Actor Robert De Niro has avoided payment of half the money he has earned through acting and his business interests after a divorce law decision from the New York County Supreme Court that found that a 2004 prenuptial agreement served to maintain those funds as De Niro’s separate property.
Grace Hightower had sought to obtain half the assets but she will still be entitled to many millions, including $1 million a year in alimony and proceeds from the sale of their $20 million home.
De Niro’s lawyer Caroline Krauss told Page Six, “The decision speaks for itself. We obviously agree with the conclusion.”
She told the court that De Niro was forced to work to keep up his former wife’s ‘thirst for Stella McCartney’.
“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,” 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?”
Krauss said that apart from the financial demands Hightower is making, De Niro is also currently millions of dollars behind on his taxes, and the money from his next two film projects will go toward paying off that debt.
Hightower’s lawyer, Kevin McDonough, claimed that since the pair filed for divorce in 2018, De Niro has been unfairly decreasing his payments to his estranged wife, including lowering her monthly credit card limit from $375,000 to just $100,000 as of January of this year.
De Niro and Hightower first married in 1997, broke up in 1999, and then got back together and renewed their vows in 2004 before the actor officially filed for divorce three years ago. But while McDonough argued that his client is owed payments to “maintain the status quo” lifestyle she enjoyed when they were married, Krauss countered that Hightower has been going through money more and more quickly, claiming that she spent $1.67 million in 2019 alone, which included buying a diamond worth $1.2 million.