Regina King on "Good Morning America"

Regina King is opening up for the first time, discussing the tragic loss of her son, Ian Alexander Jr., in an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America.”

Ian Alexander Jr., Son Of Regina King, Passes Away At 26
Regina King and son Ian Alexander Jr. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty)

Ian, Regina’s only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr., tragically died by suicide just days after his 26th birthday.

The Oscar-winning actress, who is portraying political trailblazer Shirley Chisholm in the forthcoming Netflix biopic, Shirley, said the film is dedicated to her son.


Regina King On The Death Of Her Son Ian Alexander Jr.

I’m a different person now than I was January 19. 

Grief is a journey. I understand that grief is love that has no place to go.

I know that 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. 

When it comes to depression people expect it to look a certain way. They expect it to look heavy.

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.

He didn’t want to be here anymore and that’s a hard thing for other people to receive because they did not live our experience – did not live Ian’s journey.

I was so angry with God. That why would that weight be given to Ian?

With all of the things that we had gone through with the therapy, psychiatrists, and programs.

And Ian was like, ‘I’m tired of talking, mom.’ 

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 emotions that come with that – I can’t do that if I did not respect the journey.

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On Portraying Shirley Chisholm

Regina King revealed her portrayal of Shirley Chisholm was in the making for quite some time.

It’s been a 15-year journey since we were going to tell Shirley’s story – to now it actually happening.

And I think 15 years ago I wasn’t ready to play Shirley.

I may have thought that I was then, but I wasn’t ready.

I needed to live more life. 

We felt like there were so many people who did not know who Shirley Chisolm is. Who she was.

Who she is and that bugged us.

When you’re first when you set out to do something no one else has done before – there’s no example of that for you.

That’s a lonely road to travel.  

Watch Regina King’s Interview

Shirley opens in select theaters on Friday, March 15, and premieres on Netflix on Friday, March 22. 

My sincerest condolences and continued prayers to Regina.

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