Jimmy Kimmel's Emotional Interview with Regina King Following Her Son's Death

Regina King shares heartfelt reflections on navigating personal loss.

by Nouman Rasool
Jimmy Kimmel's Emotional Interview with Regina King Following Her Son's Death
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In an emotionally charged episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Thursday night, Regina King made a poignant appearance, marking one of her first public engagements since the tragic passing of her only son, Ian Alexander Jr., in January 2022.

The acclaimed Oscar-winning actress was there to promote her latest movie, "Shirley," yet the conversation subtly echoed the profound loss she has endured. Jimmy Kimmel, the show's host, delicately broached the subject of King's wellbeing, his voice laden with concern and empathy.

"It's very good to see you. How are you doing right now?" he inquired, his question weighted with unspoken meaning. King, with a smile that carried a mix of resilience and sorrow, responded, "Right now, I'm good," prompting a visibly moved Kimmel to express his gladness, albeit with a struggle to keep his emotions in check.

The interview, though largely centered around King's professional endeavors, was infused with the silent, palpable presence of her late son, Ian Jr., whose life was tragically cut short by suicide shortly after his 26th birthday.

Despite the gravity of her loss, King has been navigating her way back into the limelight, sharing her journey through grief and the transformative impact it has had on her.

Grief's Enduring Journey

In a candid conversation with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" earlier in the month, King opened up about the profound changes in her life since her son's death.

"Grief is a journey, you know?" she reflected, sharing her insights into the nature of grief as an expression of love with nowhere to go. King emphasized the importance of honoring Ian's memory, choosing to speak of him in the present tense as a constant presence in her life.

She also touched upon the challenges of dealing with her son's mental health struggles, highlighting the misconceptions surrounding depression and the difficulty of accepting Ian's decision to end his pain. King's raw honesty about her anger, sadness, and the unique burden of grief as Ian's mother offered a deeply personal glimpse into her experience.

Moreover, King discussed the lasting influence of her son on her work, particularly on the film "Shirley," where she portrays Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman congresswoman. King sees Ian's spirit as interwoven with the project, stating, "We got here with him, he's a part of it." .