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Drena De Niro Slams Lies About Her Son Leandro’s Death – Hollywood Life

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Image Credit: Broadimage/Shutterstock

Drena De Niro, one of Robert De Niro‘s seven children, spoke out about her 19-year-old son Leandro‘s death in a new message. Drena, 51, took to Instagram on August 9 and cleared up the misconceptions of her son’s passing, after it was confirmed that his cause of death was a drug overdose. “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,” Drena began her lengthy message.

The actress said that Leo “was not forewarned to anyone’s knowledge that he would be taking fentanyl laced substance.” Drena previously confirmed that Leo died from “fentanyl-laced pills” when she announced his passing on July 3. “He was warned to ‘not take too many’ of the counterfeit pills he was being sold and to ‘be careful with these’ but this is very different than warning that a substance is in fact lethal or better yet not selling it all,” she continued in her Aug. 9 message.

Drena called out the “stupidity” and “ignorance” of trolls who have blamed Leo, herself and even Robert, 79, for what happened. She also admitted that Leo “suffered tremendously” during the COVID-19 pandemic and “sadly addiction took over in the last year and eventually killed him.” Drena noted that her family does not want to be “public tabloid fodder” as they deal with such an unimaginable loss.

Drena De Niro
Robert De Niro and Drena De Niro (Photo: Broadimage/Shutterstock)

Later in her message, Drena called for change to stop blaming people who are struggling with mental health like Leo was. “Hopefully the publicity his very sad death has garnered will bring attention to a much bigger problem and to all the other beautiful young lives that are being snuffed out way too soon and senselessly,” she wrote. “I also hope his passing will help bring more empathy, understanding and support to families and people who are struggling with mental health, suicide and addiction.”

Drena reiterated her sentiments in her caption, where she noted that “there’s been a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation” in regards to Leo’s death. Drena said that as a mother she “can not sit by and not speak up” about what really happened. She asked her followers to be “respectful” in the comments section of her post as they react to her vulnerable and emotional message about Leo’s death.

Drena confirmed her son died via Instagram on July 3. A few days later, the De Niro family gathered together for a wake for Leo in New York City. Leo’s funeral was held on July 7, where Robert mourned his grandson as many of his celebrity friends — including actor Christopher Walken and mega music producer Tommy Mottola — were there to support him. Robert’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen, with whom he welcomed a new baby in April, was also at the service.

One month after the funeral, Leo’s cause of death was confirmed by New York City’s chief medical examiner. Leo passed away from an accidental overdose of a mix of fentanyl, bromazolam, alprazolam, 7-aminoclonazepam, ketamine, and cocaine, according to a statement received by HollywoodLife.

This story originally appeared on Hollywoodlife

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