Ian Alexander, Jr., a musician and DJ who was the son of actor and director Regina King, died this week, Variety reports. King issued a statement about her son’s death earlier this weekend, calling him “a bright light” who “cared so deeply about the happiness of others.” Alexander had just turned 26. Multiple outlets have reported that his death was a suicide.
Alexander was born in 1996; his father was King’s ex-husband, Ian Alexander, Sr. (The couple divorced in 2007.) Alexander performed music under the name Desduné, and had just released his most recent track, “Green Eyes,” a few weeks ago. He was also scheduled to play upcoming shows in Los Angeles. King recently shared the new song on her social media.
Alexander appeared on the red carpet at the Golden Globes with his mother back in 2019, when she was nominated for her acting work in both Seven Seconds and If Beale Street Could Talk. In the brief snippet, Alexander describes King as a “Super Mom” and expresses his joy at spending time with her. (Note: The clip also contains a moment in which King talks about how her Seven Seconds performance was informed by her own fear of losing her only child, so, yeah: Heartbreaking stuff today.)
Here’s the full statement from King:
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. 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.”
People notes that Alexander posted an effusive birthday message to his mother last year on Instagram, writing, “To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable. The whole marvel universe ain’t got shit on you, your the real superhero! Love you mom!”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.