Actor Robert De Niro is claiming that the coronavirus pandemic has dealt him a serious financial blow in the latest round of his divorce battle with estranged wife Grace Hightower, according to a report from the New York Post.
Lawyers for the anti-Trump actor reportedly argued during a virtual court hearing Thursday that De Niro cut Hightower’s credit card limit because his restaurant chain Nobu as well as the Greenwich Hotel have been forced to close or partially close due to the virus.
They said Nobu lost $3 million in April and another $1.87 million in May, and that De Niro had to pay investors $500,000, which he borrowed from his business partners “because he doesn’t have the cash.”
It was recently revealed that Robert De Niro’s Nobu restaurants and hotels took 14 coronavirus relief program loans worth $28 million. The Raging Bull actor is believed to be personally worth $500 million.
His lawyers also said the actor is running low on money in part because a movie he was supposed to film this summer in Oklahoma has been put on hold — a likely reference to Martin Scorsese’s Flowers of the Killer Moon.
De Niro “is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year,” Caroline Krauss, the actor’s lawyer, reportedly said.
Grace Hightower isn’t buying her husband’s coronavirus argument.
“Mr. De Niro has used the COVID pandemic, my words would be, to stick it to his wife financially,” her attorney Kevin McDonough reportedly said.
Hightower, whom De Niro married in 1997, requested that the actor raise her monthly American Express allowance from $50,000 to $100,000. But the Post reported that the New York judge on the case denied her request, ordering De Niro to keep her credit card limit at $50,000 a month and to pay her $75,000 so she can find a summer home for their two children.
De Niro has spoken regularly about his loathing of President Donald Trump. During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” in June, the actor said that “I am certainly looking forward to” the president ending up in jail.
The actor said in May on BBC’s “Newsnight” that the president is a “lunatic” who has no regard for how many Americans die of the coronavirus.
Those comments were relatively tame compared to some of the actor’s more heated words for the commander in chief. “I’d like to see a bag of shit right in his face. Hit him right in the face like that, and let the picture go all over the world,” De Niro told filmmaker Michael Moore in his podcast in December.