Regina King Breaks 2-Year Silence: Her Son Ian is ‘Always With Me’

Regina King considers “grief as a journey.” This week, she participated in her first interview discussing her late son, Ian Alexander Jr., who passed away in 2022.

“I’ve changed from the person I was,” King mused in her first televised discussion in two years. “I’ve come to realize that grief is the manifestation of love with no place to land. It matters to me to pay tribute to Ian in his entirety, to talk about him in the present tense because he never truly leaves me.”

The Academy- and Emmy-award recipient, aged 53, reminisced about the “bliss and cheer that [Ian] brought us all” and her journey towards accepting his death during an openhearted dialogue with “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, released on Thursday. Alexander, a DJ who frequently attended red carpet events with his mother, committed suicide on January 21, 2022. He was 26.

“Our family is shattered to the core by Ian’s loss,” a 2022 family announcement shared by a representative of King stated. “He was a radiant beacon who held others’ happiness dear. Our family requests for respectful consideration during this private time.”

The “Watchmen” lead actress had Alexander with her ex-spouse and music producer, Ian Alexander Sr. They split up in 2007 after a decade of matrimony.

King, who is currently publicizing her Shirley Chisholm biographical film “Shirley,” revealed that Alexander battled mental health issues prior to his demise. He was dealing with depression and had grown “weary of talking” after trying various mental health interventions, including therapy, psychiatric assistance, and different programs. With tears streaming down her face, King confided in Roberts, “I was incredibly furious with God. Why was Ian burdened with this?”

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Following her son’s passing, King largely remained out of the public eye, aside from appearances at several Hollywood events. Most recently, King graced the 96th Academy Awards as a presenter on Sunday, donning an orange gown—a tribute to her son’s preferred color.

A two-year hiatus gave King the space to grieve and make peace with her son’s death. The “If Beale Street Could Talk” actress revealed to Roberts, “I accept and comprehend” Alexander’s choice to end his life, “that he didn’t wish to be here any longer.”

Despite being a celebrated actress with numerous accolades and years of experience, King shared, “my proudest achievement is being Ian’s mother,” albeit now accompanied by some emotional nuances.

With “Shirley,” which she dedicates to Alexander, the “227” actress is prepared to step back into the limelight. She admitted that the guilt and sorrow over her son’s loss “will never disappear,” but after two years of grieving, she has come to accept a different viewpoint.

“The sadness serves as a reminder of his significance in my life,” she confessed to Roberts.

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