Robert De Niro's lawyer says the actor's finances have been ruined by the coronavirus

jsarkisian@businessinsider.com (Jacob Sarkisian)
Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower were together for 21 years.
Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower were together for 21 years.

John Lamparski/WireImage

  • Robert De Niro's finances have been badly hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to his attorneys.

  • De Niro is battling his ex-wife Grace Hightower in court, and appeared via Skype at an emergency hearing after he cut her monthly credit card limit from $100,000 to $50,000.

  • According to the Daily Mail, De Niro's lawyer Caroline Krauss told the judge that he was forced to make this cut as his finances have been impacted so badly.

  • Krauss said that De Niro's restaurant and hotel chain, Nobu and The Greenwich Hotel, have made huge losses over the past few months, while his earnings from "The Irishman" have almost dried up.

  • Krauss said: "He is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year."

  • Hightower's attorney responded by saying that De Niro "has used the COVID pandemic, my words would be, to stick it to his wife financially," Page Six reported.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Video: What’s next for dating during the coronavirus

Robert De Niro's attorneys said that the actor's finances have taken a huge hit over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The actor is battling a divorce case against Grace Hightower, his ex-wife who he was with for 21 years, in Manhatten Supreme Court.

De Niro appeared via Skype at an emergency hearing, which was called after De Niro cut Hightower's American Express credit card limit from $100,000 to $50,000 a month.

According to the Daily Mail, Hightower's lawyer told the judge that she and her two children with De Niro, Harvey (8) and Elliot (21), had been banned from his New York compound, which is where De Niro has been staying during the pandemic.

However, De Niro's lawyer, Caroline Krauss, reportedly told the judge that De Niro was forced to make this cut to Hightower's credit card limit because his finances have been so badly affected by the pandemic.

Krauss told the judge that Nobu and The Greenwich Hotel, the restaurant chain and hotel that De Niro owns, have both been badly hit by the pandemic as they have been closed or partially closed for months with next to no income.

Krauss said that Nobu lost $3 million in April and a further $1.87 million in May, while De Niro was forced to borrow money from business partners to pay investors $500,000 on a capital call "because he doesn't have the cash," according to the New York Post.

"His accounts and business manager… says that the best case for Mr. De Niro, if everything starts to turn around this year… he is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year," Krauss told the judge, according to the Daily Mail.

Krauss said that the 2004 prenuptial agreement between De Niro and Hightower means that De Niro is only required to pay $1 million a year to Hightower as long as he is making at least $15 million a year. The terms, Krauss said, state that if his income falls, hers will proportionately fall too.

Robert De Niro starred in Martin Scorsese's Netflix film "The Irishman" last year.
Robert De Niro starred in Martin Scorsese's Netflix film "The Irishman" last year.

Netflix

Krauss said that the money De Niro has earned from last year's "The Irishman" has largely already been paid out, meaning he will only receive $2.5 million this year.

"These people, in spite of his robust earnings, have always spent more than he has earned so this 76-year-old robust man couldn't retire even if he wanted to because he can't afford to keep up with his lifestyle expense," Krauss told the judge, according to Page Six.

In response, Page Six reported that Hightower's lawyer, Kevin McDonough, told the judge: "Mr. De Niro has used the COVID pandemic, my words would be, 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 and ban her from the house."

McDonough said that "the idea that Mr. De Niro is tightening his belt is nonsense."

The judge issued a temporary ruling that the credit card limit is kept at $50,000 a month, but that De Niro pays Hightower a $75,000 lump sum so she can find a summer home for her and their two children, while De Niro stays in his compound with his other three children.

De Niro and Hightower were married in 1997 but filed for divorce two years later. However, their divorce never finalized, and they patched things up and renewed their vows in 2004. They officially separated in 2018.

Read more:

'The Irishman' is a fictionalized true crime story about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, a mystery that still hasn't been solved

A deepfake artist's attempt to make Robert De Niro look younger in 'The Irishman' is being hailed as superior to Netflix's CGI

The 24 best classic movies you can watch on Netflix right now

Read the original article on Insider

More From