Actor Robert De Niro Puts Limit On Estranged Wife’s American Express Card Due To Pandemic BudgetingJuly 27, 2020
When one thinks of Robert De Niro, they imagine his worldwide fame and wealthy status as an actor, but even the two-time Academy Award winner is tightening his belt as his estranged wife tries to access his fortune.
The U.K.’s The Telegraph recently reported that De Niro is claiming financial hardship because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The celebrated actor, 76, owns the famous Nobu restaurants and multiple Nobu hotels located around the world. However, he says that these establishments have hit tough times because of COVID-19 and have been forced to remain closed or partially closed.
De Niro is said to be worth a fortune of around $500 million and has been fighting his estranged wife Grace Hightower, 65, in court to cut down her expenses. He claims that he will only be able to earn about $7.5 million this year if he is lucky because of the pandemic’s restrictions. De Niro also mentioned during the emergency court hearing via Skype that even his acting opportunities had dried up because of the coronavirus. He was ready to begin working on a new film project in Oklahoma, but that, too, has seen a delay now.
Therefore, the actor has chopped Hightower’s monthly American Express credit card limit from $100,000 to $50,000. She is not taking the reduction in her allowance lightly, either.
Hightower has hit back, claiming that her wealthy ex can afford the money because there are 41 restaurants and 18 hotels in total. Her attorney Kevin McDonough agreed, saying that the actor had not fallen on hard times and was using the global pandemic as an excuse to “stick it to his wife financially.”
De Niro’s attorney disagreed and cited the terms of the couple’s 2004 prenuptial agreement during the court hearing. Caroline Krauss explained that De Niro is required to pay Hightower $1 million a year as long as he’s making $15 million or more in income. If his income decreases, however, the payments to her will also decrease.
Hightower was married to De Niro for 21 years. The separated couple shares two children, including Helen, 8, and Elliot, 21. The main issues that the former pair are fighting over are money and custody of their daughter. Helen was born to them through surrogacy.
The judge issued a temporary ruling that allows the actor to keep the limit on Hightower’s credit card expenses to $50,000 monthly.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper also ruled that De Niro should pay Hightower an amount of $75,000 to find a summer home for their two children.
Meanwhile, the Oscar winner is living at his estate in Gardiner, NY, during the coronavirus pandemic. He has banned Hightower and their two kids from the upstate compound.
Robert DeNiro filed for divorce from Grace Hightower in 2018. The actor is so private about his personal life that he tried to keep his divorce from going public by filing the case under an “Anonymous v. Anonymous” heading.
Previously, the couple had divorced in 1999 and got back together again in 2004.
De Niro and Hightower have had many ups and downs during their separations and reunions. During their first divorce, she had accused the star of having a serious drug and alcohol problem. In turn, he had accused her of having a violent temper and that she once fractured one of his ribs.