Rickey Smiley Shares Son Brandon's Suspected Cause of Death
Rickey Smiley never thought he'd have to bury a child. The legendary comedian and radio host is opening up about the sudden passing of his son, Brandon. Smiley initially took to Instagram in January to confirm Brandon died at the age of 32, noting he wanted his fans to know before media reports could share the news. Now, he's revealed a suspected cause of death: an overdose.
While appearing on Good Morning America, Smiley sat with Michael Strahan to discuss how he learned of Brandon's passing, noting he received two phone calls – one from Brandon's sister, and another from Brandon's girlfriend. The girlfriend is who informed him of Brandon reportedly overdosing. Smiley says it's a private battle his family has fought with Brandon for years.
"He was struggling with that," he said. "His mother and I made several attempts to try and send him to get the help he needed, send him to rehab. And we thought that he was doing better." Though he adds that Brandon "used and it killed him," Smiley says they are waiting on the final autopsy report.
"We haven't got a toxicology report yet," he continued. "But this is just what we are speculating, according to his girlfriend who found him unresponsive."
He also wants to help others avoid the same tragic fate. "We have to have a conversation," he said. "I think the parents are having the conversation. The problem is getting the kids to listen to these conversations."
Brandon appeared on the TV One reality series The Rickey Smiley Show with his dad and siblings. He was also a comedian, and had just finished a gig before his death.
This is the second tragedy Smiley has dealt with regarding his children in recent years. A few years ago, his daughter was shot, but survived.