Arts & Entertainment | April 21, 2021 12:13 pm

Robert De Niro Is “Forced” to Keep Making Movies to Fund His Ex-Wife’s Extravagant Lifestyle

Like seeing Robert De Niro in new movies? You have his ex-wife and her shopping habit to thank.

Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attends CHANEL Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner at Balthazar on April 23, 2018 in New York City.
Robert De Niro keeps churning out films to support his ex's shopping habit.
Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

At the age of 77, legendary actor Robert De Niro remains one of Hollywood’s most prolific stars, adding multiple new titles to his extensive filmography almost yearly. Apparently, however, the actor hasn’t maintained this active hustle purely out of love for his craft. Like many of us, it would seem De Niro would actually prefer to not work. Unfortunately, lingering financial obligations to ex-wife Grace Hightower and her rumored shopping habit have rendered this impossible.

In court last Friday, De Niro’s divorce attorney claimed the actor has been forced to continue churning out new projects “so he can keep pace with Ms. Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney,” Page Six reported. De Niro filed for divorce from Hightower back in 2018 after two decades of marriage, and the former couple has been embroiled in a contentious battle over finances ever since. In the meantime, De Niro has reportedly been stuck supporting his ex’s extravagant lifestyle, which is rumored to include a passion for million-dollar diamonds and designer labels.

“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, Caroline Krauss, told a Manhattan judge.

Of course, as those of us who are not famous celebrities know, being forced to work in order to live is the reality for the vast majority of people, even those of us who aren’t burdened with spendy exes. As a famous movie star, however, De Niro obviously feels he should be exempt from that uncomfortable little reality under which the rest of us normals are forced to labor until we die. As someone who is sympathetic to the plight of not wanting to work for a living, I certainly can’t blame De Niro for wanting to dodge that obligation, though I also can’t blame Hightower for milking her end of the deal as long as she can.

Back in 2017, De Niro was already rumored to be struggling under the financial burden of his then-wife’s lush tendencies. At the time, Page Six ran a story about De Niro snapping at Hightower in a Manhattan bar, reportedly saying, “I wouldn’t have to keep making shitty movies if you didn’t spend all my money!” A rep for De Niro slammed the story back in the day, claiming it was “based on something that never happened from a source who has an ax to grind.”

Of course, as Page Six gleefully pointed out yesterday, the recent comments from De Niro’s lawyer seem to echo that exact sentiment, arguing that De Niro would not have to keep making movies, shitty ones or otherwise, if it weren’t for Hightower’s spending. So while De Niro may not be too happy about his ever-expanding filmography, it seems he and his fans have Hightower to thank for a long, prolific career in Hollywood.