As previously reported by REVOLT, in January, entertainer Rickey Smiley underwent an insufferable loss when he announced the passing of his oldest son, Brandon Smiley. Today (March 2), the actor gave his first televised interview to discuss the tragedy on “Today.”
“We are back with an exclusive conversation with radio host and comedian Rickey Smiley. Rickey is here with us this morning with a really important message,” “Today” host Craig Melvin began during the live broadcast. Melvin noted that the Birmingham, Alabama native was present to discuss how his family has been coping with the sudden death of their loved one. “You get the call that no parent ever wants to get, that your child has passed away. What happened, Rickey?” After a deep breath, the comedy veteran solemnly recalled that fateful day: “I was in Dallas at my apartment getting ready to watch the playoffs and his girlfriend called. She said, ‘Text Brandon at this number’ or ‘Call him.’ So I called, nobody answered.”
Rickey explained that after he had no luck trying to reach his son, he called Brandon’s girlfriend back and she informed him that the 32-year-old overdosed. “In her words, she said that he had OD’d,” he shared. After that, the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” host said he hopped on the first available flight from Dallas to be with his family, but not before getting a second call from another relative confirming the grim news. Melvin asked if Brandon had a history of drug use, and the grieving father admitted his son did struggle with substance abuse. “His mother and I made several attempts to try to send him to get the help that he needed,” he noted, adding that both parents thought Brandon was improving.
The “Dish Nation” host added that his oldest son was trying to turn his life around and had just gotten baptized one month before his passing. “Rickey, it takes great courage to speak about this tragedy so fluidly. Drug addiction is a difficult conversation to have as a parent. I know many parents have the conversation, but our children think we are clueless about the different struggles they are experiencing in life. If our children/young adults take the time to notice us, they will learn we are all a product of the experiences we’ve had in life; good, bad, or neutral. Parents, we are our children’s first teachers, they are watching and observing everything we do. Be careful who and what you expose your children to — it could be very harmful. My prayers are with you and your family. Hold on to your faith through the good and the bad times. You are covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ,” one person wrote in the YouTube comment section of Rickey’s repost of the interview.