Robert De Niro, 79, is mourning the death of his grandson, 19-year-old Leandro De Niro Rodriguez, whose death was confirmed by Robert’s daughter Drena De Niro.
“I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,” the Academy Award winner said in a statement to HollywoodLife on July 3.
“We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.” Robert added.
In a statement to HollywoodLife, Drena, 41, also expressed her grief for her son. “It is with immeasurable shock and sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved son Leo.
We thank you for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we are given privacy at this time to process this inconsolable grief,” she said.
The cause of death for Leandro is yet unknown. The teenager was Drena’s only child and one of Robert’s four grandchildren. Drena broke the heartbreaking news of her son’s death in an Instagram post on July 2.
“My beautiful sweet angel. I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly,” she wrote in her heartbreaking message.
“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,” Drena added.
“You were so deeply loved and appreciated and I wish that love alone could have saved you. I’m so sorry my baby, I’m so sorry @carlosmare. Rest in Peace and Eternal Paradise my darling boy.” Drena shared a son with New York-based artist Carlos Mare.
Drena is Robert’s ex-wife Diahnne Abbott’s daughter. After marrying Diahnne in 1976, the Raging Bull actor adopted Drena.
Leandro, like his grandfather, was an actor. He was most recently seen in the 2018 popular film A Star Is Born, in which his mother also starred. Leandro portrayed Leo Stone, the son of Drena’s Paulette Stone and Dave Chappelle’s George “Noodles” Stone (Jackson Maine’s best buddy).
His other film credits include the 2005 film The Collection and the 2018 film Cabaret Maxime.