Robert De Niro’s partner Tiffany Chen diagnosed with postpartum Bell’s palsy

Robert De Niro become a father for the seventh time recently (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Robert De Niro become a father for the seventh time recently (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The partner of Hollywood actor Robert De Niro has revealed that she has been diagnosed with facial muscle weakness condition Bell’s palsy following the birth of their first child.

De Niro, 79, has become a father for the seventh time, representatives for the Oscar-winning actor confirmed in May.

Martial arts instructor Tiffany Chen was reported by US outlet People at the time to be his latest partner.

Discussing her postpartum diagnosis, Ms Chen told CBS Mornings: “I started to feel like my tongue felt strange, it felt like a little tingly, just starting to get a little bit numb and then I realised that like my face just felt weird.

“I didn’t know what the feeling was that I was having. It felt weird.”

Asked if she looked different in the mirror, she said: “When I got home, it was like everything was just starting to fall down on itself like my face was melting on itself and then a week after giving birth that was when it all hit and I called my doctor.

“I was trying to eat. I went to put just a fork of food in my mouth and everything came out, I couldn’t eat.

“I was starting to slur. So I said, there’s something really going on here so they said go right to the hospital, admitted me and I lost all facial function the minute I got into the hospital.”

According to the NHS, Bell’s palsy is temporary weakness or lack of movement that usually affects only one side of the face.

76th Cannes Film Festival
Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese at Cannes Film Festival this year (Doug Peters/PA)

Steroids are often used as a treatment method and most people get better in around six months.

The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is unknown but it is thought to be caused by inflammation.

There is some evidence that viral illnesses, including herpes simplex, mumps and rubella, may be triggers.

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie revealed six years ago she had developed Bell’s palsy following a turbulent year in her personal life which included her filing for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016.

In 2017, she told Vanity Fair magazine that acupuncture treatment helped her make a full recovery.

Ms Chen’s child was revealed to have been named Gia Virginia Chen-De Niro after a photo was shown of the baby during a CBS Mornings’ segment with presenter Gayle King.

Taxi Driver and Goodfellas actor De Niro has six other children from previous relationships with three other women.

He has two children with actress and singer Diahnne Abbott, twin sons with actress Toukie Smith, and a son and daughter with Grace Hightower.

Veteran broadcaster Jon Snow, singer Billy Joel, Rolling Stones vocalist Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Rod Stewart are among the stars who have welcomed children later in life.