‘Aging bull’ Robert De Niro is worked to death to follow his ex-wife’s extravagant lifestyle – including his ‘thirst for Stella McCartney’ and over $ 1 million in diamond rings, his lawyer said Friday in court.
The elderly acting legend is already a tax offender again – with paychecks from his next two films to make up for his latest multi-million dollar bill to Uncle Sam, his divorce lawyer has said.
“Mr De Niro is 77 years old, and if he loves his job, he shouldn’t be forced to work at this stupendous pace because he has to,” De Niro lawyer Caroline Krauss told a Manhattan judge in a virtual divorce hearing. .
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“When does it stop? When does he have the opportunity not to take all the projects that come up and not work six days a week, 12 hours a day to keep pace with Mrs. Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney? ” Krauss said, referring to his client’s ex, Grace Hightower, and the famous designer.
“He could get sick tomorrow and the party is over,” she said of the famous “Raging Bull” and “The Irishman” star.
“He could get sick tomorrow, and the party is over.”
De Niro telephoned the proceedings, while Hightower appeared via video link.
The hearing took place as the two continued to feud over how much De Niro should pay Hightower until the terms of their 2004 first names agreement came into effect, likely after their divorce was finalized. .
Hightower’s attorney, Kevin McDonough, argued that since filing for divorce in 2018, De Niro has unfairly continued to reduce the amount of money he sent to his ex-wife, including expenses related to his credit card from $ 375,000 per month to just $ 100,000. monthly as recently as January.
But Krauss claimed that in the years leading up to their separation, Hightower was spending more and more. In 2019 alone, she had spent $ 1.67 million – including buying a diamond worth $ 1.2 million from jeweler Kwiat, the lawyer said.
Krauss said De Niro is behind millions of dollars on his taxes and that the money from his next two film projects will be used to pay off those debts. De Niro – who was hit with a $ 6.4 million tax lien in 2015 – has previously said the pandemic has decimated his finances.
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De Niro doesn’t want Hightower and their two children to be forced out of their Manhattan apartment under the contract, which asks the former couple to sell the $ 20 million block, split the profits, and then get him to buy it. a new $ 6 million. at home for the trio, Krauss said.
But “if the choice is to sell the apartment and go with the deal or pay according to Ms Hightower’s demands – which are rich in leniency, waste and greed – then we would go with the former,” Krauss said. .
‘Maintain the status quo’
McDonough said that until the prenuptial agreement goes into effect, De Niro is supposed to pay her so that she can “maintain the status quo” that she had when they married – all the while crying scandal over Krauss’ claims that De Niro is in financial difficulty.
“If he wants to lead or force his family out of their longtime home when he spends millions and millions and millions on himself, on his own home, to renovate what his tongue-in-cheek lawyers call his cottage. to Montauk, which he has poured millions and millions into over the past two years, he can take that position, ”McDonough told the actor.
“If he wants to lead or force his family out of their longtime home while he spends millions and millions and millions on himself… he can take that position.”
“There has been no reduction or slowdown in Mr. De Niro’s lifestyle,” McDonough said. “When Mr. De Niro goes to Sunday brunch in Connecticut, he charters a helicopter up there. When he flies to see his friends in Florida or elsewhere, it’s a private jet.”
Krauss denied the claim that De Niro took a helicopter for brunch, while McDonough scoffed at the fact that his client spent $ 1.2 million on a diamond.
“I want these parties to divorce,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper said. “I want Mrs. Hightower and Mr. De Niro to go their separate ways.
“I want to divorce these parties. I want Mrs. Hightower and Mr. De Niro to go their separate ways.”
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“They will always come out of this region richer than almost any human being that walks this Earth,” Cooper said.
Earlier in the hearing, Cooper reminded both parties, “There is nothing ordinary about these expenses. For 99.9999 percent of the world, they are extraordinary to an almost unimaginable degree.”
De Niro and Hightower married in 1997, separated in 1999, then reunited and renewed their vows in 2004 before filing for divorce three years ago.
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