Robert De Niro's Estranged Wife Seeking Half of Alleged $500M Fortune

Robert De Niro and his estranged wife, Grace Hightower, are currently at odds over a prenup they signed before their second marriage in 2004. The actor claims his ex is entitled to a limited stake in his assets while Hightower insists she deserves half of his $500 million fortune. 

Robert De Niro stands to lose half of his alleged $500M fortune if his estranged wife Grace Hightower has her way. The woman he married twice is reportedly challenging his version of their prenup and wants to get half of whatever the actor earned at the time of their second marriage.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

According to Page Six, Hightower and De Niro are at odds over the specifics of their prenup with the former insisting she deserves half of his earnings since their second marriage began. 

According to De Niro’s camp, Hightower is entitled to strictly $6.5 million in cash and property in the event that they divorce.

De Niro married Hightower twice. The first time was in 1997, but their union lasted only two years.  In 2004, they remarried with a pre-nuptial agreement in place. Their divorce was filed in November.

According to De Niro’s camp, Hightower is entitled to strictly $6.5 million in cash and property in the event that they divorce. In addition, she gets $1 million in alimony and half the value of their apartment. 

However, Hightower contends that their prenup also entitles her to half of the 75-year-old's earnings during their second marriage. She estimates his current worth at $500M, $300M of which was accumulated from his income from 35 businesses including his lucrative Nobu sushi chain and 38 films since 2004. The films cover $250 million of his entire income.

“She is seeking essentially every piece of paper of De Niro’s receipts for meals on movie sets, wardrobe, payroll records of every employee at Nobu, credit card charges. This all goes back 15 years.”

Moreover, Hightower wants fifty percent of the 75-year-old’s share in Tribecca Grill, Greenwich Hotel, and Canal Productions. 

ACCORDING TO THEIR LAWYERS

The 64-year-old's intentions were expressed by her lawyer, Allan Mantel during a hearing at the Manhattan Supreme Court attended by the former spouses. Mantel expressed his anger over DeNiro’s unfair treatment of his client by telling Judge Matthew Cooper, “His total income is more than $500 million. He gets it all.”

“What you’re dealing with here is all or nothing. Winner takes all."

Meanwhile, De Niro’s lawyer, Caroline Krauss-Browne criticized Hightower’s camp for looking into every single receipt issued to her client since the start of their marriage when she obtained six subpoenas for his financial records.  

“She is seeking essentially every piece of paper of De Niro’s receipts for meals on movie sets, wardrobe, payroll records of every employee at Nobu, credit card charges. This all goes back 15 years.”

WINNER TAKES ALL

In an attempt to seek common ground, Cooper hopes a mediation would settle the problem. After all, it is stated as a provision in the prenup. While he tried to make light of the situation by joking about De Niro’s income lessening with the end of his character Robert Mueller in “Saturday Night Live,” he expressed his interest to allow both parties to win in some way. 

“What you’re dealing with here is all or nothing. Winner takes all. There is always room for compromise. One winner, one loser. Maybe we can avoid that.”

De Niro was reportedly stone-faced throughout the hearing. despite Cooper’s joke. He left right after with a newspaper covering his face, much like he appeared the last time he was seen leaving the courthouse. At the time, he was caught on camera berating his driver for not being there when he came out.

DE NIRO AND HIGHTOWER'S CHILDREN

Despite his bitter divorce, the actor who's also in the middle of a custody battle over their daughter, Helen, is making sure she knows he's there for her. He's been spotted several times with the seven-year-old, making it clear he wants to be a part of her life despite leaving her mother. 

De Niro and Hightower also share a 21-year-old son, Elliot, who was diagnosed with autism. The award-winning star has been vocal in the past about blaming his son’s condition on vaccination and has been pushing for dialogue that would address this.