Regina King Still Feels ‘Guilt’ Over Her Son’s Sudden Death

Kevin Mazur/AMA2019/Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/AMA2019/Getty Images

Actress Regina King is opening up for the first time about her son’s death.

“Grief is a journey. I understand that grief is love that has no place to go,” King told Robin Roberts in a Good Morning America interview that aired on Thursday.

King’s son, Ian Alexander Jr., died by suicide in January 2022, just days after his 26th birthday. He is King’s only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr.

The Oscar winner talked to Roberts about Ian’s mental health struggles, saying, “When it comes to depression, people expect it to look a certain way and they expect it to look heavy.” King said she “respects and understands” her son’s decision not to “be here anymore,” but she knows that’s difficult for others to understand.

“They did not live our experience, did not live Ian's journey,” she said.

Still, King admits, “I was so angry with God. Why would that weight be given to Ian?”

King had gotten her son professional help, she said, but at a certain point, it didn’t seem to be working anymore. “With all of the things that we had gone through with the therapy, with psychiatrists and programs, and Ian was like, ‘I’m tired of talking, Mom,’” she told Roberts.

“Sometimes, a lot of guilt comes over me,” the Shirley actress added. “When a parent loses a child, you still wonder, ‘What could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened?’ I know that I share this grief with everyone, but no one else is Ian’s mom, you know? Only me. So it’s mine. And the sadness will never go away. It will always be with me.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing or texting 988.

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