Robert De Niro’s contentious divorce from estranged wife Grace Hightower is allegedly costing him to run out of his fortune.
A judge has ruled that Hightower is to receive $1 million annually and that the couple sell off their $20 million residence and split the proceeds, reported the New York Daily News.
De Niro’s lawyer claims Hightower’s extravagant spending habits as well as the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on Hollywood are making it hard for the Oscar winner to stay afloat financially. In addition, he will use income from his last two films to pay an $18 million tax bill.
“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,” De Niro’s lawyer, Caroline Krauss, said during a virtual divorce hearing on Friday.
“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?”
While Hightower claims De Niro is worth $500 million, her lawyer, Kevin McDonough, further disputed the actor’s assertions of being financially strapped.
“There have been no cutbacks and no slowdowns in Mr. De Niro’s lifestyle whatsoever,” McDonough said, per the outlet.
“When Mr. De Niro goes to brunch Sunday in Connecticut, he charters a helicopter up there. When he flies down to see his friends 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.”
During the hearing, the judge commented on his eagerness to finalize their divorce proceedings.
“There's nothing ordinary about these expenses for 99.99999% of the world. These are extraordinary to an almost unimaginable degree,” Justice Matthew Cooper said.
“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.”
De Niro and Hightower married in 1997 and announced their separation in 2018. They share two children: Elliot, 23, and Helen, 9.
The "Raging Bull" star also has three adult children from previous relationships.