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Regina King tearfully speaks about grieving her son: 'He didn't want to be here anymore'

Regina King and son Ian Alexander Jr. arrive at the 45th NAACP Image Awards in 2014.
Regina King released a statement after it was reported her son, Ian Alexander Jr., died by suicide.Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images
  • Regina King spoke about the death of her son for the first time on television on "Good Morning America."

  • King's son, Ian Alexander Jr., died by suicide in January 2022.

  • The actor said that she respected her son's choice and that they had worked together to treat his depression.

Regina King opened up about the death of her son Ian Alexander Jr. on "Good Morning America" two years after his death.

King confirmed that her son had died by suicide in January 2022, telling People that her family was "devastated at the deepest level" by his death.

In the time since, King has remained mostly out of the spotlight. However, she told "GMA's" Robin Roberts that she's dedicated her latest film, "Shirley," which tells the story of the first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm, to her son. During the interview, she spoke about his death for the first time on television, reflecting on his life.

"When it comes to depression, people expect it to look a certain way. And they expect it to look heavy," King said.

"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," she continued. "That's a hard thing for other people to receive because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian's journey."

King, blotting away tears, told Roberts that she was "angry at God" for the "weight" that had been placed on her son and said that they had worked together to treat his depression in the past through therapy and seeing psychiatrists.

"Ian was like, 'I'm tired of talking, Mom,'" she said. "My favorite thing about myself is being Ian's mom, and I can't say that with a smile, with tears, with all of the emotion that comes with that; I can't do that if I did not respect the journey."

Ian, whom King shared with former husband Ian Alexander Sr., frequently accompanied his mother to red-carpet events. At the 2019 Golden Globes, Ian called King a "super mom" in an interview with E! News.

King told Roberts that these events now "trigger" memories of her son. Frequently, those memories incite positive emotion, but sometimes Ian's "absence is really loud." These days, she said, she still questions what she could have done to prevent his death.

"I know that I share this grief with everyone, but no one else is Ian's mom. Only me. And so it's mine," she said. "The sadness will never go away; it'll always be with me, and I think I saw somewhere the sadness is a reminder of how much he means to me."

Read the original article on Business Insider