Heartbreaking News: Robert De Niro’s Actor Grandson Found Dead – What Really Happened Inside His NYC Apartment?

July 3, 2023

The sorrowful father of Robert De Niro’s grandchild, Leandro, has expressed his love and adoration for him after his tragic passing at just 18 years old.

Leandro was the child of Drena, De Niro’s adopted daughter, now 51, and renowned artist, Carlos Rodriguez.

His demise was announced by Drena on Instagram this Sunday, expressing her heartbreak with the words, ‘If only love could have saved you.’

The cause of the young man’s death is currently undisclosed. Carlos, his father, reflected on the immense joy his son brought into their lives and the immeasurable void his departure has created. In a separate message, he wrote, ‘His spirit, now embraced by God, shines bright on this full moon, illuminating what darkness had concealed.’

In her Instagram tribute, Drena started with the words, ‘My beautiful, sweet angel. From the moment you stirred in my womb, my love for you has been indescribable. You were my joy, my heartbeat, the embodiment of purity and authenticity in my existence. How I wish I was with you.’

Drena continued her message saying, ‘Living without you seems impossible, but I will strive to propagate the love and positivity that your existence brought into my life. Your absence leaves a vacuum, but your love lives on. I am deeply sorry, my baby. Rest in the divine serenity of paradise, my dear boy.’

In his comment, Leandro’s father reaffirmed, ‘The joy he gave us, the sorrow we now bear, words fall short to express them all. He is now God’s child, his spirit now brightens the unseen darkness on this full moon. LOVE is incomplete without LEO.’

Their grief was met with a deluge of condolences. Among the responses was a friend’s disbelief: ‘Drena, please tell me it’s not true. This is too horrific to absorb. My heart goes out to you, Carlos and your loved ones. I love you.’

In response, Drena expressed, ‘I keep hoping it’s just a dreadful dream, and I will awaken tomorrow.’

Victoria Gotti, the progeny of mob boss John Gotti, shared her heartache, stating she was at a loss for words over Leandro’s demise. She reminisced about Leandro as a delightful, attractive, and wonderful boy who matured into an equally wonderful man. She regarded his untimely death as a devastating loss of a young life that held so much promise.

Expressing her shock, actress Rosie Perez Brooklyn said, ‘I’m terribly sorry! We are here for you. I love you immensely!’ Film director and producer Lee Daniels added, ‘May God hold you in His embrace, Drena.’

MailOnline reached out to De Niro’s representatives for their comments.

Leandro, an aspiring actor and director, was carving a path in his mother’s and grandfather’s industry. He had brief appearances in 2018’s ‘A Star Is Born’, ‘Cabaret Maxime’, and 2005’s ‘The Collection’.

De Niro adopted Drena after marrying her mother, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976, and she adopted his surname. Growing up, she lived a nomadic lifestyle due to her father’s dynamic career, splitting her time between New York City, Los Angeles, and Italy.

Weeks before Leandro’s death, Drena posted a loving tribute to him on Mother’s Day on Instagram. The post featured a happy selfie with Leandro and a photograph with Carlos Rodriguez, Leandro’s father.

Drena, after a few stints in various careers, decided to follow De Niro into the film industry. She made her acting debut in Allison Anders’s ‘Grace of My Heart’ in 1996 and went on to appear in several of her father’s movies, such as ‘On The Run’ in 1999, ‘City By The Sea’ in 2002, and ‘Showtime’ in 2002.

De Niro and Drena’s mother parted ways in 1988, but the revered actor continued to play an active role in her life. In 2003, Drena made De Niro a granddad with the birth of Leandro, whose father is Carlos Rodriguez. Drena now focuses on directing and is also a trained Muay Thai and martial arts practitioner.

De Niro’s biological oldest child, Raphael, with Abbott is 46 and is a real estate agent in Manhattan. He also has twins, Aaron and Julian, aged 27, from his relationship with former model and actress Toukie Smith. They were conceived through IVF and born through a surrogate. He has two more children, Elliot, 21, and Helen, 11, (also born via surrogate) from his tumultuous 20-year marriage to his second wife, ex-flight attendant Grace Hightower.

In May, the octogenarian actor confirmed the birth of his seventh child, Gia Virginia, with his girlfriend Tiffany Chan, 43, whom he has been associated with since the summer of 2021.

Gia was born on April 6 and weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. In June, at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, De Niro shared his joy of fatherhood once again, stating, ‘It feels great.’ He further reflected on his evolution as a parent, saying, ‘With age comes an awareness of life’s complexities, including family dynamics. It’s unavoidable to learn how to navigate them, but I’m very happy about it.’ In response to his latest family addition’s news, he told Page Six that his seventh child’s arrival was ‘planned’ and queried, ‘How could one not plan such an event?’

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