Robert De Niro's London restaurant business took furlough cash

Robert De Niro’s London restaurant business took furlough cash to help out-of-work staff despite Hollywood star being worth around £360million

  • De Niro, 77, co-founded the high-end Nobu chain with chef Nobu Matsuhisa
  • The Hollywood Goodfellas star has an estimated £360million fortune
  • Nobu guests have included Cheryl Cole, Brad Pitt, Kate Moss and Tom Cruise

Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro’s celebrity-loved Nobu London restaurant has used taxpayer’ money to furlough staff during the pandemic – despite his £360million fortune.

Goodfellas star De Niro, 77, co-founded the high-end Nobu chain with celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Teper in 1994.

The trio now co-own scores of Nobu restaurants and hotels across five continents.

London’s branches have played host to hundreds of celebrities over the years including Cheryl Cole, Brad Pitt, Kate Moss, Tom Cruise, Elton John and Naomi Campbell.

TaxPayers’ Alliance CEO John O’Connell said: “Justifiably, the Government cast a wide net to catch everyone who could be affected by this coronavirus crisis.

“But recipients should keep in mind that this money ultimately comes from taxpayers, and support should only be sought if it’s really needed.”

Robert De Niro attends the Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch Official Launch back in 2018

Robert De Niro, Alice Eve and chef Nobu Matsuhisa attend the Nobu Berkeley in 2015

Nobu London Ltd has claimed furlough money to cover 80 per cent of temporarily laid off workers’ wages, according to a Government list published on January 26. 

The company’s latest accounts are made up to December 2019 and were published in September.

Its annual accounts state: “The restaurant has been closed since March 21, 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, and reopened on May 6 2020 to operate in providing a limited restaurant service that can be operated by the company under the recommended health and safety guidelines imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic such as food take away service.

“Also on July 8, 2020 the company reopened its in-house dining service to guests that can be operated under social distancing rules during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The directors therefore expect to report a significant decrease in profitability due to materially reduced revenues in 2020.” 

De Niro is just the latest wealthy celeb to be slammed for taking furlough cash taxpayers will eventually have to pay back.

Meir Teper, Robert De Niro, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Trevor Horwell attend the Nobu Hotel

Model lara Stone and Robert De Niro The launch of the Nobu Hotel London in Shoreditch

Guy Ritchie and former Rugby ace Mike Tindall – who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall – both enraged the public after their firms claimed furlough cash.

Other stars like Ed Sheeran – who owns Bertie Blossoms restaurant in posh Notting Hill, north-west London – have won praise for not taking state handouts.

Despite his enormous reported wealth, De Niro has complained of cash flow problems recently.

Divorce proceedings in July heard how the actor slashed his ex-wife Grace Hightower’s monthly American Express limit from $100,000 to $50,000.

De Niro reportedly said the Covid-19 pandemic has forced him to “dramatically” cut spending.

One of his lawyers Caroline Krauss reportedly said that the plight of the Nobu chain had put De Niro under financial pressure.

De Niro and Nobu London Ltd have been approached for comment.

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