Leandro De Niro Rodriguez’s mother denounced the continuous sensationalism surrounding his death once it was revealed that the youngster had died from an accidental drug overdose and was Robert De Niro’s grandson.
“Since the circumstances of my son’s death have taken on a narrative and life of its own, driven by vicious, inaccurate hypotheses and conjecture by way of trolling and randoms who have nothing better to do than spread vitriol and pain to people who are already managing more than their share of heartache…. I will say what I can about this,” actress and filmmaker Drena De Niro began in a statement shared to Instagram.
Drena pleaded for sympathy for her late son, saying she was disappointed that some people were more concerned about his drug usage than the effects of the national opioid problem on the country.
“I see that many people feel it’s necessary to place the blame on my son for using the drugs, to me as his mother for being hurt, shocked and angry at the sudden loss of my only child and even on his grandfather, whom many seem to think possesses a direct connection or influence on how the U.S. borders are operated,” she wrote of her famous father.
“Now I know there is no way to reason with stupidity or ignorance but I will say that as long as we keep blaming the addict and the person suffering mental illness we are going to continue to see more of this.”
Drena elaborated on her son’s condition prior to his death, sharing that he “suffered tremendously through the pandemic… but sadly addiction took over in the last year and eventually killed him.”
“When you decide to comment on people’s misfortune and loss at least really think about the emotional and mental fragility of the people you’re attacking online. We are all human beings in the end. Neither I, my family, nor my son asked to be public tabloid fodder for trolling that’s just what we have to deal with on top of a paramount loss.”
“Rather than focusing on the menu of substances in his system when he died or an emotionally charged comment that was made one time I really would love to see the media outlets and its readers focus on how to really help halt this epidemic that is unfolding right under our noses. You can politicize it till your face turns blue but mental health and addiction and fentanyl doesn’t care about pointing fingers and calling names and blaming, it chooses who it chooses and gets in the hands of too many people who then distribute it.”
Recently, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York verified that Leandro’s death was brought on by the “toxic effects of fentanyl, bromazolam, alprazolam, 7-aminoclonazepam, ketamine, and cocaine.”
“Hopefully the publicity his very sad death has garnered will bring attention to a much bigger problem,” Drena added.
Drena commented on the Instagram post and said she didn’t appreciate the way her son’s death was presented as an overdose since it sparked more discussion.
Responding to a user’s comment about how their own family member “did not consume [fentanyl] by choice,” she wrote back in part, “Exactly – people think this is post is in reaction to trolls but actually it’s because of the negative that I’ve been able to talk about the bigger problem so I’m kind of glad… I can bring the light to where most of the country is putting their energy.”
Fox News Digital earlier reported that a woman was detained in July in relation to Leandro’s passing.
Prior to his death on July 2 in New York City, Sophia Haley Marks, 20, is believed to have supplied him cocaine.
I’m extremely saddened by the loss of my dear grandson Leo, Robert De Niro stated in a statement made at the time of Leandro’s passing and acquired by Fox News Digital.