Regina King Receives Love and Support After Tragic Death of Son Ian: ‘Absolutely Heartbroken’

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(L-R) Ian Alexander Jr. and Regina King, wearing Gucci, attend the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

(L-R) Ian Alexander Jr. and Regina King, wearing Gucci, attend the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Emma McIntyre/Getty

Hollywood is mourning the death of Regina King‘s son Ian Alexander Jr.

On Friday, PEOPLE confirmed that Ian had died by suicide. His 26th birthday was Wednesday.

“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King, 51, said in a statement sent 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 King’s only child, whom the actress shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr, 65.

RELATED: Regina King’s Son Ian Alexander Jr. Dies by Suicide: He ‘Cared So Deeply’

Since news of Ian’s death, many celebrities have paid tribute on social media, expressing their condolences to King as she deals with her loss.

“I am lifting and holding you up. LOVE you Regina King and I am so sorry,” wrote Viola Davis.

“HEARTBREAKING. Sending my sincerest and deepest condolences to Regina King and her family,” wrote Real Housewives of Atlanta alum Cynthia Bailey alongside a photograph of King and Ian on a red carpet. “My prayers are with you.”

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“My love, my prayers, my thoughts, my everything go out to Regina King and her family tonight. My heart breaks. Sending you nothing but light,” said Josh Gad on Twitter.

In a statement of her own, Loni Love wrote, “Love you Regina King …” alongside three praying hand emojis.

She added in a follow-up message: “I met Ian at Sherri Shepherd‘s birthday bash.. he catered the event. Cooked and served all the food and it was delicious!!!! Such a sweet and talented young man… Rest In Peace.”

“My heart breaks for you Regina King, Ian was sweet & kind,” said Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Garcelle Beauvais alongside a tweet of PEOPLE’s report of Ian’s death.

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Marlee Matlin, who starred alongside King in the 1999 TV movie Where the Truth Lies, wrote: “I am absolutely heartbroken for Regina King. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.”

In his own statement, DL Hughley tweeted that he was “so very sorry!!!” and added, “Prayers Prayers Prayers!!!!!!”

King’s 227 costar Jackée Harry, meanwhile, didn’t mention anyone by name, but seemed to allude to Ian’s death when she tweeted: “Nothing but prayers tonight.”

In a statement to PEOPLE, Harry, 65, added: “Like everyone, I am completely stunned and overwhelmed with sadness. The only peace I can find in this is knowing that Regina has a strong group of family and friends propping her up. That’s what we can do for her – surround her with an abundance of love.”

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Following in his father’s musical footsteps, Ian was a deejay. King previously told PEOPLE that he was “an amazing young man.”

After separating from Ian’s father in 2007 after nine years of marriage, King admitted being a single parent wasn’t always easy, but that nothing was stronger than her love for her son.

regina king

regina king

regina king/instagram

“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,” she explained. “When you experience it, it’s the most fulfilling [thing] ever.”

The pair also has matching tattoos, which read “unconditional love” in Aramaic — Ian’s on his shoulder and King’s on her arm.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.





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