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Robert De Niro Admits Fatherhood Is ‘Not Easy’, Jokes: ‘Sometimes You Want to Kill’ Your Kids (Exclusive)

Robert De Niro Admits Fatherhood Is ‘Not Easy’ The Apollo Tribeca Film Festival
Robert De Niro attends the premiere of "The Apollo" during the Tribeca Film Festival at Apollo Theater on April 24, 2019 in New York City. Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Mixed feelings! Robert De Niro loves his six kids, but that doesn’t mean that raising them has been a walk in the park.

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“I love my children, just being with them,” the Oscar winner, 75, told Us Weekly exclusively on Wednesday, April 24, at the Tribeca Film Festival opening night premiere of The Apollo. “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!”

The actor added: “Then, when you have the good moments, you forget about the ones that weren’t good.”

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De Niro and his first wife, Diahnne Abbott, welcomed Raphael, now 43, in 1976, and the director adopted her daughter from a previous relationship, Drena, 47. Seven years after their 1988 divorce, De Niro and his longtime girlfriend Toukie Smith had twin sons, Julian and Aaron, 2, via surrogate.

The Godfather star married his second wife, Grace Hightower, in 1997. Their son, Elliot, 21, was born in 1998. They welcomed their daughter, Helen, 7, via surrogate in 2011. De Niro also has four grandchildren.

He and Hightower split in November 2018, and the Golden Globe winner opened up about their breakup a week later. “Grace and I have two beautiful children together,” De Niro told Us in a statement. “We are entering a period of transition in our relationship, which is a difficult but constructive process. I honor Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting.”

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That wasn’t their first separation. De Niro filed for divorce from Hightower in 1999, but they reconciled, renewing their vows in 2004.

With reporting by Nikki Gostin

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