Robert De Niro's estranged wife flaunts ruffled gown at Samuel L. Jackson's 70th birthday party

Grace Hightower was spotted out and about in New York following the shocking announcement of the split from her husband, Robert De Niro.

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Hightower was one of the many famous faces that graced Samuel L. Jackson's 70th birthday celebration in NYC. She looked glamorous in a ruffled black gown and paired it with a suede Navy blue jacket that also served to buffer the harsh weather. Despite not wearing any makeup, Hightower looked stunning

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The former flight attendant and her husband of over 20 years recently went their separate ways. After Page Six first broke the news of their separation in November, De Niro released a confirmation statement to PEOPLE:

“Grace and I have two beautiful children together. We are entering a period of transition in our relationship which is a difficult but constructive process. I honor Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting.”

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It would not be the first split for Hightower and De Niro, who share two kids; they once separated in 1999. The “Dirty Grandpa” actor is said to have filed for divorce, and he and Hightower battled for custody over their autistic son, Elliott, now 20.

The warring couple was able to work things out and reconcile. The divorce was never finalized, and they even renewed their vows in 2004. They also have a six-year-old daughter Helen Grace.

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The “Grudge Match” actor, 75, and Hightower, 63, tied the knot in 1997 after dating for ten years. The pair was last seen together in June as they attended the 72nd Annual Tony Awards in New York City. Last week, De Niro was spotted on the red carpet at a MoMa event also in NYC, with Hightower noticeably missing from his side.

Besides Elliott and Helen Grace, De Niro has four other children. He married his first wife, co-star Diahnne Abbott in 1976 and they have a 42-year-old son, Raphael. The “Killing Season” actor also adopted Abbott’s child from a previous relationship, Drena, now 47.

De Niro and Abbott parted ways in 1988, and by 1995, the actor welcomed twin boys, Aaron Kendrick and Julian Henry with his model girlfriend, Toukie Smith. The twins, now 23, were born by a surrogate and Smith and De Niro broke up after their birth.

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