Robert De Niro is in a “very dark place” following the sudden passing of his grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez earlier this month.
According to reports, Leandro was found dead in a New York apartment on July 2. Speculation has insisted he died over a fentanyl overdose, though no official cause of death has yet been revealed by officials.
In the immediate aftermath of his grandson’s death being made public, Heat star Robert De Niro released a statement that read:
“I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo. We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”
Leandro’s funeral was held last Friday, July 7, with Hollywood icon De Niro described as looking “sombre” as he attended his grandson’s wake alongside family and close friends.
The actor himself has remained relatively quiet in the days since Leandro’s death, but new reports suggest the 79-year-old is struggling to come to terms with the loss.
Speaking to Radar Online, a friend of De Niro’s said: “Bob had a real fondness for Leo. He’s retreated to a very dark place. Everyone’s praying he finds the strength he needs to carry on.”
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 13: Robert De Niro attends “The Irishman” International Premiere and Closing Gala during the 63rd BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on October 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)
Leandro was the fourth son of Drena De Niro, the daughter of Diahnne Abbot, who was adopted by Robert when he married Diahnne in 1976.
Drena released her own heartfelt statement a few days ago, describing Leandro as “all that was ever pure and real in my life”.
“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. 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.“
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 06: Robert De Niro is seen at the wake of his grandson Leandro De Niro on July 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
At the funeral service last week, Robert stood beside Drena at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, wrapping his arm around her in support. According to the New York Post, the family continued on to a graveside ceremony at the same Valhalla, NY cemetery where Robert’s father is buried.
On Tuesday, Leandro’s mother Drena claimed that someone had knowingly sold the teen pills that were laced with fentanyl.
“Someone sold him fentanyl-laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him,” Drena said.
“So for all these people still f–king around selling and buying this s–t, my son is gone forever.”
Rest in peace, Leandro, another young life taken far too soon.
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