Last Thanksgiving, fans of Robert De Niro learned that the actor and his wife of over 20 years, Grace Hightower, had split up and were preparing to divorce. Prior to the divorce announcement, Page Six reported that the couple had been estranged and were not living together for several months.
De Niro released a public announcement confirming the sad news at the end of November 2018.
“Grace and I have two beautiful children together. We are entering a period of transition in our relationship which is a difficult but constructive process. I honor Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting,” De Niro said, according to Page Six.
Prior to De Niro’s public announcement, many people who knew the couple began wondering about their relationship status. De Niro had been seen out often alone during the past summer, which was not a common pattern for the couple. Eventually, gossip started to spread about De Niro and Hightower, which brought the fact that the two were, in fact, living apart to light.
De Niro and Hightower share two children together and tied the knot back in 1997. However, while the two share 20 years of marriage together, they officially dated for over a decade before that. The two met in the mid-1980s when Hightower worked at a restaurant called Mr. Chow, located in London.
De Niro is notoriously private about his personal life. While he has tried to keep the divorce proceedings as quiet as possible and filed for divorce under “Anonymous v. Anonymous” in December 2018, Hightower’s actions have forced De Niro out into the public.
“This could be resolved very privately and quietly behind closed doors. He just wants to see his kid, but she’s being difficult. He’s 75. He doesn’t really care about the money,” a source close to De Niro said, according to Page Six.
“Bob would have preferred to not go to court, and she would do better by not going to court, but she’s forcing Bob to give her less money.”
De Niro has appeared obviously pained and frustrated each time he has to appear at court. The actor is usually seen dodging reporters and photographers.
The pair do have a prenuptial agreement, although those details are not currently public. The two are trying to work out custody arrangements for their 7-year-old daughter and 20-year old autistic son.