Robert DeNiro’s estranged wife, Grace Hightower, is allegedly trying to make their divorce public, a move that’s likely to irritate the famously private Oscar winner, who filed for divorce from Grace in December.
A Page Six source says, “This could be resolved very privately and quietly behind closed doors,” but Grace is aiming to “drag this out.”
The tab reached out to Grace’s lawyer for a comment on why the actor brought the divorce to court if he wanted to keep things hush-hush. Attorney Allan Mantel would only say, “Ask Mr. De Niro … he’s the one who started the action.” He also “refused to discuss specifics” when asked about the former couple’s prenuptial agreement.
The sticking point in the split seems to be the children shared by Robert, 75, and Grace, 63, who are reportedly fighting over a custody and visitation setup. Their son, who is autistic, is 20. In 2011, they welcomed their second child, Helen Grace, via surrogate. In his December 2018 court filing, Robert requested visitation with Helen, though it’s unclear where that request stands as of now.
The two married in 1997 after a decade together. At one point in 1999, Robert filed for divorce but they apparently worked things out and renewed their vows a few years later.
“He just wants to see his kid, but she’s being difficult,” a source described as the actor’s “longtime associate” told the tab. “He’s 75. He doesn’t really care about the money.”
The insider added that Grace’s approach will ultimately not work in her favor, explaining, “Bob would have preferred to not go to court, and she would do better by not going to court, but she’s forcing Bob to give her less money.”
Their next court date is Thursday, Feb. 7.