Ricky Smiley believes his late son, Brandon, died of a drug overdose.
One month after losing the 32-year-old, the radio personality spoke to Craig Melvin on the “Today” show about why he and his family members are “speculating” Brandon “succumb[ed] to drug abuse.”
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.
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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.”
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When the famed prankster revealed Brandon’s death via Instagram in January, he requested prayers for Brandon’s mother, Brenda Morris, as well as his daughter, Storm.
“My granddaddy went through this s–t with my dad, and somehow, here I am going through the same thing my grandparents went through,” he said at the time.
The following month, Smiley told his social media followers that just because he has returned to work does not mean he is “not sad.”
The “Rickey Smiley Show” host clarified that he is “doing the best [he] can” while mourning Brandon.
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