Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower are no more, and the Oscar-winning actor has issued a statement confirming the split from his wife of 21 years.
“Grace and I have two beautiful children together. We are entering a period of transition in our relationship which is a difficult but constructive process,” said De Niro in a statement to ET Canada.
“I honour Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting.”
Previously, a source close to the couple told PageSix that De Niro and Hightower “are not living together at this time.” Another source would not deny the report.
One social source said, “De Niro and Grace are breaking up. He’s been at a few things since the very end of the summer without her — and rumour has it they are done.”
De Niro, 75, and Hightower, 63, tied the knot in 1997 and have two children together. Prior to their marriage, the two dated for nearly a decade before embarking on a 21-year-long marriage.
The estranged couple have had their relationship tested in the past. The “Goodfellas” actor filed for divorce in 1999 and a custody battle over the couple’s son ensued. They eventually smoothed things over.
They renewed their wedding vows in 2004 in front of celebrity friends Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep and Ben Stiller.
De Niro and Hightower’s two children, Elliot and Helen, are 20 and 6, respectively.