According to a new report from Page Six, actor Robert De Niro’s earnings have taken such a hit during the pandemic that he had to cut the monthly allowance for his estranged wife in half.
Per DailyMail, De Niro, 76, has been battling his ex-wife Grace Hightower, 65, over the terms of their divorce.
The pair confirmed their separation in November 2018 after 21 years together.
De Niro has been riding out COVID-19 from his upstate New York compound in the village of Gardiner, and appeared at the hearing on the phone over Skype.
PageSix reports the coronavirus dealt a massive financial blow to the actor’s finances he revealed in court, as his estranged wife asked for an emergency order to raise her monthly American Express card credit limit from $50,000 to $100,000.
The “Irishman” actor appeared by phone on a Skype call in his Manhattan divorce case with Grace Hightower as her lawyer told a judge that De Niro unfairly cut her monthly Am-Ex allowance from $100,000 to $50,000 and said she and their children had been banned from an upstate compound where De Niro is staying during the pandemic.
But lawyers for De Niro said he cut Hightower’s credit card limit because he’s taken a huge financial hit as the restaurant chain Nobu and Greenwich Hotel, both of which he has stakes in, have been closed or partially closed for months with barely any business.
De Niro’s lawyer, Caroline Krauss, told the judge that Nobu lost $3 million in April and another $1.87 million in May. And he had to pay investors $500,000 on a capital call, which he borrowed money from his business partners to make, “because he doesn’t have the cash,” Krauss said.
Krauss also explained that under the terms of their 2004 prenuptial agreement De Niro is only required to pay Hightower $1 million a year as long as he’s making $15 million or more in income and if his income declines his payments to her proportionally do too.
“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 said.
Krauss added that proceeds from Netflix’s “The Irishman” have mostly already been paid out and he is likely to get just $2.5 million in 2020 and 2021.
And a movie project that De Niro was scheduled to begin filming this summer in Oklahoma has been put on hold, Krauss explained.
“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 said, adding that De Niro has begun cutting back spending “dramatically.”