Robert DeNiro and wife Grace Hightower split after 21 years of marriage

The couple are reportedly living sepearetly and have made no public appearances in the last few months


                            Robert DeNiro and wife Grace Hightower split after 21 years of marriage

After 20 years together, Robert DeNiro and his wife Grace Hightower have called it quits. De Niro and Hightower share two children: son Elliot, born in 1998, and daughter Helen, born in 2011. ET Online reports that this isn't the first time the couple has split up. They married in 1997, but broke up in 1999, though they never finalized their divorce. DeNiro withdrew the divorce papers and the couple reconciled. In 2004, the couple even renewed their vows.

Actor Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend the 45th Chaplin Award Gala at the Alice Tully Hall on April 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Actor Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend the 45th Chaplin Award Gala at the Alice Tully Hall on April 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

US Weekly reports that that the couple is not living together right now and that the DeNiro has been appearing solo at events that he would normally attend with his wife over the past few months. The 75-year-old actor married Hightower, an actress and singer in 1997 after having met a decade earlier while she was working at Mr. Chow restaurant in London.

They welcomed their first child a year after their wedding, but soon after there were troubles in their marriage. De Niro filed for divorce and sued the former TWA flight attendant for custody of their son, Elliot.

Robert De Nirowith and Grace Hightower in Washington DC in 2011 (Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)
Robert De Nirowith and Grace Hightower in Washington DC in 2011 (Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)

An insider discussed the couple's split with People, saying, “Sometimes things don’t work out the way you hope or want them to." Over the years, the couple has been extremely private about their lives, speaking out only occasionally about their relationship. In 2013, in an interview with Katie Couric, Hightower spoke about the secret to a happy marriage, saying that there was “a lot of give and take, standing your ground, because then you keep the respect you started out with.”

DeNiro also spoke about his family and his then one-year-old daughter in an interview with CBS in 2013, he said, "She's so adorable. You just look at her, and it's all there. There's nothing... nothing else matters." The year after, Hightower spoke about how her husband has helped her understand the nuances of business, she said, "Patience, really being, patience not panic, looking at all angles when starting up a business, always thinking there's a way to do this. There's another way to succeed at this."

De Niro was previously married to Diahnne Abbott, from 1976 to 1988. He shares son Raphael with Abbott, and twin sons Aaron and Julian with his former girlfriend, Toukie Smith. DeNiro's representatives have made no official comment on the split yet. 

Robert De Nirowith and Grace Hightower at Cannes in 2011 (Getty Images)
Robert De Nirowith and Grace Hightower at Cannes in 2011 (Getty Images)