Well, this is a bummer. According to Page Six, Robert De Niro and wife Grace Hightower have separated, with the couple expected to announce their divorce in the coming weeks. Dating since 1987 and married in 1997, the couple share two children, including 20-year-old Elliot and six-year-old Helen. This separation marks the couple’s second time apart, with De Niro having filed for divorce in 1999. The couple later renewed their votes in 2004. So, maybe there’s still hope this time as well. Second time’s a charm, right?
A source close to the couple tells Page Six that De Niro and Hightower are no longer living together, adding “De Niro and Grace are breaking up. He’s been at a few things since the very end of the summer without her — and rumor has it they are done.”
De Niro is notoriously private about his personal life, but the actor did walk the red carpet alone at a MoMA event on Monday night, with the pair having last been spotted together at an event in June. This could be the biggest signal that the relationship is over. Or, maybe Hightower had a cold and stayed home. Colds can last for six months, right?
De Niro and Hightower first met in 1987 when she was working at the London eatery Mr. Chow. Since that fateful meeting Hightower has added ‘actor’ and ‘musician’ to her resume, as well as starting the coffee company Coffee of Grace. The couple dated for 10 years before making things official, welcoming their first child Elliot in 1998.
Should the couple announce their separation, this will mark De Niro’s second divorce, with the actor previously married to Diahnne Abbott from 1976 until 1988. De Niro shares two children with Abbott, as well as twin sons with ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith.
Normally we would say that De Niro and Hightower have already beat the odds by sticking together for over three decades in Hollywood, but let’s be real. A 30 year relationship is pretty good outside of Hollywood as well. Let’s hope the pair remain friends for the sake of their children, or even better yet, they go for a second vow renewal.