Cause Of Death Of Robert De Niro’s Grandson Revealed By Mother
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Robert De Niro attends "A Bronx Tale" screening during the 2023 Tribeca Festival at Beacon Theatre on June 17, 2023 in New York City.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

The grandson of actor Robert De Niro died this week after being sold pills laced with fentanyl, according to his mother.

Drena De Niro, mother of Leandro Anthony De Niro-Rodriguez, 19, revealed that her son died this week in a post on Instagram. A cause of death was not initially revealed.

However, Drena later responded to an account that asked her how Leandro died.

“Someone sold him fentanyl laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him,” she wrote. “So for all these people still f***ing around selling and buying this s***, my son is gone forever.”

Drena is De Niro’s oldest child. The “Meet the Parents” star adopted her in 1976 when he married her mother, Diahnne Abbott, per Page Six. Drena took on the last name De Niro at the time. Abbott and the Oscar winner divorced in 1988.

De Niro, 79, has seven children in total, including a newborn daughter. He and girlfriend Tiffany Chen welcomed Gia Virginia Chen De Niro on April 6 of this year.

De Niro shared a statement about his grandson’s death on Monday. “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,” the Academy Award-winning actor said, per People.

A recent CDC report said that drug deaths involving fentanyl increased from 5.7 per 100,000 people to nearly 22 per 100,000 people from 2016 to 2021, according to Reuters.


Nearly 110,000 people died in the U.S. last year from drug overdoses, according to preliminary data released by the federal government.

Fentanyl has become a major political issue and one of the top issues on the campaign trail for candidates running for office.

It has also been behind numerous high-profile deaths in recent months, including a former Disney executive, a UFC Hall of Fame Fighter, and a rap artist.

Amanda Harding contributed to this report.

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