Robert De Niro ‘deeply distressed’ over death of 19-year-old grandson Leandro

‘Goodfellas’ star’s grandson was an actor who appeared in ‘A Star is Born’

Inga Parkel
Tuesday 04 July 2023 06:22 BST
Robert De Niro ‘deeply distressed’ by grandson’s death

Robert De Niro has shared a statement following the sudden death of his grandson, Leandro De Niro Rodriquez.

On Sunday (2 July), the Oscar-winning actor’s daughter, Drena, announced that her son Leandro, an actor whose credits included the 2018 films A Star is Born and Cabaret Maxime, had died. No cause of death was given.

In a statement shared with Fox News on Monday (3 July), De Niro, 79, issued a brief statement addressing the news.

“I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,” he said.

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

Sharing the tragic news of Leandro’s death, Drena, 51, wrote on Instagram: “My beautiful sweet angel. 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,” she added. “Rest in Peace and Eternal Paradise my darling boy.”

Several celebrities responded to fellow actor Drena’s post with heartfelt messages.

White Guys Can’t Jump actor Rosie Perez commented: “Shocked! I’m so sorry! We are all here for you!!! I love you too much!”

Lana Parrilla, known for her work on Once Upon a Time, wrote: “Drena, I’m so deeply sorry. Sending you an enormous amount of love, prayers and strength. May God be with you and all who love your darling boy.”

Model Naomi Campbell said: “Drena heartbroken for you, such a Duo, I can’t imagine how you must feel , May the lord cover you and hold you in his arms at this very sad time and loss. I love you, always here for you.”

“I have no words. I’m in shock. I’m so sorry,” actor Debi Mazar added. “I love you both so much.”

Drena is one of De Niro’s seven children. The Taxi Driver star shares Drena and son Raphael, 46, with his first wife Diahnne Abbott. He shares twin sons, Julian and Aaron, 27, with former girlfriend, actor and model Toukie Smith.

He also shares son Elliot, 24, and daughter Helen Grace, 11, with ex-wife Grace Hightower. In April 2023, De Niro announced the birth of his daughter Gia with girlfriend Tiffany Chen.

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