Rickey Smiley Reveals the Suspected Cause of His Son Brandon's Death at 32

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Rickey Smiley spoke publicly for the first time about the death of his oldest son, Brandon, who died at the age of 32 in January.

On Wednesday, the comedian sat down with Craig Melvin on the third hour of Today, and shared that his son's death is a suspected overdose following years of substance abuse issues.

"Yeah, he was struggling with that," the Rickey Smiley Morning Show host said when asked about Brandon's drug use. "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."

Although Smiley noted that "he used and it killed him," he said that it was just speculation, as the family is waiting for the results of the toxicology report.

"But we haven't got a toxicology report yet," Smiley said. "But this is just what we are speculating, according to his girlfriend who found him unresponsive."

Smiley said that he and Brandon's mother often had conversations with their son, and encouraged other parents to do the same, even if it seems the children won't listen.

"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."

Smiley added that he was "shocked, but not surprised" about Brandon's death.

Still, Smiley remembered Brandon, who was following in his footsteps to becoming a standup comedian, as a good kid.

"Fun, funny," he said about his late son. "Always the leader. Always the prankster."

The First Sunday star, who is also the father to Malik, Aaryn and D'Essence, gave an update on how he is holding up.

"I'm doing good," he said. "I still have to do my morning show. I still have to press my way through, pray my way through. Lean on my spirituality."

In January, Smiley took to Instagram to share that his son had died, and asked for prayers for Brandon's mother and siblings.


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