Robert De Niro is struggling financially due to his ex's extravagant lifestyle, according to his lawyer.
The "Meet The Parents" star is currently going through a vitriolic divorce with his ex, Grace Hightower. In a court hearing on April 16, Robert's lawyer condemned Grace's "thirst for Stella McCartney" and penchant for buying expensive jewelry, Page Six reported.
The former couple signed a prenuptial agreement, but the terms haven't kicked in yet. Until then, De Niro has been funding his estranged wife, but her lawyer claimed the on-screen legend has continued to cut the amount of money he gives her. The lawyer said De Niro, who filed for divorce in 2018, previously paid $375,000 a month in Grace's credit card expenses, but he has since cut it down to $100,000.
"Mr. De Niro is 77 years old, and while he loves his craft, he should not be forced to work at this prodigious pace because he has to," De Niro's lawyer told the court. "When does that stop? When does he get the opportunity to not take every project that comes along and not work six-day weeks, 12-hour days so he can keep pace with Ms. Hightower's thirst for Stella McCartney?"
The lawyer, who admonished Grace for allegedly spending over $1 million on jewelry in 2019, added, "[De Niro] could get sick tomorrow, and the party's over."
De Niro's lawyer contended that the two-time Oscar winner is millions behind on his taxes and noted that the money he makes from his next two films needs to go toward that. But, Grace's lawyer said De Niro is supposed to pay her so she can "maintain the status quo" lifestyle she has become accustomed to.
"If he wants to direct or compel his family to leave their longtime home while he's spending millions and millions and millions on himself, on his own homes, on renovating what his lawyers tongue-and-cheek call his cottage in Montauk, which he has poured millions and millions into over the past couple of years, he can take that position," her lawyer said. "There have been no cutbacks and no slowdowns in Mr. De Niro's lifestyle whatsoever. When Mr. De Niro goes to brunch Sunday in Connecticut, he charters a helicopter up there. When he flies down to see his friends in Florida or wherever else, it's a private jet."
The amount of money being fought over was not lost on the judge in the case.
"I want to get these parties divorced," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper said. "I want to get Ms. Hightower and Mr. De Niro to go their separate ways. They will still come out of this richer than almost any human being who walks this Earth."
Earlier in the hearing, Page Six said the judge reminded both sides, "There is nothing ordinary about these expenses. For 99.9999 percent of the world, these are extraordinary to an almost unimaginable degree."