Robert De Niro, Grace Hightower reach custody deal on Valentine’s Day
Robert De Niro and his estranged wife rendezvoused in Manhattan court on Valentine’s Day — to seal a custody deal involving their 8-year-old daughter amid a bitter divorce battle.
On the most romantic day of the year, the actor and ex Grace Hightower finally inked a parenting agreement, which De Niro said he felt “great” about as he left Manhattan Supreme Court.
“The agreement resolves all of the parenting issues. … My congratulations,” Judge Matthew Cooper told the former lovebirds. “The decision is clearly in the best interest of your daughter, who you both love.”
Details of the pact were not made public.
Earlier in the day, the 76-year-old “Taxi Driver” movie icon was spotted reading a script on his laptop — as court drama in his case unfolded behind closed doors.
One of Hightower’s lawyers could be heard shouting, “The man is worth a billion dollars!” inside the judge’s chambers.
De Niro’s lawyer, Caroline Krauss, shot back, “It’s the same old s–t over and over again.”
Hightower, who wore a gray sweater and irritated facial expression in court, did not comment after the proceeding.
Their child Helen Grace’s lawyer, Pamela Sloane, was present and joined the famous parents in signing off on the terms of the 31-page custody agreement.
The former couple still has financial issues to resolve in their divorce, but they at least dodged a trial over their young child, Cooper said.
“I am very please to find both parties have voluntarily entered a custody agreement to resolve custody issues,” he said. “There will not be a trial on the parent issues.”
Money, however, is another matter.
At a hearing in June, Hightower revealed that she is fighting for half of De Niro’s “$500 million” fortune, while his lawyers argued that a prenup limited her to receiving a $6 million apartment, $500,000 cash and $1 million per year in alimony.
Last month, as Cooper set a date for the Feb. 14 custody hearing, he quipped, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
De Niro first filed for divorce from his wife of more than 20 years in 1999, and they fought over custody of their son Elliot, who is now 21.
They rekindled their romance and renewed their vows in 2004 and later had their daughter through a surrogate.
De Niro then quietly filed for a divorce again in December 2018 with an anonymous name.