Late Friday night, it was reported that Regina King's son Ian Alexander Jr. has died. According to PEOPLE, Alexander, who was King's only child, died by suicide. He was 26. Alexander's death comes only days after he turned 26, as his birthday was on Wednesday.
King released a statement about her son's passing to PEOPLE, which read, "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. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you." King shared Alexander, who worked as a DJ, with her ex-husband, Ian Alexander Sr., whom she split from in 2007.
Around the time that she split from her husband, King spoke about what it was like to be a single parent. She explained that while it wasn't always the easiest task, the love that she had for her son outweighed any of those hardships. The actor said, "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. When you experience it, it's the most fulfilling [thing] ever."
Over the years, King has also spoken about the strong bond that she and Alexander shared. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the Oscar winner got a matching tattoo with her son. She said while on The View in 2017 that they got the ink after taking Kabbalah classes together. King recalled at the time, "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."
Alexander followed his father's footsteps into the music industry (the elder Alexander is a record producer). He was a DJ and produced his own music. One week prior to his death, King even shared a clip from his new single, "Green Eyes," on Instagram. THR also reported that days before his passing, Alexander posted about an upcoming event at the Bardot that was set to take place in January.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.