The 77-year-old actor says he is running out of money because of the divorce, pandemic, and tax overdue.
Robert De Niro has been taking up every project he is being offered and working overtime to support his estranged wife's expensive lifestyle. De Niro's lawyer, Caroline Krauss, stated in the virtual divorce hearing that The Irishman star has been overworked at his advanced age, reported Page Six. He is already behind on his taxes and has to use his paycheck from the next two movies to pay it off. But his nasty divorce with Grace Hightower in the midst of the pandemic has made financial matters worse for the 77-year-old. He is allegedly running out of money after Hollywood took a hit last year when he had a net worth of $500 million.
“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 told a Manhattan judge in the divorce hearing. “When does that stop? When does he get the opportunity to not take every project that comes along and not work six-day weeks, 12-hour days so he can keep pace with Ms. Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney?” She argued that the pandemic is not only putting her client in a financial crisis but also is also a health risk. “He could get sick tomorrow, and the party’s over,” she said.
Hightower will be receiving $1 million every year and the couple will also be selling their $20 million residence, according to the NY Daily News. But due to the alleged financial problems, with De Niro having to pay an $18.25 million income tax bill for 2018-19, his ex-wife's spending is making matters worse. Hightower had spent $1.67 million in 2019 alone, which included buying a diamond worth $1.2 million, reported Vanity Fair. Her credit card limit has also been reduced from $375,000 to just $100,000 as of January of this year Hightower’s attorney Kevin McDonough stated, challenging De Niro’s claims of poverty.
“When Mr. De Niro goes to brunch on Sunday in Connecticut, he charters a helicopter and flies up there. When he flies down to see a friend in Florida or wherever else, it’s a private jet. Even if you flew first class at $1,500, that’s not good enough for Mr. De Niro — he spends $50,000 for a private jet for the weekend,” the attorney claimed. As per their 2004 prenup, once their house is sold, they split the profits and then have De Niro buy a new $6 million home for his wife and two kids. This will not come into effect till the divorce, which was filed in 2018 is finalized. Until then, Hightower will have to be paid to “maintain the status quo” lifestyle she had when they were married.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper left the two parties with some cold hard truth and said, “There is nothing ordinary about these expenses. For 99.9999% of the world, these are extraordinary to an almost unimaginable degree.” He added, “I want to get these parties divorced. I want to get Ms. Hightower and Mr. De Niro to go their separate ways. They will still come out of this richer than almost any human being who walks this earth.” The two initially married in 1997 and broke up in 1999. They got back together in 2004 and De Niro filed for divorce in 2018.