Regina King

After her son committed suicide two years ago, actress and filmmaker Regina King said she is now a “different person” and occasionally still feels “guilty,” but she has learned to “respect and understand” his decision and is committed to respecting “the totality of who he is.”

In an interview that aired on “Good Morning America” on Thursday, Regina King, 53, the Oscar-winning star of “If Beale Street Could Talk,” stated, “I’m a different person, you know, now than I was Jan. 19.” “Bereavement is a path. I know that love without a place to go is grief.
It was the first time she had spoken candidly on television about her son Ian Alexander Jr.’s suicide death in January 2022 at the age of 26.

King said to “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts, “It’s important to me to honor Ian in the totality of who he is, speak about him in the present, because he is always with me, the joy and happiness that he gave all of us.” Regina King said she respected her son’s decision despite his struggles with mental health. “When it comes to depression, people expect it to look a certain way and they expect it to look heavy,” Regina King said. “And people expect that … to have to experience this and not be able to have the time to just sit with Ian’s choice, which I respect and understand, you know, that he didn’t want to be here anymore.”

“That’s a hard thing for other people to receive, because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian’s journey,” she said.

But acceptance hasn’t always been easy.

Regina King

“Sometimes it’s a lot of guilt comes over me. When a parent loses a child, you still wonder what could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened?” she said.


Initially after her son’s death, Regina King said, “I was so angry with God — why would that weight be given to Ian?” “Of all of the things that we had gone through with the therapy, psychiatrists, programs, Ian was just like, ‘I’m tired of talking, Mom,’” she continued. King said her favorite thing about herself “is being Ian’s mom.”

“And I can’t say that with a smile, with tears, with all of the emotions that come with that, I can’t do that if I did not respect the journey,” she said.

“I know that I share this grief with everyone, but no one else is Ian’s mom. Only me. And so, it’s mine and the sadness will never go away. It’ll always be with me,” she added. King said there are moments she still feels her son’s presence.

“Sometimes it’ll trigger just laughter. Most times, as of recent, it triggers a smile. But sometimes the absence, his absence, is really loud,” she said.

Ian is King’s only child, shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. According to Regina King, she dedicated her most recent movie, “Shirley,” to her son. She also wore orange at Sunday’s Academy Awards event, which is Ian’s favorite color.

John Ridley’s film “Shirley,” which chronicles the life of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress, centers on her historic 1972 presidential campaign—the only one ever undertaken by a woman of color.

The movie will debut on Netflix on March 22 after opening in a few cinemas this Friday. For more trending news click…

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