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17th Oct 2023

Robert De Niro opens up about parenting a newborn at 80


BY Steve Hopkins

‘It doesn’t get easier. It is what it is’

Robert De Niro has admitted that he doesn’t do any of the “heavy lifting” in raising his baby daughter with his partner Tiffany Chen.

Earlier this year, the veteran actor welcomed his seventh child, Gia Virginia Chen-De Niro, with Chen.

Along with Gia, the 80-year-old has six children by three different mothers, becoming a dad for the first time in 1971. He shares his oldest kids with ex-wife Diahnne Abbott, adopting her daughter Drena, 52, while the couple had son Raphael, 46, together.

With ex Toukie Smith he has twins Julian and Aaron, both 27, via a surrogate, and from his marriage to Grace Hightower there is son Elliot, 25, and daughter Helen, 11, born via a surrogate.

Speaking to the Guardian, he revealed that parenthood was “different” for him this time.

When asked about what it was like becoming a dad as an octogenarian, he told the publication: “It doesn’t get easier. It is what it is. It’s OK.

“I mean, I don’t do the heavy lifting. I’m there, I support my girlfriend. But she does the work. And we have help, which is so important.”

He added that he still enjoys “all” of fatherhood, saying: “With a baby it’s different to with my 11-year-old. My adult children. My grandchildren. It’s all different.”

The Killers of the Flower Moon star revealed the news of Gia’s birth during an interview with ET Canada earlier this year.

In a promotional interview for his upcoming film, About My Father, De Niro corrected the interviewer on how many children he had.

De Niro was spoke to the website about “being loving” with his children even though he sometimes had “to be stern about stuff.”

He said: “I mean, there’s no way around it with kids. I don’t like to have to lay down the law and stuff like that. But you just have no choice.

“And any parent, I think, would say the same thing. You always want to do the right thing by the children and give them the benefit of the doubt but sometimes you can’t.”

When the interviewer started the next question by saying “I know you have six kids,” De Niro corrected her by saying that it was actually seven and that he had “just had a baby.”