Robert De Niro’s 19-year-old grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez died after being sold fentanyl-laced pills, his mother has revealed.
The actor’s eldest daughter, Drena De Niro, announced Leandro’s death on Monday, saying the family had lost a “sweet angel” – but a cause of death was not shared at the time.
But later replying to an Instagram comment asking how her son had died, the 51-year-old wrote: “Someone sold him fentanyl laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him.
“So for all these people still f****** around selling and buying this s***, my son is gone forever.”
Sky News has approached the New York City medical examiner’s office for comment.
Representatives for De Niro did not immediately respond to a request from Sky News’ US partner network NBC News for comment about his daughter’s posts.
On Monday, De Niro said in a statement that he was “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,” he added.
A New York police spokesperson told NBC News that police got a 911 call at about 2:23 pm on Sunday.
Officers found a man “unconscious” and “unresponsive”, and he was pronounced dead by emergency services.
“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death,” the spokesperson added.
Leandro followed in his mother’s and grandfather’s footsteps in acting.
He had small roles in A Star Is Born, The Collection and Cabaret Maxime.
De Niro adopted Drena as his daughter during his marriage with Diahnne Abbott. She was Abbott’s daughter from her previous marriage.