Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro’s Six Biracial Children Have Changed How He Views The World

Robert De Niro is an Oscar-winning actor known for films like The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Awakenings. He is famous for his depictions of violent and stern characters, and later on, cantankerous old men. Meanwhile, the real-life De Niro has won awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama in 2016. [1]

De Niro has also been open about his political beliefs and his personal life. In 2020, he spoke about raising six biracial children on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. There, he spoke about how his kids changed his view of the world. 

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Robert De Niro on Raising Biracial Children

De Niro has six children from three previous marriages. He had his eldest daughter and son, Drena, 50, and Raphael, 46, with his ex-wife Diahnne Abbot. With his ex Toukie Smith, he had twin sons, Aaron and Julian, 26. And he had Elliot, 24, and Helen, 10, with his ex-wife Grace Hightower.

In the interview, De Niro explained that he received more opportunities being a white man as opposed to his biracial children. “My children are all half black and I don’t have, even me, I take certain things for granted. When people say that they tell their kids, ‘Keep your hands [out] when you’re stopped by any cops, keep your hands on the steering wheel, don’t make a sudden move, don’t put your hands below, don’t do this,’ you understand that.” 

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He added, “That’s scary. That has to change. A lot of people have been saying the cops have to help in the community and have sensitivity, and there are good cops, of course, who have that already. But there are some who don’t, and they shouldn’t be there.[2]

This conversation took place in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Robert De Niro denounced the police brutality that arose during some of the protests, saying, “Anybody who hurts another person for no reason other than self-defense or the defense of other people around shouldn’t be doing that job.[3]

De Niro said in an interview in 2019 that he enjoys being a father although it isn’t always easy. “I love my children, just being with them,” he said. “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!” He added, “Then, when you have the good moments, you forget about the ones that weren’t good.” [4]

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Related: Robert de Niro Demanded Lover to End 2nd Pregnancy after She Terminated Her 1st Pregnancy

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More About His Children

Robert De Niro was asked what it’s like to parent as a celebrity, and if his kids feel pressured to follow his career path. “For my kids, I tell them, ‘If you want to be an actor or you want to do this or that, that’s fine as long as you’re happy,” De Niro said. “Just don’t sell yourself short. That’s the most I would say — push yourself a little more and reach for what you really think it is you want to do. Don’t be afraid.” He added, “It’s important for them to find their own lane.”

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So far, none of his kids have followed his exact legacy; instead, they chose more private lives away from celebrity life. The career of the eldest, Drena De Niro, has included modeling, fashion consulting, and even some acting. She also is the spokesperson for the Kageno Orphan Sponsorship Program. Raphael De Niro is a real estate broker in New York City, with also some film appearances under his belt. The twins Julian Henry and Aaron Kendrick De Niro overall stay out of the spotlight. Elliot also lives a private life; although his father had revealed that he is on the autism spectrum. 

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And finally, Helen has lived out of the public eye for her childhood so far with Robert and Grace co-parenting her. “Grace and I have two beautiful children together,” Robert De Niro said after their divorce in November 2018. “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.” [5]

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Keep Reading: Jackie Chan ‘Never Existed’ in His Daughter’s Life & Did Not Support Her When She ‘Slept Under a Bridge’

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Sources

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  1. “Robert De Niro.” Biography. January 11, 2018
  2. “Robert De Niro gets candid about raising biracial children: It’s ‘scary’.Good Morning America. Danielle Long. June 12, 2020
  3. “Robert De Niro Opens Up About Raising 6 Biracial Kids: ‘I Take Certain Things for Granted’.” Yahoo News. Alexia Fernandez. June 12, 2020
  4. “Robert De Niro Gets Real About Raising 6 Biracial Children as a White Father.US Magazine. Mariah Cooper. June 11, 2020
  5. “Robert De Niro Deserves an Award for Best Father! Meet the ‘Taxi Driver’ Star’s 6 Children.” Closer Weekly. January 7, 2022
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