The 76-year-old actor's lawyer, Caroline Krauss, said De Niro was experiencing financial setbacks after his estranged wife, Grace Hightower, asked the court for an emergency order to increase her spending limit.
Hightower wanted her American Express spending limit raised to $100,000 after De Niro lowered it to $50,000, Krauss told USA TODAY.
The "Irishman" actor cut Hightower's limit specifically because chain restaurant Nobu and Greenwich Hotel, both of which De Niro has financial stakes in, have been suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic and were forced to close for months, his lawyer said.
USA TODAY has reached out to Hightower's lawyer for comment.
Krauss noted that De Niro's latest movie was also not going to be filming this summer because of the pandemic. It's unclear which film he was supposed to be working on this year.
According to the actor's prenuptial agreement with Hightower, De Niro was supposed to pay his estranged wife $1 million annually as long as his salary is at least $15 million a year. Should his income drop below that, payments to Hightower would be adjusted, his lawyer said.
The judge ruled that De Niro can keep Hightower's limit at $50,000 but ordered him to pay $75,000 so she can find a summer home, according to Krauss.
De Niro and Hightower announced their separation in 2018 after more than 20 years of marriage.
De Niro, 75, who was previously married to actress Diahnne Abbott before divorcing in 1988, embarked on his second marriage, to Hightower, 63, in 1997, a decade after they began dating.
Quickly, the two had marital troubles, and De Niro filed for divorce in 1999. Five years later, they renewed their vows, with two judges present, People magazine reports. “So they can make sure this one sticks,” De Niro reportedly said.
The former couple shares two children: Elliot, 22, and Helen Grace, 8.
Contributing: Erin Jensen
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Robert De Niro's finances take a hit because of coronavirus pandemic