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Robert De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen details Bell’s Palsy diagnosis, losing ‘facial function’ after baby

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July 13, 2023 | 10:00am

Robert De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy after losing “all facial function” postpartum.

The new mom told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings” in a Thursday clip, which will air Friday, that her “tongue felt strange,” “tingly” and “numb” when she left the hospital with baby girl Gia in April.

“My face just felt weird,” she recalled. “It was like everything was starting to just fall down on itself. Like, my face was melting on itself.

“Then a week after giving birth, that was when it all hit,” Chen continued, describing how she began to “slur” and “couldn’t eat.”

Tiffany Chen
Robert De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy postpartum.
CBS
Tiffany Chen and Gayle King
She told Gayle King about losing “all facial function.”
Gail Schulman/CBS News
Tiffany Chen
The full interview will air Friday.
CBS

When the martial arts instructor returned to the hospital, she “lost all facial function” upon arrival.

Chen was subsequently diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, which is a condition causing weakness in muscles on one side of the face.

Robert De Niro, who was first linked to Chen in 2021, revealed in May that they had welcomed their first child together, his seventh.

Robert De Niro and Tiffany Chen
The health scare took place in April after Chen gave birth to daughter Gia.
Getty Images for Air Mail LLC.

The Oscar winner, 79, corrected an ET Canada reporter who said he had six kids at the time, clarifying, “Seven, actually. I just had a baby.”

Later that same month, the “Taxi Driver” star shared his infant’s name and face during a “CBS Mornings” appearance.

“They both wanted this baby,” King told viewers. “They’re over the moon. She was brought here in love. He’s very psyched about it.”

Robert De Niro and Tiffany Chen at
The little one is their first child together and De Niro’s seventh.
AFP via Getty Images

The Emmy winner is also the father of Drena, 51, and Raphael, 46, with Diahnne Abbott, as well as twins Aaron and Julian, 27, with Toukie Smith. Additionally, he shares Elliot, 25, and Helen, 11, with Gracie Hightower.


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The actor became a grandfather in 2004 when Drena welcomed son Leandro with Carlos “Mare” Rodriguez. The 19-year-old died earlier this month.

“I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,” De Niro told Page Six in a statement on July 3.

Robert De Niro, Drena De Niro and son Leandro
The actor’s eldest daughter Drena’s son, Leandro, died earlier this month.

“We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone,” he added. “We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”

The Golden Globe winner was photographed attending Leandro’s funeral in New York City over the weekend.

Drena has alleged that the late teenager died after taking pills laced with fentanyl, but Leandro’s official cause of death has yet to be revealed.