Last month Radio host and comedian Rickey Smiley announced that his oldest son Brandon Smiley had passed away unexpectedly. Now, Smiley is opening up for the first time about the death of his son and how he and his family are coping with this devastating loss.
In a candid interview with the Today Show, Rickey reveals Brandon’s cause of death. Rickey admits that Brandon struggled with drug abuse and that he died from a suspected accidental overdose.
Smiley, 54, said in Thursday’s interview that his late child’s girlfriend called him after finding Brandon “unresponsive” on Jan. 29.
“She said that, in her words, that he had OD’d,” he shared.
The comedian recalled receiving a second phone call while preparing for a flight to Georgia, this time from his “crying” daughter Taylor, who also let him know about Brandon’s death.
“He used, and it killed him,” he said.
Smiley admitted he was “shocked but not surprised” by the tragedy, explaining that he had “prepared … deep inside” for the possibility as Brandon struggled with addiction for years.
“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 added that he does not “know why” or “how” Brandon became addicted to drugs, as his immediate family members 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.”
Brandon is survived by daughter Storm.
Watch the video below.