Drena De Niro has addressed speculation surrounding the cause of her son Leandro De Niro Rodriguez’s untimely death.
The 19-year-old’s passing was announced on Monday, July 3, and after news broke his grandfather Robert De Niro issued a statement expressing his “deep distress” at the family’s sudden loss.
In the days following his death, Drena has taken to Instagram to discuss her grief, and recently shared her gratitude for those who had sent messages of support.
The actress responded to a comment under the poignant post, which featured a black and white photo of her son smiling, with a claim about how Leandro died.
She replied: “Someone sold him fentanyl-laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him, so for all these people still f***ing around selling and buying this s***, my son is gone forever.”
An official cause of death has not yet been announced.
Leandro had followed in his mother and grandfather’s acting footsteps. He notably appeared alongside his mother Drena in 2018’s A Star is Born, playing the son of Dave Chapelle’s character, George ‘Noodles’ Stone.
His other acting credits included 2005’s The Collection, and 2018’s Cabaret Maxime.
In the wake of his grandson’s death, De Niro, 79, said he and his family were grateful for people’s well-wishes and requested they be given privacy.
“I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,” De Niro said in a statement.
“We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”
De Niro adopted Drena, 51, after marrying his first wife, American actor Diahnne Abbott. The former couple also share son Raphael, 46.
Then in 1995, he welcomed twin sons Julian and Aaron, 27, with his former girlfriend, the model Toukie Smith.
The Oscar winner also has two children, son Elliot, 25, and daughter Helen Grace, 11, with ex-wife Grace Hightower.
The Taxi Driver actor most recently welcomed his seventh child, Gia, in April 2023 with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen.