Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Digital Cover mother-and-baby

Robert De Niro reveals why being a dad at 80 is 'not perfect' as he talks life with youngest baby Gia

The two-time Oscar winner welcomed his seventh child with girlfriend Tiffany Chen

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
June 4, 2024
Share this:

Robert De Niro is still very much in love with being a father of a newborn at the age of 80, recently celebrating his youngest daughter Gia Virginia's first birthday.

The actor welcomed his seventh baby with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen last April, and in a new interview, is expressing just how life as a parent once over is going.

He was a guest on the latest installment of the Third Hour of Today with hosts Craig Melvin, Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones, and Dylan Dreyer, all parents themselves, speaking about the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival and personal endeavors.

When asked how one-year-old Gia was doing, he simply replied: "I always say it's pure joy. That's it," and when questioned how he would rate his skills as a dad, he joked: "I'm okay!"

Robert then mused on how he'd changed as a father from his older kids to Gia (although also quipped: "Ask the older ones"), and said: "I mean nothing is perfect in life, as we all know."

"And my older kids…as [they] get older, you know, they're more critical. When they're young, like the baby, that's pure joy, period. So I'm enjoying that."

robert de niro and daughter gia© Instagram
Robert and his daughter Gia

The two-time Oscar winner is a dad to six children with three different women, welcoming now 47-year-old Raphael with first wife Diahne Abbott, and adopting her daughter Drena, now 56, from Diahne's previous relationship.

He welcomed twin sons Julian and Aaron, now 28, with his model ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith in 1995 via surrogacy. He then married Grace Hightower, with whom he became a dad to son Eliot, now 26, and daughter Helen Grace, now 12. Robert became a dad for a seventh time with current girlfriend Tiffany, a martial arts instructor.

LATEST: Chelsea Handler's surprising confession about Robert De Niro leaves Jimmy Fallon red-faced

Last July, Tiffany sat down for an interview with Gayle King on CBS and opened up about the difficult weeks that followed after giving birth to Gia, revealing that she had been diagnosed with Bell's palsy.

In a CBS Mornings EXCLUSIVE that aired on Friday, July 14, 2023, Tiffany Chen shares details about her Bell's palsy diagnosis that caused facial paralysis, and she introduces Gayle King to Gia Virginia Chen-De Niro, the daughter she shares with partner Ro© Getty Images
Baby Gia made her TV debut on CBS with mom Tiffany and Gayle King

Bell's palsy is a neurological condition in which one side or parts of your face experiences paralysis, occurring when one of the nerves that control facial muscles stops working properly or is injured.

She described her condition, explaining: "It was like everything was starting to just fall down on itself. Like, my face was melting on itself. And then a week after giving birth, that was when it all hit."

MORE: Robert De Niro tears up during emotional conversation about being a new dad at 80

The fitness enthusiast did speak fondly of her partner and how the Killers of the Flower Moon star consistently showed compassion and encouraged her while she dealt with her condition.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 21: Robert De Niro attends the "Killers Of The Flower Moon" photocall at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 21, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)© Getty Images
The actor is a dad-of-seven, with his oldest child now 56 years old

"He tried to say that he didn't see any difference, he didn't see any change," she said. "He was like 'No. ... You look fine.' He's like, 'Maybe you look a little stern.' 

MORE: Robert De Niro makes emotional confession about relationship with baby daughter Gia

"And I'm like 'Really?' My whole face has melted on itself. But he was very strong, very supportive." She described her lower lip drooping and her face sagging, to the point that it made it hard for her to even speak.

Robert De Niro and his girlfriend Tiffany Chen arrive to the screening of "Kiss the Future" during the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival at OKX Theater in New York City on June 7, 2023© Getty Images
The couple have reportedly been together since 2021

"I got to a point where it was just hanging and I'd have to hold it up," Tiffany explained. "And to talk, I'd have to hold my chin and I'd have to manipulate my lower lip to make certain sounds. I couldn't say 'Bob.'"

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Parenting

See more