The 79-year-old Oscar winner disclosed that he has had seven children during an interview with ET Canada in which he also talked about parenting and his most recent movie, About My Father.
“I mean, there’s no way around it with kids. I don’t like to have to lay down the law and stuff like that. But, [sometimes] you just have no choice,” he explained. “And any parent, I think, would say the same thing. You always want to do the right thing by the children and give them the benefit of the doubt but sometimes you can’t.”
De Niro rectified himself when the journalist inquired about his six children by saying, “Seven, actually.”He said, “I just had a baby,” without elaborating on the new member of the family or the partner he welcomed child No. 7 with.
Six of the Oscar winner’s children were born through prior partnerships. The children of De Niro and his first wife, Diahnne Abbott, are son Raphael, 46, and daughter Drena, 51. Julian and Aaron, twin sons who are now 27 years old, were born to him and his ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith in 1995. With his ex-wife Grace Hightower, De Niro also has a son named Elliot, 24, and a daughter named Helen Grace, 11.
De Niro, a grandfather now, has stated that encouraging children to pursue their ambitions is the best thing a parent or grandparent can do. “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. Just don’t sell yourself short,’ “. The actor also added, “It’s important for them to find their own lane.”