Robert De Niro is being forced to act in films to pay for his estranged wife’s expensive tastes, the actor’s lawyer has claimed.
aroline Krauss told a Manhattan court that Mr De Niro is struggling financially because of the pandemic, a large tax bill and the demands of Grace Hightower, who filed for divorce in 2018 after 21 years of marriage.
The court has been asked to settle how much Mr De Niro should pay Ms Hightower (66) until the terms of the prenuptial agreement the couple negotiated in 2004 take effect. “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,” Ms Krauss said.
“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?”
“He could get sick tomorrow, and the party’s over,” she added.
According to the New York Post, Ms Krauss accused Ms Hightower of spending vast amounts of money, including buying a diamond worth $1.2m from New York jeweller Kwiat.
But Ms Hightower’s lawyer, Kevin McDonough, accused the actor of slashing his monthly payments from $375,000 (€313,000) a month to $100,000 (€83,500).
Denying that Mr De Niro was struggling financially, Mr McDonough told the court the actor was legally obliged to maintain Ms Hightower, with whom he had had two children, in the lifestyle she enjoyed while they were married. “There have been no cutbacks and no slowdowns in Mr De Niro’s lifestyle,” he added.
With Mr De Niro also facing a $6.4m (€5.3m) tax bill, the actor has not had the option of being discriminating when being offered roles.
Mr De Niro’s output in a career dating back to 1965 has been prodigious, with more than 140 films to his name. He won the 1981 best actor Oscar for Raging Bull, after being named the best supporting actor for The Godfather Part II.
However, his career has taken a downturn with critically panned movies. Dirty Grandpa (2016) was savaged as racist and homophobic.
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