Robert De Niro took a major financial hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, as per details revealed by his lawyer Caroline Krauss. The 76-year old Irishman actor, has seen his finances suffer from a double whammy from divorce negotiations and a capital pay-out from the famous Nobu chain of restaurants where he holds a stake. According to Krauss, De Niro has undergone huge losses in their income because of the necessary closure of Nobu restaurant chains as also the Greenwich Hotel, where he has invested money. De Niro also continued to send funds to Grace Hightower, his ex-wife, as per conditions of their pre-nup agreement.
Hightower, 65, recently secured an emergency court order, requesting that the credit card limit American Express of $100,000 per month, be reinstated from the present limit of $50,000. De Niro had reduced limits due to his financial situation. De Niro’s lawyers argued that the actor was under dire money troubles as the pandemic had halted his businesses and he has suffered losses in businesses in which he owns stakes, resulting in reduction of Hightower’s credit card limits. Caroline Krauss, the star’s lawyer, claimed that Nobu suffered losses of $3 million in April 2020 and $1.87 million in May 2020 and Robert had to part with $500,000 to pay investors on a capital call. To pay for this, Krauss said that the actor borrowed funds from his business partners as he had no money of his own.
Hightower’s lawyers called for the hearing, not only because of “unfair” credit ceiling but also Robert banning Hightower and their children from visiting his upstate New York compound. The divorce pre-nup clearly dictates that De Niro needs to pay his ex-wife $1 million every year if he’s earning $15 million or more, with flexible payments to fall if his income dips. But the seasoned actor is experiencing a dramatic fall in income. As per his accounts manager (via Krauss), he feels that his income could shrink to a maximum of $7.5 million this year. With much of his earnings from “The Irishman” squared away, his income stream has dried up sharply to only $2.5 million in 2020-2021.
Krauss admitted that Robert had sharply reduced his expenses, adding that despite his robust earnings, had always spent more money than what he earned so that this 76-year-old man could not afford to retire anytime soon because of his inability to keep up with his lifestyle. Hightower’s lawyer however claimed that Mr. De Niro conveniently used the pandemic, to tick his wife off financially and refused to believe that a man with an approximately worth of $500 million and making $30 million a year, all of a sudden, needs to cut down on spousal support by 50 % and ban her from visiting the house.
Grim Economic Outlook
For now, Matthew Cooper, the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice, has allowed De Niro to stick to the $50,000 credit limit, but ordered him to pay $75,000 to ex-wife Hightower, for a holiday home for herself and their two children. The economic forecast is grim as Covid-19 infections continue unabated and with mounting deaths, the social distancing norms can only be strengthened. However some respite is possible in view of the two Vaccines which have been released.