Robert De Niro’s 18-year-old grandson died after taking an overdose of fentanyl, claims his mother.
The Oscar-winning actor’s heartbroken daughter, Drena De Niro, 51, made the claim on Wednesday on Instagram that someone sold her beloved son, Leandro, 18, drugs that were tainted, causing his death last week.
‘Someone sold him fentanyl laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him,’ Drena said.
She added: ‘For all these people still f–king around selling and buying this s–t, my son is gone forever,’ she added.
The grieving mother made the remark in response to a commenter who asked her how her son had died.
Leandro’s shock death happened on Sunday when the teenager’s lifeless body was found sitting in a chair beside white powder inside a $950,000, one-bedroom apartment in the Cipriani Club Residences on Wall Street, New York.
His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Drena’s response was posted to Instagram on Wednesday in response to a comment someone had made asking about how her son died
Robert De Niro’s grandson. Leandro De Niro Rodriguez (pictured, left) was the son of De Niro’s (pictured, right) adopted daughter Drena De Niro (pictured, centre). The 18-year-old passed away on Sunday. An official cause of death has not yet been determined
The city Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not disclosed Leandro’s official cause of death, but sources said NYPD detectives in Narcotics Borough Manhattan South have been brought in to probe the case, a sign that officials may be investigating who, if anyone, provided the drugs, according to a report.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig told reporters last month that fentanyl is now ‘laced in probably 98% of the drugs’ in the Big Apple.
‘Fentanyl is in everything now, everything,’ Essig said. ‘Now people have low tolerance, that’s why they’re overdosing so much,’ he said.
Drena’s post garnered more than 213 likes with many others sharing their own grief of how their children and loved ones died from drugs, suicide and other devastation.
One mother wrote about her son, who died eerily similar to Leandro’s, when he was just shy of his 17th birthday.
‘I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for him and your family. My incredibly son was taken for us in October 2020 at 16 by someone who gave him fentanyl in our own home and left him to die alone in the basement of our home,’ she wrote.
‘He would have turned 19 in December 2023. The pain never goes away and will soften at best. There are no words. I will be praying for your family.’
Another mother shared her heartbreaking loss of her daughter three years ago.
‘I’m so sorry for your devastating loss. My 18 yr old daughter passed 12.4.20 and every emotion you’re writing is everything I felt then and still feel today,’ she wrote.
‘Watch for sign from your darling boy. He will send them everyday. That helps to keep me going is her signs. May God bless you with comfort and strength at this recasting time. Bless you.’
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is also major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illegally made fentanyl (IMF) is available on the drug market in different forms, including liquid and powder.
Powdered fentanyl looks just like many other drugs. It is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills that are made to resemble other prescription opioids.
Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous, and many people may be unaware that their drugs are laced with fentanyl.
In its liquid form, IMF can be found in nasal sprays, eye drops, and dropped onto paper or small candies.
Some of the street names fentanly is called include: Apace, China Girl, China Town, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Jackpot, King Ivory, Murder 8, Poison and Tango & Cash, as per the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Drena De Niro posted a monochrome photograph of her 18-year-old son Leandro on Instagram, along with a heart-breaking caption about holding him for the final time at a funeral home
On Tuesday, Drena described holding her son Leandro for the final time in a heartbreaking Instagram post and said ‘my heart is broken forever’.
Drena De Niro’s heart-breaking post about holding her 18-year-old son for the ‘last time’
‘I can barely type through my tears but all the love, the messages, calls, texts, emails, the friends and family that held me up these last 24 hrs I’ve not been able to respond yet but we’re grateful for the all your love and condolences,’ she said.
‘None of this is right or fair and my heart hurts in a way I never knew possible while still breathing and barely functioning.
‘Leo my darling I love you today like the first day I held you in my arms.’
The grieving mother added that she was taken to the funeral home where she ‘touched and held’ her son for the final time, by the same driver who picked them up from the hospital when he was born.
‘You were kindness acceptance and love and I can’t believe any of this is real YOU made everything bearable and every burden lighter,’ she added.
‘You didn’t deserve to die like this but I can only believe that God needed a strong powerful angel in their army.
‘I’m holding you every second of every moment in my heart and memories until I’m with you again. My heart is broken forever.
‘Me daddy and your family love you , I love I love you with every beat of my crying heart.’
She also shared a series of photographs of Leandro with her 27.5k followers on her Instagram Story, including some of him as a younger child.
Leandro’s father, artist Carlos Rodriguez, posted a black square on Instagram on the day of his son’s death.
Rodriguez has been quieter in the wake of the tragedy, but he too recently shared a reel showing photographs of Leandro and their family, featuring the song Blessings by Hollow Coves.
He shared the reel alongside the caption: ‘Thank you for your messages of support.
‘Drena De Niro and our families are grateful. You can’t spell love without Leo.’
Robert De Niro also released a statement about his grandson’s death, saying he was ‘deeply distressed’ and appreciated the condolences which had poured in for his family.
‘I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,’ he said.
‘We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.’
Final post: Robert De Niro ‘s grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez also appeared in a heartbreaking social media post shared by his mother Drena on Mother’s Day
Aspiring actor and director Leandro was following in his mother,who was also an actress and famous grandfather’s career footsteps, landing small roles in 2018’s A Star Is Born and Cabaret Maxime and 2005’s The Collection.
Aspiring actor and director Leandro was following in his mother, an actress and famous grandfather’s career footsteps, landing small roles in 2018’s A Star Is Born and Cabaret Maxime and 2005’s The Collection.
Drena, was adopted by De Niro after the actor married her mother, Diahnne Abbott in 1976. She announced her son’s death on Monday, saying: ‘I wish that love alone could have saved you’.
She later added a close-up monochrome photograph of Leandro laughing, thanking friends and family members who had offered support in the wake of his unexpected death.
After Leandro’s untimely passing, messages of love and support poured in from friends and family.
One of those messages of sympathy came from Victoria Gotti. ‘Dreana you gave SO much as a single parent as did Leo back to you. He knew who ‘his rock was!’ I love you and will miss my dear ‘young BD’ beyond words.
‘A smile STILL comes to mind the day I bought him his first red bike and he tore through the beautiful apt! Much to your dismay! But he was so very ‘special and loved’ one could not help it,’ she wrote.
‘A better mom no kid can ask for. Use those memories like Thanksgiving at my new home last year and channel them through your mind. As we both kno(in your words ) from one ‘ badass mom to another…..we rock!’
‘You were his rock my dear. Never forget that. Ever. I love you. I am here for you and your family during such a most difficult and trying time!! And Leo will always remain in my memory bank and minds eye imaging for eternity. Love to you my sister!’