Robert De Niro’s daughter confirms heartbreaking details of his grandson’s death – reveals tragic truth

Robert De Niro‘s 19-year-old grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez tragically passed away on Sunday (July 2).

The teen – who was affectionately referred to as Leo by those close to him – was reportedly found unresponsive and sitting in a chair in his New York City apartment after concerned friends requested a welfare check on him, as previously reported.

Initial reports detailed how a “powdery substance” believed to be cocaine was discovered near Leo’s body, as well as drug paraphernalia and pills.

Following his sudden death his grieving mother Drena De Niro – who is the daughter of De Niro’s first wife Diahnne Abbott – took to Instagram to post an emotional tribute to her late son. “My beautiful sweet angel. I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly,” the 55-year-old wrote.

She then continued: “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.”

“I’m so sorry my baby,” Drena concluded, ended her tribute, also tagging Leo’s artist father, Carlos Rodriguez in the post. “Rest in Peace and Eternal Paradise my darling boy.”

Credit / Instagram – Drena De Niro

Her devastating posts garnered thousands of comments, with one person asking “why” and “how” the teen had died. “OMG, why? How?” the user wrote.

Credit / Instagram

“Someone sold him fentanyl laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him so for all these people still f**king around selling and buying this s**t , my son is gone forever […],” Drena responded.

Credit / Instagram

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has is up to 50 times more potent that heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, and has contributed to many overdoses across the US.

While pharmaceutical fentanyl is often used by medical professionals to treat severe pain, it’s the illegally produced fentanyl that is responsible for a recent spike in fatal drug overdoses.

Drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and even marijuana are often laced with illegal fentanyl due to its high potency – this means drugs are significantly cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and highly dangerous.

UCLA addiction researcher Joseph Friedman told the Los Angeles Times that younger people and teens are “at a much higher risk of overdose death because of the spread of counterfeit pills that look like Percocet and OxyContin or Xanax, but they’re actually illicit fentanyl.”

Illegal fentanyl is often added to drugs to make them more powerful and addictive. Credit / Ty Wright / The Washington Post / Getty

De Niro, 79, released a statement following Leo’s death, saying that he was “deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson.”

“We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone,” De Niro continued, via NBC. “We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”