Robert De Niro lost his grandson, Leandro De Niro Rodriguez, on July 2, 2023. Leandro was following a similar career path as Robert and had featured in the 2018 films “A Star is Born” and “Cabaret Maxime.”
Leandro was the son of Carlos Rodriguez, an artist, and Drena De Niro. When Drena confirmed the passing of her son, she called him her beautiful sweet angel whom she didn’t know how she to without.
Leandro, 19, was found dead sitting in a chair in a New York City apartment on July 2, 2023. The police didn’t find any obvious signs that pointed to the cause of his death. However, they ruled his death an overdose because they found drugs and drug paraphernalia near his body.
Robert’s grandson was found by a friend who hadn’t spoken with him in a couple of days and had come to check on him. After a month of mourning and speculating on the cause of Leandro’s death, what led to his passing has finally been revealed.
Leandro’s death was initially assumed to be an “accident,” but the New York City Medical Examiner noted that he died from a toxic combination of illicit drugs. The autopsy results showed the system had fentanyl, bromazolam, alprazolam, 7-aminoclonazepam, ketamine, and cocaine at the time of his death.
A woman was also arrested for allegedly selling fentanyl-laced pills to the late teen. The 20-year-old woman, Sophia Marks, is believed to have warned Leandro about these pills before selling them to him.
Law authorities found texts between Sophia and Leandro concerning the purchase of counterfeit oxycodone and Xanax. The messages were exchanged a few days before Robert’s grandson’s death. Police believe Sophia sold these pills to children as young as 15.
Robert adopted Leandro’s mother, Drena, when she was five years old. Drena is Diahnne Abbott’s daughter from her previous relationship.
Drena had accurately suspected the cause of her son’s death all along. In one of her Instagram posts, she responded to an online user who asked about the cause of Leandro’s death. Drena told the online user that someone sold his son fentanyl pills, knowing they were laced.
She warned people who were still selling and buying pills to stop because now, her son was gone forever. Drena, who was devastated by Leandro’s loss, said her son was the joy in her heart and all that was ever pure and real in her life.
How Is Robert De Niro’s Family Coping with the Loss of Leandro?
Robert released a statement saying, “I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson, Leo.” He appreciated all the messages of condolences he received. The actor asked the public to give his family privacy as they grieve the loss of Leo.
Over the past month since Leandro’s death, his mother has shared sweet and emotional tributes on Instagram. Drena shares these messages alongside pictures of her son as a teen and as a child.
Exactly one month after Leandro’s death, Drena wrote, “Today marks one whole month without my baby 🥺💔 I think of you and long for you, every minute of every day.” She said her son was kindhearted and beautiful and made many people happy when he was alive.
Drena added that his son’s legacy will be his love and that she missed him so much. She said as each day passed, she understood her son better. Leandro was and will always be his mother’s gift, and she would always celebrate him.
Leandro’s mother also shared her son’s pictures with his godfather. The two seemed to be on vacation and were having fun as they hung out by the beach.
As she thanked everyone for their prayers, help, and love as the family went through a devastating time, the boy’s father, Carlos, also shared a black square on his Instagram account and left the caption blank.
Leandro was laid to rest on July 8, 2023. With one of his grandkids gone, Robert now has three living grandchildren.
Who Are Robert De Niro’s Grandchildren?
In 1976, Robert and Diahnne welcomed a son, Raphael, who is the father to the actor’s other three grandchildren. Raphael has a son and two daughters with his ex-wife Claudine De Matos.
Robert’s son tried to get into Hollywood fully but only took part in small acting roles in movies such as “Love Streams” and “Raging Bull” before getting into real estate. Raphael’s son is Nicholas, while his daughters are Ella and Alexandria.
The other Robert kids have no children. The actor is a father to twin sons who he welcomed via a surrogate with his former girlfriend, Toukie Smith. The twins, Julian and Aaron, were born in 1995, and just a year later, Toukie and Robert broke up.
Robert and his wife, Grace Hightower, welcomed two kids together, Elliot and Helen. The couple divorced after 20 years of marriage. People assumed Helen would be Robert’s last kid, but at the age of 79, the actor shocked the world when he and his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, welcomed a daughter, Gia.
Today, Robert has immense pride in his big and unconventional family and consistently shows up for his kids and grandkids.