Rickey Smiley Believes Late Son Brandon Died Of Drug Overdose

The radio personality spoke with ‘Today’ about the 32-year-old who he says “succumb[ed] to drug abuse.”

A month after Rickey Smiley’s late son Brandon died of a drug overdose, the radio personality is speaking out about what he and his family believed happened.

Speaking with Today’s Craig Melvin on Thursday (March 2), the 54-year-old said his late child’s girlfriend called him after finding Brandon “unresponsive” on January 29, which he believes is the result of him “succumb[ing] to drug abuse.”

“She said that, in her words, that he had OD’d,” he shared.

Rickey Smiley Says Son Brandon Smiley Has Died At 32

Rickey Smiley Says Son Brandon Smiley Has Died At 32

Smiley then described receiving a second call while preparing for a flight to Georgia, this time from his daughter Taylor, who was crying and also let him know about Brandon’s death.

“He used, and it killed him,” he said before admitting he was “shocked but not surprised” by the tragedy and explained that he had “prepared … deep inside” for the possibility that Brandon would die from drug usage.

“His mother and I made several attempts to try to send him to get the help that he needed — send him to rehab,” he said. “We thought that he as doing better. He had just joined the church, and he had just gotten baptized again, probably a month before he passed away.”

Smiley also noted that he doesn’t know why or how Brandon became addicted to drugs as other members of his immediate family are “all clean and sober.”

“We just assume that if you’re in a good school district or you’re in a gated community or everything is going good that these kids are not doing drugs,” he said. “You don’t have to be in the hood.”

Watch the full interview below.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.