Real Estate

Robert De Niro’s ex-wife, Grace Hightower, lists NYC marital home below 2006 purchase price

If you peek through Grace Hightower’s window, you’ll catch the vibrant sights of spring across Central Park’s swath of greenery and even some purple blooms adorning its trees.

And now, a new owner stands to get that prime view, which many locals covet.

Hightower, 69, is kicking off a fresh chapter following her high-profile split from actor Robert De Niro, and she’s ready to part ways with their shared Upper West Side abode, listing it for $20 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why? She’s eager to create her own vibrant oasis.

De Niro and Hightower. LightRocket via Getty Images

“I want to get my own space and go crazy,” she told the outlet. “I want cobalt blue. I want to throw pink over there … It will be my dream.”

Living large in the nearly 6,000-square-foot duplex co-op at 88 Central Park West since 2006, Hightower’s pricing it sensibly — aiming to attract a broad pool of potential buyers, according to listing agent Leonard Steinberg of Compass.

The former couple had purchased the property for $20.9 million, records show.

Steinberg told The Journal it’s not common to put a home on the market for less than its original purchase price.

Hightower inside the home. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps

However, the co-op market has taken a hit, as buyers increasingly desire flexibility in using their apartments as pieds-à-terre, which is common in the condominium market. Steinberg noted that co-op prices have significantly dropped, reflecting the changing preferences of buyers.

Family photos grace the living room, giving it a lived-in charm. The dining room boasts decorative window panels and the kitchen doubles as a cozy family hangout.

With three bedrooms and a sprawling master suite, complete with a closet larger than most New York apartments, it’s a plush retreat.

The residence overlooks Central Park. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps
The kitchen. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps

As for her famous ex? Hightower’s lips are sealed. She breezily refers to De Niro as “my children’s father.” Their romance, which began in ’87, saw them tying the knot in ’97 before calling it quits in 2018.

Hightower recalls a fiery ordeal when lint sparked a blaze in 2012, charring their apartment. Miraculously, their infant daughter was safely whisked away by Hightower’s sister. The aftermath was gut-wrenching, with cherished possessions lost to the flames — including her son’s art projects that had been displayed on the wall.

“It was almost like seeing someone you know who died,” she told the Journal. “I literally almost fell against the stairs because I couldn’t believe my eyes. [Downstairs] was pretty tolerable but upstairs was beyond.”

A living space. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps
A dining area. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps

Hightower and De Niro treated the firefighters who saved their home to a hearty meal, a touching gesture that brought tears to her eyes.

“It was only then that I cried,” Hightower said, “because they sat and described what had happened.”

And after extensive renovations, their abode was reborn, both physically and energetically. Hightower said, “but it also changed the energy.”

During the year of renovations, the former couple disagreed over where to rent.

One of four bedrooms. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps
A grand dressing room. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps

“The children’s father was being challenging with, ‘I don’t want to be on the Upper East Side,’” Hightower said.

The couple ended up renting a West Village duplex before migrating to 15 Central Park West — known as one of the city’s most prestigious buildings.

But the drama didn’t end there. Another fire, albeit minor, flared up a year later when a chef accidentally set the stove ablaze. Thankfully, it was swiftly extinguished, leaving only minimal damage in its wake.

The primary bathroom. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps
A deep soaking tub. COMPASS / Joel Pitra for DD Reps

The home also has some history. It once belonged to the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Hightower laughs: “I wasn’t going to say anything [about that].”

So what’s next for Hightower? While she’s not sure where she’ll land, one thing she admits: it’ll be near the park with lots of trees. After all, it reminds her of her origins.

“Coming from Mississippi, I grew up on a farm. I do a lot of walking and meditating as I walk.”