Robert De Niro has appealed for privacy after splitting with his wife of 21 years, Grace Hightower.

In a statement published by People magazine, the 75-year-old actor said: "Grace and I have two beautiful children together. We are entering a period of transition in our relationship which is a difficult but constructive process."

"I honour Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting," he added.

"I honour Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting"

The double Oscar winner and Hightower, 63, are parents to 20-year-old son Elliott and six-year-old daughter Helen Grace.

De Niro previously filed for divorce from Hightower in 1999, but the couple went on to reconcile and renewed their vows in 2004.

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