Actor Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower, who have been married for over 20 years, are separating, Page Six is reporting. A source told the publication that the couple were no longer living together and to expect an official statement regarding the situation within the next few weeks. Many people have taken notice of De Niro arriving to events alone with no date on his arm for the past few months, and in the past he’s been typically seen with Hightower as his guest. The last instance was on Monday, November 19, when De Niro attended a MoMA film benefit honoring Martin Scorsese alongside stars like Leo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Harvey Keitel.
“De Niro and Grace are breaking up,” said an anonymous source.
“He’s been at a few things since the very end of the summer without her — and rumor has it they are done.”
The couple wed in 1997 after dating for almost a decade, and the pair went on to have two children together. This isn’t the first time for the couple where there’s been trouble in paradise, however — De Niro once filed for divorce in 1999, only two years into their marriage. This resulted in a heated custody battle over their son, but the couple eventually rekindled their romance and the problem was seemingly put to rest.
Things appeared to be going so well that the two even exchanged vows in 2004 at a beautiful ceremony in the Catskills. They shared their love for each other in front of a star-studded guest list, with attendees including Meryl Streep and Ben Stiller, who starred in Meet the Parents with De Niro. De Niro and Hightower actually met in 1987. At the time, Hightower was working at Mr. Chow in London. Hightower once said that the two took their relationship slow at first.
“It was an ease-in,” she was quoted as saying in 2013. “It wasn’t a whirlwind.”
Hightower went on to pursue careers in music, acting, and philanthropy. She even delved into entrepreneurship by starting her own coffee line called Coffee of Grace. As for De Niro, he has steadily maintained his acting career and is regarded as one of the most acclaimed actors to this day. He is also known for his work as a director and producer. Hightower is technically De Niro’s second marriage, as he was first married to Diahnne Abbott. He married Abbot in 1976 and the couple had a child together before officially divorcing in 1988.