Rickey Smiley Shares Suspected Cause of 32-Year-Old Son Brandon's Death
Rickey Smiley is reflecting on his son Brandon Smiley's sudden passing.
A little more than a month after sharing that his son died at the age of 32, the radio personality is opening up about Brandon's possible cause of death, noting that substance use could have been a factor.
"He was struggling with that," Rickey, who shared Brandon with ex Brenda Morris said during the March 2 episode of Today. "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."
And though he noted that Brandon "used and it killed him," the 54-year-old also explained that his theory hasn't been confirmed yet, as the family awaits pending reports.
"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."
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The Rickey Smiley Morning Show host also went on to share a message about discussing substance use with those that may need help.
"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."
Rickey also took a moment to remember his son, recalling Brandon's notable sense of humor, adding that he was "always the leader" and "always the prankster."
In late January, Rickey shared news of Brandon's passing on social media, noting that he received a call while on his way to the airport. In his emotional message, Rickey—who is also dad to D'Essence, 25, Taylor, 22, Malik, 21, and Aaryn, 21—asked fans and supporters for prayers during his family's difficult time.
"I'm OK," Rickey said in his Jan. 29 Instagram video. "Pray for my son's mother and my son's siblings."
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