Actor Robert De Niro’s partner, Tiffany Chen, recently shared the challenges she faced after giving birth to their baby.
De Niro made headlines some months ago when he became a father for the seventh time at 79. Now, Chen is opening up about her experience after delivering their daughter, Gia Virginia. In an interview with CBS Mornings, she revealed that she developed Bell’s palsy, which causes facial paralysis, following birth.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke claims that Bell’s palsy affects approximately 40,000 people in the U.S. annually, with pregnancy and childbirth being risk factors for its development.
“When I returned home, I started experiencing a strange sensation in my tongue,” Chen shared with the outlet. “It felt slightly tingly and gradually became numb. Then I noticed an unusual feeling on my face. I couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening; it felt strange.”
Chen, who is 45 years old, described how her condition worsened. “Once I arrived home, it seemed like everything was collapsing inward. It felt like my face was melting,” Chen explained. “About a week after giving birth, everything came crashing down. I reached out to my doctor while struggling to eat.”
She continued, “When I attempted to take a forkful of food, I couldn’t keep it in my mouth. I lost the ability to eat, and my speech became slurred. I realized something was seriously wrong.”
Eventually, Chen’s condition deteriorated, so she was advised to go to the emergency room immediately. “The moment I arrived at the hospital, I completely lost control of my facial muscles,” she said.
De Niro and Chen had been romantically linked for years before they announced the birth of their daughter. The star of “Meet the Parents” disclosed that Chen had given birth while promoting his film, “About My Father.”
“With children, there’s no avoiding it. I don’t particularly enjoy being authoritative and laying down rules, but sometimes you have no choice,” De Niro shared at the time. “And I think any parent would say the same. You always want to do what’s right for your children and give them the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes it’s impossible.”
During the interview, the interviewer mentioned De Niro’s six children, which he corrected, saying, “Actually, it’s seven.”
De Niro’s eldest daughter, Drena, is 51 years old.