fb-pixel Skip to main content

Police say Nicole Cianci died of apparent overdose

PROVIDENCE - The daughter of former Providence mayor Vincent “Buddy’’ Cianci Jr. was found dead Friday morning of an apparent overdose, police said.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death of Nicole Cianci, 38, police Commander Thomas Oates III said.

Authorities responded to a residence in the city’s Federal Hill neighborhood for a report of an overdose and found Cianci, who was pronounced dead at the scene, Oates said. He said she was with a male roommate, with whom she had been living for the last few weeks.

Oates said police do not believe foul play is involved.


Providence’s longest-serving mayor released a statement saying it was a “tragic and emotional time’’ for him and Nicole’s mother.

“Our entire family appreciates your thoughts, prayers, and sentiments,’’ Buddy Cianci said.

“I loved my daughter,’’ he said.

Nicole Cianci underwent drug treatment in 2002, the same year her father was convicted of corruption charges. He was reassigned to a federal prison in New Jersey so he could be closer to his daughter while she underwent treatment in Exeter, R.I.

In his 2011 memoir “Politics and Pasta,’’ Cianci described how his daughter visited him in federal prison. After his release, Cianci worked at a condominium development in Providence where Nicole Cianci lived.

She had three children.

Buddy Cianci was first elected in 1974 and was forced from office 10 years later after admitting he assaulted a man he believed was having an affair with his estranged wife. He won reelection in 1990 and resigned in 2002 after his conviction.

The former mayor now hosts a popular radio talk show on WPRO-AM. Fans, friends, and supporters quickly filled his Facebook page with messages of sympathy Friday.

Mayor Angel Taveras issued a statement saying he was “deeply saddened’’ by the death.


“Moments like these transcend all political differences,’’ Taveras said. “A tragedy with your child is every parent’s greatest fear.’’

Nicole Cianci’s mother, Sheila Bentley, declined to comment.