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Robert De Niro breaks the silence after being separated from his wife Grace Hightower



Robert De Niro confirmed that he and his wife, Grace Hightower, were separated in a statement on Tuesday that praised her ex as "a wonderful mother" and asked for protection of their privacy while they were heading to their new life.

"Grace and I have two beautiful children together. We are entering a transition period in our relationship which is a difficult but constructive process, "the statement said.

"I pay tribute to Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for the privacy and respect of all as we develop our roles as partners in parenting."

According to reports reported earlier this month, the Oscar-winning actor, 75, and Hightower, 63, had decided to end their activities after 21 years of marriage.

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Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower together

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NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 10: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro pose behind the scenes at the 72nd Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 30: Actor Robert De Niro (left) and Grace Hightower attend the 45th Chaplin Award Gala at the Alice Tully Room on April 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend the premiere of the movie "The Fourth Estate" at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on April 28, 2018 in New York. (Photo by Taylor Hill / FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 23: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attend the 13th Annual CHANEL Dinner at the Tribeca Film Festival in Balthazar on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill / FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 08: Robert De Niro (left) and Grace Hightower attend the 44th Chaplin Award Gala at the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center on May 8, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil / WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 08: Actor Robert De Niro (left) and Grace Hightower attend the 44th Chaplin Award Gala at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 20: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attend the IWC Schaffhausen 2017 "For the Love of Cinema" Gala Dinner at Spring Studios on April 20, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography / Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 20: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attend the IWC Schaffhausen 2017 "For the Love of Cinema" Gala Dinner at Spring Studios on April 20, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography / Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 19: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attend the Clive Davis 2017 Opening Gala: The Soundtrack of Our Lives at the Tribeca Festival, Radio City Music Hall, April 19, 2017 in New York City . (Photo by Taylor Hill / Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 01: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attend the Broadway premiere of "A Bronx Tale" on December 1, 2016 in The Longacre, New York. (Photo of Walter McBride / WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 22: Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro attend the American premiere "Hands of Stone". at the SVA Theater on August 22, 2016 in New York. (Photo by Andrew Toth / FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 22: Grace Hightower (left) and Robert De Niro attend the New York premiere of "Hands Of Stone". in partnership with DeLeon Tequila, NetJets, Redbury New York and VisitPanama at SVA Theater on August 22, 2016 in New York. (Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images for Weinstein)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 18: Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower attend the 50th Anniversary Fisherman's Ball at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on May 18th, 2016 in New York. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh / FilmMagic)

CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE – MAY 17: Robert DeNiro (left) and Grace Hightower attend the De Grisogono party at the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17 2016 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Anthony Ghnassia / Getty Images)

Cannes, France – May 16: Roberto Duran, boxer, Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower, Edgar Ramirez and Anna de Armas leave the premiere of "Hands Of Stone". during the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 16, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober / Getty Images)

Cannes, France – May 16: Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower leave the premiere of "Hands Of Stone" at the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 16, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober / Getty Images)

Cannes, France – May 16: Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower attend the first "hands of stone" at the 69th Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 16, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo of Foc Kan / FilmMagic)

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 16: (From left to right) The American actor Robert De Niro, Grace Hightower De Niro and the Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez arrive for the screening of the movie "Hands of Stone & # 39; at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, Cannes 16 2016.

(Photo by Mustafa Yalcin / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

Artistic Director Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attended a special "Goodfellas" show at the Beacon Theater on April 25, 2015, with the final end of the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo by Andy Kropa / Invision / AP)

Actor-director Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower attend the screening for the 20th anniversary of "A Bronx Tale" presented by First Time Fest and Tribeca Film Institute on Monday, February 24, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini / Invision / AP)

Robert De Niro attends the screening of "The King Of Comedy" with his wife Grace Hightower on Saturday, April 27, 2013 in New York. De Niro plays in the 1982 film with Jerry Lewis and Sandra Bernhard. (Photo by Dario Cantatore / Invision / AP)

The president of the jury, Robert De Niro, and his wife, Grace Hightower, arrive for the screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, at the 64th International Film Festival, in Cannes, in the south of France, on Saturday 14 May 2011. (AP Photo / Joel Ryan)

The co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, Robert De Niro, arrives with his wife, Grace Hightower, for the premiere of the new movie "The Interpreter" at the opening night of the festival on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 in New York. (AP Photo / Louis Lanzano)

American actor Robert De Niro, right, accompanied by his wife Grace Hightower, arrives at the Rome auditorium on Saturday, October 21, 2006 for a meeting with the audience at the very first edition of the Film Festival from Rome. (AP Photo / Andrew Medichini)

Robert De Niro, left, and Grace Hightower arrive at the premiere of "Stardust" in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 29, 2007. (AP Photo / Matt Sayles)




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The two men reportedly separated and separated just before Thanksgiving, according to People.

De Niro and Hightower – who were 10 years old before getting married in 1997 – had two children together: Elliott, 20, and Helen Grace, 6, whom they welcomed through the intermediary of surrogate mother.

The couple briefly separated in 1999 when the star "Goodfellas" filed for divorce, but they finally reconciled before the finalization and renewed their wishes in 2004.


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