In 1997, Robert De Niro married Grace Hightower. Despite their separation in 1999, the pair eventually rekindled their relationship and renewed their wedding vows in 2004. However, the couple’s tumultuous love affair continued when they filed for divorce in 2018. De Niro has stated that his bank accounts are running dry as Hightower continues to spend his money like it’s limitless, forcing him to take on any role available to pay the bills.
A judge has recently ruled that Hightower should receive $1 million a year from De Niro. Furthermore, the couple must split any proceeds made from selling their shared $20 million house. This divorce battle started years ago after Hightower officially filed for divorce in December 2018.
De Niro and Hightower battled it out over their nine-year-old kid’s custody in the beginning. However, their conflict has evolved to include money and property, with each side attempting to finalize their divorce and split permanently.
Hightower, on the other hand, maybe devouring cash at a rate that De Niro, a high-paid star, can’t match. Hightower spends approximately $215,000 every month on credit cards as well as an additional $160,000 each month in cash according to court papers.
De Niro’s attorney, Caroline Krauss, stated that the actor is rapidly running out of money because his ex-wife spends it quicker than he earns it. The outbreak of coronavirus has made it more difficult for De Niro to gain acting roles as Hollywood productions have shut down due to the pandemic.
However, despite all of this, De Niro still managed to rake in $5 million for his starring role in Martin Scorsese’s latest gangster film, The Irishman. In addition, he qualified for a federal relief program for coronavirus which gave him “tens of millions of dollars”.
Hightower’s attorneys claim De Niro is worth $500 million while the website Celebrity Net Worth agrees. However, Caroline Krauss argues that De Niro’s estranged wife’s spendy habits have significantly depleted the actor’s savings.
“Mr. De Niro is 77 years old. And while he loves his craft, he should not be forced to work at this prodigious pace because he has to,” Krauss stated. “When does that stop? When does he get the opportunity to not maybe take every project that comes along? Or not work six-day weeks, 12-hour days, simply to keep up with Ms. Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney?”
While the coronavirus pandemic has been going on, De Niro has been traveling back and forth between his Manhattan home in Tribeca, an estate in New Paltz, and another apartment he rents out in Manhattan. Once their home finally sells though, De Niro will have to buy his ex-wife another place to live.
De Niro will have to pay most of his earnings from his next two movies in taxes.
“There’s nothing ordinary about these expenses for 99.99999% of the world. These are extraordinary to an almost unimaginable degree,” said Justice Matthew Cooper. “I want to get these parties divorced. I want to get Mr. De Niro and Ms. Hightower to go their separate ways. They’re both going to come out of this richer than most human beings who walk this earth. There’s no question about it.”