A lawyer for Robert De Niro says the actor has been affected by coronavirus’ impact on his finances, much like many Americans.
Caroline Krauss, De Niro’s lawyer, told USA Today that the 76-year-old will not be able to work on his latest film, which remains unnamed, due to the pandemic.
His investments in The Greenwich Hotel and the luxe Nobu hotels and restaurants and have also been negatively affected by the virus as people scale back on travel and dining out. Hotel and restaurant locations were temporarily closed in the wake of COVID-19 concerns and the lack of business.
The reduced income was a primary reason why De Niro cut his ex-wife’s monthly spending limit to $50,000, Krauss said.
But his estranged wife, Grace Hightower, asked the court for an emergency order to increase her American Express spending limit to $100,000 per month.
A prenuptial agreement signed by Hightower and De Niro in 2004 states that De Niro is to pay Hightower $1 million per year as long as his salary amounts to at least $15 million each year, Krauss said.
One report noted that Krauss said De Niro has had to borrow money from business partners and will “be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year.”
Hightower’s lawyer, Kevin McDonough, said De Niro has “used the COVID pandemic ... to stick it to his wife financially.”
“I’m not a believer that a man who has an admitted worth of $500 million and makes $30 million a year, all of a sudden in March he needs to cut down [spousal support] by 50 percent,” McDonough reportedly told a judge.
The judge ruled the credit limit will remain at $50,000 but ordered De Niro to pay a $75,000 lump sum so Hightower can find a summer home for her and their two children.
De Niro married Hightower in 1997. The couple separated in 1999 but later renewed their vows in 2004. They share two children: an 8-year-old daughter and a 22-year-old son. The pair split again 2018 after more than 20 years of marriage and are currently in the midst of a divorce.
De Niro was previously married to actress Diahnne Abbott from 1976 to 1988. They share two children. He also has twin sons who were delivered via surrogate during his 10-year relationship with model Doris “Toukie” Smith.
Read more at the New York Post.
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