Just weeks after a survey estimated that up to 74 percent of Americans in some regions of the country are worried about being able to pay their bills, a new report details how hardship is impacting actor Robert De Niro.
According to a Thursday report in Page Six, which cited a Skype call that was part of an ongoing divorce case, the vehemently anti-Donald Trump actor’s annual income has shrunk to $7.5 million.
The call was conducted to address a concern from Grace Hightower, De Niro’s estranged wife, who wanted her monthly American Express card credit limit restored to $100,000.
Hightower claimed De Niro had cut her limit to $50,000 and also banned her and the couple’s children from living in the upstate New York compound where DeNiro is holed up during the COVID-19 epidemic.
But De Niro’s lawyer claimed the actor was suffering financially.
“His accounts and business manager … says that the best case for Mr. De Niro, if everything starts to turn around this year, … he is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year,” attorney Caroline Krauss said.
Krauss said the actor’s earnings from the Netflix film “The Irishman” have mostly been received, and will only amount to $2.5 million over 2020 and 2021.
De Niro’s revenue has taken a hit because COVID-19 closures are impacting the actor’s investments in the restaurant chain Nobu and the Greenwich Hotel, the lawyer claimed.
Nobu lost $3 million in April and an additional $1.87 million in May, Krauss said.
She claimed Hightower’s 2004 pre-nuptial agreement allows the actor’s payments to her to decline in proportion to his income.
“These people, in spite of his robust earnings, have always spent more than he has earned, so this 76-year-old robust man couldn’t retire even if he wanted to because he can’t afford to keep up with his lifestyle expense,” Krauss said.
She insisted the longtime Hollywood star has reduced spending “dramatically.”
But Kevin McDonough, who’s representing Hightower, said “the idea that Mr. De Niro is tightening his belt is nonsense.”
“Mr. De Niro has used the COVID pandemic, my words would be, to stick it to his wife financially,” McDonough said.
“I’m not a believer that a man who has an admitted worth of $500 million and makes $30 million a year, all of a sudden in March he needs to cut down [spousal support] by 50 percent and ban her from the house.”
New York County Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, based in Manhattan, rejected Hightower’s bid to up her credit limit, but said De Niro should pay her $75,000 toward finding a summer home.
“I am not requiring at this point that Mr. De Niro restore the credit card to $100,000,” Cooper said. “Fifty thousand dollars seems to be certainly enough to avoid irreparable harm.”
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