The rising number of suicides have claimed the spotlight once again with the tragic death of Ian Alexander Jr., the only son of actress Regina King. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 10 and 35 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alexander, a budding entrepreneur and DJ, was 26.
The Oscar winning star shared the news in a statement on Friday.
“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.”
That statement—which sent shockwaves through Hollywood—drew overwhelming support from fellow celebrities and the entertainment community.
“Sending my deepest condolences to my friend @iamreginaking and her entire family, following the passing of her son, Ian. I pray the love that you pour into others every day is sent your way, tenfold, during this time,” wrote Halle Berry.
From Janet Jackson: “I’m so sorry to hear about Ian. Please know that I am here for u @iamreginaking. Sending all my love, prayers and condolences,”
“My heart breaks for you @ReginaKing Ian was sweet & kind,” Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Garcelle Beauvais posted.
Loni Love reflected back on meeting him at a 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.”
King Cudi tweeted, “My heart hurts for Regina King and her family. God, please watch over them.”
“Praying for Regina King. She needs all the grace and light that can flow her way right now,” said Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.
Jackee Harry shared simply, “Nothing but prayers tonight.”
Others sharing their condolences included T.I., Octavia Spencer, D.L. Hughley, Marc Lamont Hill, Josh Gad and Viola Davis.
Close friend Vivica Fox reported that the actress was holding up, surrounded by loved ones and that she appreciated the outpouring of love.
“This weekend, our whole community mourned the loss of #IanAlexander,” reported Foxx, “and we were all there with words of love to wrap our sis #ReginaKing in. @msvfox shares a message from our sister and asks us to continue to wrap her in love and uplifted in prayer.”
On the occasion of his mom’s 50th birthday last year, Alexander—who often escorted his mom to red carpet events— posted the following on social media: “Happy birthday to my co, so extremely proud of you and inspired by your love, artistry and gangsta. To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for. But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for. 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 s*** on you, your the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!”