Robert De Niro, 79, was spotted spending some quality father-son time with his 24-year-old son Elliot in New York City on Friday. The pair were photographed on a casual stroll on March 17, during which they chatted it up before entering a building. Elliot is an avid tennis player and the fifth of six De Niro children. The two-time Oscar winner also has daughters Drena, 51, and Helen Grace, 11, and sons, Raphael, 46, twins Julian and Aaron, 27, and Elliot, 25.
Elliot and Robert dressed casually for their stroll. The Meet the Fockers star kept warm in a collared shirt, a black jacket, and black sweatpants. He also donned a black beanie and a gray and black scarf. His son, who is a few inches taller, also wore a black jacket, which he paired with blue jeans, bright blue sneakers, and a green beanie.
Elliot did not follow his father’s footsteps into acting, but he is a talented tennis player and even appeared in a promotional video leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics. Elliot has autism, and his father said in the past that he and Elliot’s mother, Grace Hightower, signed him up for the sport to help him manage his special needs. “He wasn’t crazy about it, at times. His mother was good at pushing [him], and wanting him to be physical and work out,” the star admitted in a video for ESPN.
“He has realized, ‘Oh, I can accomplish this,’” Grace added. “It has helped him socially,” she continued before the Godfather jumped back in. “It helps him be more confident when he sees that he’s actually good at this,” he noted. “That’s the best self-motivator one can have. He’s gonna feel better about himself, which he does. So, it’s a win-win for everybody, especially [Elliot].”
Elliot is one of four children between Robert and Grace, who divorced in 2018 after 20 years of marriage. Robert shares his four youngest children with Grace, his twins with his former partner, model Toukie Smith, and his son Raphael with his first wife, Diahnne Abbott. Drena is Diahnne’s biological child from a previous marriage, who Robert adopted as a child.
Robert has said in the past that being a father is his greatest blessing, despite it being difficult at times. “I love my children, just being with them,” he told Us Weekly in 2019. “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them! Then, when you have the good moments,” he continued, “you forget about the ones that weren’t good.”
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