Robert De Niro and his eldest child, Drena De Niro, were joined by family and friends on Thursday, July 6 at the wake of Robert’s grandson and Drena’s son, Leandro “Leo” De Niro-Rodriguez, who died last weekend at the age of 19 after taking fentanyl-laced pills. In photos obtained by the Daily Mail that can be seen HERE, the 79-year-old actor was seen arriving at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in New York City’s Upper East Side. Drena showed up hand-in-hand with Leandro’s father, artist Carlos Rodriguez, and Robert’s Taxi Driver co-star and longtime friend, Harvey Keitel, showed support with his wife, Canadian film director Daphna Kastner.
Drena, 55, announced Leo’s death on Sunday, July 2 via a gut-wrenching post to 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,” her announcement message began. “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.”
The heartbroken mother later confirmed that Leo died from fentanyl-laced pills in an Instagram comment. “For all these people still f****** around selling and buying this s*** , my son is gone forever,” she added. Leo’s body was found in a one-bedroom apartment in the Cipriani Club Residences on Wall Street, per the Daily Mail. A white powdery substance as found next to him.
Drena last posted about her late son on the day of his wake. “My darling we celebrate you today and always,” she captioned a photo of him as a child, as seen below. “Thank you to everyone for the help prayers and loving energy that is pulling us through this devastating time.”
She also remembered her son on July 4 while thanking friends and family for their unwavering support. “I can barely type through my tears but all the love , the messages , calls , texts ,emails, the friends and family that held me up these last 24 hrs I’ve not been able to respond yet but we’re grateful for the all your love and condolences,” she said. “None of this is right or fair and my heart hurts in a way I never knew possible while still breathing and barely functioning .”
Addressing her son directly, Drena added, “Leo my darling I love you today like the first day I held you in my arms. The same man that picked us up from the hospital when you were born drove us to the funeral home where I touched and held you for the last time . You were kindness acceptance and love and I can’t believe any of this is real YOU made everything bearable and every burden lighter. You didn’t deserve to die like this but I can only believe that God needed a strong powerful angel in their army .”
“I’m holding you every second of every moment I’m my heart and memories until I’m with you again . My heart is broken forever . Me daddy and your family love you , I love I love you with every beat of my crying heart,” she concluded.
The Raging Bull star spoke out regarding Leo’s death on July 3. “I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,” he said in a statement to HollywoodLife. “We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”