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A parent’s worst nightmare is having to plan a funeral for their child, actress and director Regina King is currently experiencing that horror. Ian Alexander Jr., her only child with her ex-husband record producer Ian Alexander Sr., has passed away by suicide.

People.com confirmed the tragic news, which was released online late last Friday after receiving a statement from King which read,

"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."

Alexander Jr. was born Jan. 19, 1996. In 2007, after King ended her marriage of ten years, she focused a majority of her time on her role as a single mother, giving Alexander Jr. her complete attention and support. Alexander was often seen in public as his mothers plus one at red carpet events and various awards shows.

According to PEOPLE.com, Regina and her son Ian were so close, they both have matching tattoos with the words "unconditional love" written in Aramaic.

Fans and celebrity friends have started posting words of condolences for King on social media.

Anyone who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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