Robert De Niro
FILE PHOTO: Robert De NIro and wife Grace Hightower arrive for the Chaplin Awards at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File photo Image Credit: REUTERS

Actor Robert De Niro has confirmed his split from wife Grace Hightower, issuing a statement on Tuesday that puts his stamp on breakup news that slipped out just before Thanksgiving.

“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,” the Oscar winner said in a statement.

“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.”

De Niro, 75, and actress-singer-philanthropist Hightower, 63, have been married for 21 years and dated for 10 years before that. They have two children together, 20-year-old Elliot and 6-year-old Helen.

Last Wednesday, it was reported that they were no longer living together and hadn’t been seen as a couple at events since the end of summer.

“Sometimes things don’t work out the way you hope or want them to,” an insider told People magazine last week.