Robert De Niro, the renowned Hollywood actor, has had a remarkable career in show business, earning numerous accolades, including two Oscars. Regarded as one of the finest actors of all time, De Niro has enjoyed both a successful professional life and a quiet personal life. However, his recent divorce from ex-wife Grace Hightower has taken an unexpected turn, with De Niro’s attorney claiming that the actor is being “forced to work” to maintain Hightower’s extravagant lifestyle.
Marriages in the Hollywood industry are not uncommon, often involving actors who marry other actors. However, De Niro’s marriage to someone outside the industry, like Hightower, added a unique dynamic to their relationship. Hollywood marriages can be just as susceptible to dissolution as those of regular individuals, and while some couples manage to stay together, others, like De Niro and Hightower, find themselves ending their marriages after several years.
De Niro, who has been married twice, was previously in a 21-year-long marriage with his second wife, Grace Hightower. Despite their separation three years ago, De Niro is still facing challenges due to Hightower’s lavish lifestyle.
Before delving into his personal life, let’s take a closer look at De Niro’s successful acting career.
Growing Up and Pursuing a Passion
Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943, in New York City. He grew up in a family of artists, with his father being a painter and poet, and his mother a talented artist. From an early age, De Niro developed a passion for cinema, often accompanying his father to the movies. His interest in acting was sparked after watching Greta Garbo films, and he had the opportunity to take acting lessons for free because of his mother’s connection to a theatrical company. At the age of 10, De Niro made his stage debut as the lion in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Recognizing his talent, De Niro was accepted into the prestigious High School of Music and Art in New York City. However, he dropped out shortly after, feeling unprepared. At the age of 16, De Niro made the decision to pursue acting as his career. His mother, using all the funds she had saved for his education, supported his choice. He continued his acting education at the Conservatory of Acting, where he studied under renowned performer Stella Adler. Although De Niro didn’t believe he had exceptional talent at the time, he learned a lot from his experience.
Rise to Stardom and Personal Relationships
De Niro’s breakthrough in the film industry came in 1968 with his debut in the movie “Greetings.” He further solidified his career with notable performances, including his role in “Mean Streets” directed by his childhood friend Martin Scorsese. It was in 1974, with the film “The Godfather: Part II,” that De Niro achieved widespread fame and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Throughout his career, De Niro has been recognized for his exceptional talent, earning two Academy Awards for Best Actor, one for his performance in “Raging Bull” in 1981, and the other for his role in “The Godfather: Part II.” As his career thrived, De Niro also experienced personal relationships, including two marriages.
In 1976, De Niro married singer and actress Diahnne Abbott, and they had a son named Raphael and adopted Diahnne’s daughter Drena. However, the couple divorced in 1988. De Niro then dated model Toukie Smith for eight years, and they had twins through in vitro fertilization and a surrogate mother. Not long after, De Niro crossed paths with Grace Hightower, whom he first met at a London club in 1987. They eventually got married in 1997, and their son Elliot was born the following year.
The Challenges of Divorce
Unfortunately, De Niro and Hightower’s marriage began to falter, and in 1999, De Niro filed for divorce. However, they managed to reconcile soon after and renewed their vows in 2004. They had another child named Helen in 2011. Despite their efforts, their marriage ultimately ended in 2018, marking the conclusion of a 20-year relationship.
Following their divorce, De Niro’s financial situation became a subject of contention. According to his lawyer, Caroline Krauss, De Niro is struggling to keep up with Hightower’s extravagant lifestyle. Hightower’s spending habits, including purchasing a million-dollar-plus diamond ring and a fondness for luxury designer Stella McCartney, have put financial strain on De Niro. In an attempt to curb expenses, De Niro reduced Hightower’s monthly credit card limit from $100,000 to $50,000.
In the midst of a legal battle, De Niro, now at 77 years old, is finding himself under significant financial pressure. Krauss argues that he should not be “forced to work” relentlessly to sustain Hightower’s lifestyle, especially considering his age and the toll it takes on his well-being. De Niro’s restaurants have also suffered losses due to the pandemic, further exacerbating the financial strain.
Hightower’s lawyer, Kevin McDonough, dismisses the claims of De Niro’s financial struggles, stating that they are “nonsense.” McDonough highlights De Niro’s substantial net worth and annual income as evidence that he is still financially stable.
As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome remains uncertain. It is a complex situation that highlights the challenges and complexities of high-profile divorces. What are your thoughts on this ongoing drama? Share your opinions in the comments below and pay tribute to the legendary Robert De Niro by sharing this post on Facebook.