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Regina King Cries With Jimmy Kimmel 2 Years After Her Son’s Death

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Regina King and Jimmy Kimmel
Getty Images; FilmMagic

Regina King shared a touching moment with Jimmy Kimmel when returning to his show for the first time since the death of her son, Ian Alexander Jr.

King, 53, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, March 21, to promote her new film, Shirley. Kimmel, 56, started their conversation by asking how she was doing. “Right now I’m good,” King responded.

“Good, I’m glad to hear that,” Kimmel said, his eyes welling up. “I know you’ve been through a lot the last year.”

King then reached out to hold the host’s hand, struggling to hold back tears and saying, “It’s good to see you, Jimmy.”

In 2022, King’s son — whom she shared with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. — died by suicide in Los Angeles at the age of 26.

“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King told Today in a statement. “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.”

Regina King Tears Up With Jimmy Kimmel Two Years After Son Suicide 3

Regina King and Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

After Ian’s death, King’s inner circle extended their sympathies as the actress navigated through the challenging time.

“My heart breaks for you @ReginaKing Ian was sweet & kind,” Garcelle Beauvais tweeted.

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Bernice King, for her part, wrote on X, “Praying for Regina King. She needs all the grace and light that can flow her way right now.”

King’s son, a musician, had been candid about facing ups and downs with his mental health before his death.

“You know that episode of SpongeBob where they go inside his brain and it’s a bunch of mini spongebobs just losing their s—t … yea that one really hits home,” he tweeted in January 2022.

Regina King Tears Up With Jimmy Kimmel Two Years After Son Suicide Ian Alexander Jr

Ian Alexander Jr. and Regina King
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for LACMA

Ian — who performed under the moniker Desduné — also shared a close bond with his mother.

“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,” he shared in a sweet Instagram tribute to King in January 2021.

He added: “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—t on you, (you’re) the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and every day YO DAY!!”

Before returning to Kimmel’s show on Thursday, King addressed her grief publicly for the first time during a Good Morning America interview on March 14.

“When a parent loses a child, you still wonder, ‘What could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened?’” she said, noting that “sometimes a lot of guilt” still haunts her.

She added, “I respect and understand that 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.”

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

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