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Robert De Niro’s Daughter Drena Honors Late Son Leandro 1 Year After Death: You’re ‘Deeply Loved’

Robert De Niro s Daughter Drena Honors Late Son Leandro 1 Year After Death You re Deeply Loved 278
Robert De Niro. Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Haute Living

Robert De Niro’s daughter Drena De Niro still has a special place in her heart for her late son, Leandro De Niro Rodriguez, one year after his death.

Leandro died at age 19 in July 2023 after an accidental drug overdose. Drena, 56, wrote a touching tribute in her son’s honor while marking the first anniversary of his death on Tuesday, July 2.

“I KNEW this kid was jacking my clothes behind my back!!!” Drena began her social media message, sharing a photo of her son rocking one of her outfits. (Drena shared Leandro with artist Carlos Mare.)

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Drena — who is one of Robert’s seven children — posted photos of Leandro over the years as well as a picture of his grave surrounded by flowers.

“Today we celebrated sweet wild boy Leo 🖤…” she continued. “In your short time here, you made the world a brighter place.”

Drena gushed: “You are deeply loved like the sun loves the moon and the moon loves the sea.”

The actress thanked “every one of you who held me” and her family in their “arms and hearts through the darkest days.” Drena concluded, “I can only hope to pay it forward,” adding the hashtag “cantspelllovewithoutleo,” in honor of her son.

In addition to photos of Leandro, Drena posted a poem called “You Are Joy,” which contained a message of hope and love. “You are intelligence; we are Your voice,” one line read, while another stated, “You are joy and we are laughter, for we are the result of the blessing of Your joy.”

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One year prior, Drena announced that Leandro had died, keeping details regarding the cause under wraps.

“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,” she wrote via Instagram in July 2023. “I wish I was with you right now. I wish I was with you.”

Drena added: “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 😞.”

Robert De Niro’s Daughter Drena Honors Late Son Leandro 1 Year After Death- You’re ‘Deeply Loved’ 277
Leandro De Niro Rodriguez, Drena De Niro. Courtesy of Drena De Niro/Instagram

As Robert mourned the loss of his grandson, he released a statement to Us Weekly, saying, “I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo. We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”

The following month, the New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled Leandro’s death an accidental overdose after discovering fentanyl, bromazolam, alprazolam, 7-aminoclonazepam, ketamine and cocaine in his system.

Earlier this year, Robert opened up more about Leandro’s death, telling People in February he was in “shock” and “disbelief” after learning the news. “[I] never thought it would happen,” the Oscar winner explained.

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Prior to his passing, Leandro was an actor like his grandfather and his mother, having appeared in 2018’s A Star Is Born.

Leandro was the only child of Drena, who is Robert’s eldest daughter. The actor adopted Drena when she was 5 years old with his then-wife, Diahnne Abbott. Robert and Abbott, 79, later welcomed their son, Raphael, in 1976.

Robert is also the father of 28-year-old twins Aaron and Julian, whom he shares with Toukie Smith. He and ex-wife Grace Hightower share son Elliot, 26, and daughter Helen, 13. Robert’s youngest child, daughter Gia, was born in April 2023. He shares the baby with girlfriend Tiffany Chen.

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