The pandemic has hit Robert De Niro's finances so hard that he "is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year," a Manhattan court heard this week. Caroline Krauss, a lawyer for the 76-year-old actor, said De Niro's earnings had been decimated, with the restaurant chain Nobu, which he has a stake in, losing millions of dollars, Page Six reports. Grace Hightower, De Niro's estranged wife, was seeking an emergency order raising her American Express card limit from $50,000 a month back to $100,000. Her attorney, Kevin McDonough, said De Niro cut Hightower's allowance in March and banned her and their children, 8-year-old Helen and 21-year-old Elliot, from the upstate compound where he has been living with some of his other four children.
Krauss told the court that De Niro's latest film project has been put on hold, Fox reports. She said the actor, who appeared at the hearing via Skype, had cut back spending "dramatically." McDonough accused the actor of using the pandemic to "stick it to his wife financially," but Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper declined to order the actor to raise the credit card limit. "$50,000 seems to be certainly enough to avoid irreparable harm," he said, though he told De Niro to give Hightower $75,000 to find a summer home. Hightower and De Niro separated in Nov. 2018. They got married in 1997, divorced two years later, and reconciled in 2004. Krauss said that under a 2004 pre-nup, De Niro is supposed to give Hightower $1 million a year, but only if he earns more than $15 million. (Read more Robert De Niro stories.)