Entertainment TV Michael Jai White Says His Oldest Son, a Father of 6, Died from COVID at 38 “Ultimately, when he got sick and went to the hospital, COVID was waiting for him,” Michael Jai White said By Naledi Ushe Naledi Ushe Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 3, 2021 06:44 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Michael Jai White. Photo: Michael Tran/Getty Michael Jai White is opening up about losing his eldest son to COVID-19. The Black Dynamite star, 53, revealed during a recent interview that his 38-year-old son died "a few months ago" after being hospitalized. "He was in the hospital for a while so it wasn't immediate," he told VladTV on Sunday of his son's death. White said that his son had been dealing with substance abuse for some time, and that it further "compromised" his health during his COVID-19 infection. "Ultimately, when he got sick and went to the hospital, COVID was waiting for him... That was the knockout blow," White said, adding that his son had not been vaccinated against the virus. Jennifer Aniston Says She Cut Ties with 'a Few People' Over Vaccination Status: 'It's a Real Shame' White's oldest son was born when the Arrow actor was 15, and he told VladTV that they "grew up at the same time." "Unfortunately, he was still kinda out there in the streets hustling, wasn't doing well, started getting on substances," White said. "He'd come out, go back in, all that type of stuff." Michael Jai White. Frazer Harrison/Getty Soleil Moon Frye Reveals 3 of Her Children Tested Positive for COVID: 'I Have Shed Many Tears' White said that while he tried to get his eldest, a father of six, help, "ultimately, it's up to that person, especially if it's a grown person." "He never shook the streets," he said. "That was his thing." White is also a father to five other children, not including his stepchildren from his wife Gillian Iliana Waters' previous relationship. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.