Update: Robert De Niro issued a statement on Monday following the death of his 19-year-old grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez.
The grieving actor said, “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 was found unresponsive sitting in a chair in a $1 million apartment on Wall Street on Sunday, July 2.
Near him was a plate with a “white powdery substance” and drug paraphernalia, according to law enforcement.
A friend went to check on Leandro after not hearing from him in several days. Leandro was house-sitting when he died of an apparent drug overdose.
Leandro’s mother Drena De Niro announced her son’s untimely death in an emotional post on Instagram early Monday.
“My beautiful sweet angel,” she wrote, “I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly.”
“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, I’m so sorry @carlosmare. Rest in Peace and Eternal Paradise my darling boy.”
Drena (center) is the biological daughter of De Niro’s ex-wife, Diahnne Abbott. Robert adopted Drena while he and Diahnne were married from 1976 to 1988. They are pictured attending a movie screening afterparty at Studio 54 in NYC in 1977.
Leandro’s dad, Carlos Mare Rodriguez, shared a blacked out picture on his Instagram page with no photo caption.
Leandro was a child actor who appeared in movies such as A Star is Born (2018), Cabaret Maxime (2018), and independent film The Collection (2005).