Robert De Niro's estranged wife, Grace Hightower, will not be receiving half of the star's income generated prior to their split, an appeals court ruled Thursday.
Hightower has argued that a 2004 prenuptial agreement entitled her to half of De Niro's earnings, which he received from acting and business ventures, according to Page Six. His income is regarded as marital assets to be divided evenly, she stated. However, the Appellate Division has rejected her arguments.
"The husband’s income earned during the marriage and other business assets acquired during that time are his separate property," reads the appellate court decision.
The decision upholds a lower court’s ruling from February. In a written decision at the time, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper stated that the prenup "establishes that the bulk of [De Niro’s] income earned during the marriage, whether from acting, film production, or business ventures, constitutes his separate property."
This does not mean that Hightower walks away empty-handed, though. The prenup reportedly states that the pair should sell their $20 million home they lived in together and use $6 million from the sales to buy Hightower and their two kids a new house. Additionally, De Niro has agreed to pay her $1 million a year in alimony until she remarries or one of them dies, Page Six noted.
De Niro quietly filed for divorce in 2018. The pair were married — for the second time to each other — in 2004. They were also married from 1997 to 1999. The prenup was put in place for the second marriage, limiting Hightower to a $6 million apartment, $500,000 cash, and $1 million a year in alimony in the event of divorce, according to WonderWall.
After they parted ways, however, Hightower estimated De Niro's fortune at $500 million and demanded half of it.
De Niro's legal team argued that Hightower was trying to suck her soon-to-be ex-husband dry, and making a spectacle of the ordeal. Hightower has reportedly issued De Niro with several subpoenas for his financial records.
"She is seeking essentially every piece of paper of De Niro’s receipts for meals on movie sets, wardrobe, payroll records of every employee at Nobu, credit card charges. This all goes back 15 years," said De Niro’s lawyer, Caroline Krauss-Browne, according to Page Six.
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