birthday tribute to his mom, he wrote that the whole universe has nothing on her and described her as the real superhero. He ended by expressing his love for her that day and always.
King and Ian had matching tattoos that read "Unconditional Love" in Aramaic. The "Friday" actress had her tattoo on her arm while Ian had his on his shoulder.
During an appearance on "The View" in 2017, King narrated how the tattoos came to be. She revealed they were taking Kabbalah classes when Ian said they should choose three designs each.
However, they would not tell each other the design they chose. After choosing, they would get tattooed in matching designs. Eventually, they chose unconditional love.
In his lifetime, Ian often accompanied his mom to red carpet events. One memorable event was the 2019 Golden Globes when he called her a "super mom."
He told reporters that she is a super mom and does not allow bad work, days, or anything of the sort to come back and ruin their time together.
He concluded that it was awesome to have a mom with whom he could enjoy spending time. Also, King said Ian made her happier than anything in the world.
REGINA KING'S MOTHERHOOD
King has talked about Ian many times. She never hesitated to highlight how great he was and their beautiful relationship in those conversations. King has also spoken about the challenges of being a single parent and balancing co-parenting with work.
Thus, it is not surprising that the 51-year-old actress has many quotes about motherhood in her lifetime. For example, in one of King's quotes about being a single mom, she said:
"I think it is definitely difficult for any professional being a mother, and a single one at that. It's hard not having a partner to raise your child. It's difficult, but far from impossible..."
King also spoke about prioritizing Ian and revealed she was kind of at a crossroads in her career where she realized that to continue in the movie industry, she had to start taking roles that shot outside of Los Angeles.
King explained that she did not want to home-school Ian and did not want to have to leave him at home and miss out on the little milestones and triumphs growing children experience.
Hence, she decided not to take any jobs shooting outside of Los Angeles. It was by doing that she began her television career. She concluded that making tough choices lead to a beautiful path.
King has been a proud mom of her son and would make those sacrifices over again if need be. But, hopefully, she can find the strength to go through the tough phase she finds herself following Ian's death.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.