Robert De Niro’s daughter Drena wrote an emotional tribute to her 19-year-old son, Leandro, who died over the weekend.
“I can barely type through my tears but all the love, the messages, calls, texts, emails, the friends and family that held me up these last 24 hrs I’ve not been able to respond yet but we’re grateful for the all your love and condolences,” the 51-year-old filmmaker shared on Instagram.
“None of this is right or fair and my heart hurts in a way I never knew possible while still breathing and barely functioning. Leo my darling I love you today like the first day I held you in my arms.”
Drena is De Niro’s eldest child. The “Meet the Parents” star adopted her in 1976 when he married her mother, Diahnne Abbott. The couple divorced in 1988.
“The same man that picked us up from the hospital when you were born drove us to the funeral home where I touched and held you for the last time,” she continued in the post. “You were kindness acceptance and love and I can’t believe any of this is real YOU made everything bearable and every burden lighter. You didn’t deserve to die like this but I can only believe that God needed a strong powerful angel in their army.”
“I’m holding you every second of every moment I’m my heart and memories until I’m with you again. My heart is broken forever. Me daddy and your family love you, I love I love you with every beat of my crying heart,” Drena wrote.
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.
The teen’s cause of death is still unknown. Drena previously announced her son’s passing via Instagram on Monday with a post that 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.”