Robert De Niro's 19-year-old grandson was sold pills laced with fentanyl, heartbroken mother claims

6 July 2023, 06:13 | Updated: 6 July 2023, 07:17

Leandro de Niro Rodriguez died aged 19
Leandro de Niro Rodriguez died aged 19. Picture: Instagram/Getty

By Kit Heren

The grandson of Robert de Niro died after taking pills that had been laced with an extra-strong man-made opioid.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

News emerged that Leandro De Niro Rodriguez passed away aged 19 on Monday in New York.

His mother Drena, did not reveal her son's cause of death initially, but opened up on Instagram on Wednesday.

Responding to a question about how Rodriguez had died, the 51-year-old said: "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 shit, my son is gone for ever."

Leandro was the grandson of Robert De Niro
Leandro was the grandson of Robert De Niro. Picture: Instagram

The toxicology test results have not been released, so the cause of death is not official. New York police are investigating the death as a possible overdose, according to local media.

Several US outlets have reported that Rodriguez was found with white powder and drug paraphernalia nearby.

Speaking out following his grandson's death, Robert De Niro said he was "deeply distressed".

"We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone," he added. "We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo."

Drena, who De Niro adopted, made a heartbreaking Instagram tribute after her son's death.

"My beautiful sweet angel. I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly," she said.

"You have been my joy my heart and all that was ever pure and real in my life.

Read more: Steps singer Claire Richards opens up about secret health struggle that left her suffering heart palpitations

"I wish I was with you right now. I wish I was with you.

"I don't know how to live without you but I'll try to go on and spread the love and light that you so made me feel in getting to be your mama.

"You were so deeply loved and appreciated and I wish that love alone could have saved you.

"I'm so sorry my baby, I'm so sorry @carlosmare. Rest in Peace and Eternal Paradise my darling boy."

Read more: Robert De Niro reveals name of his seventh child as Hollywood actor shares sweet first picture

Robert De Niro's grandson passed away
Robert De Niro's grandson passed away. Picture: Alamy

Rodriguez was born to artist Carlos Rodriguez and Drena.

He had appeared in the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga hit film A Star is Born, taking after his legendary grandfather.

Drena took De Niro's surname after he married her mother, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976.

De Niro has seven children, most recently having Gia in April with girlfriend Tiffany Chen.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Sir Keir Starmer skewered by LBC caller over Jeremy Corbyn

'I didn't think we would win': Keir Starmer skewered by LBC listener over supporting Jeremy Corbyn

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer speaks to LBC

‘No magic wand’ to recruit more teachers as Starmer insists removing ‘tax breaks’ for private schools is ‘tough choice’

Breaking
Sir Keir Starmer took questions from LBC listeners this morning with a few weeks until the nation goes to the polls

'It would be foolish to write five years worth of budgets now': Starmer refuses to rule out council tax rises

Mbappe suffered a broken nose in France's opening Euro 2024 match

Latest updates on Mbappe after French captain has nose brutally broken and is hospitalised in Euro 2024 win

Love Island star Jack Fowler recounted the ordeal on social media

‘I couldn’t breathe’: Love Island star reveals he ‘nearly died’ after suffering allergic reaction during flight to Dubai

This is Mr Putin's first visit to North Korea since 2000

Putin to meet Kim Jong Un in first visit to North Korea in 24 years

The M25 between Gatwick and Heathrow airport will shut for an entire weekend

Exact date holidaymakers face more chaos as M25 to shut between Heathrow and Gatwick for a full weekend

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Live
Keir Starmer on LBC

General Election LIVE: Labour leader Keir Starmer joins Nick Ferrari to take your calls

Jeremy Hunt was made Chancellor by Liz Truss

Jeremy Hunt says he is ‘trying to achieve the same things as Liz Truss’ and ‘denies long-term effects of mini-budget’

Drink-driving limits in England are set at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Doctors call for drink-drive limit to be cut to one beer or single glass of wine as BMA launches campaign

Phillips headshot

Mystery of 'Bushman' dad-of-three who went missing with children - before robbing bank at gunpoint

The PM accused Sir Keir of trying to "entrench his power" by lowering the voting age

Rishi Sunak accuses Keir Starmer of only wanting to lower voting age to 'entrench his power'

Pressure signals could be used to locate the missing plane

Major breakthrough in MH370 mystery as nuclear sensor picks up crucial sound

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'in good spirits' and expected to make 'speedy and full recovery' after falling off stage

Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen rushed to hospital after falling off stage during West End performance