Bitter Battle in De Niro Household

07/26/2001 at 10:00 AM EDT

Robert De Niro and his estranged wife, Grace Hightower, the mother of the actor's 3-year-old son, Elliot, stood before Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Judith Gische this week in the latest round of their custody battle. "The only issues that the parties have any dispute about are child-related issues," the jurist said in the courtroom. "All other issues are resolved." Both parents were in court on Tuesday for the hearing, in which Hightower charged that the star should undergo drug testing, reports New York's Daily News. The charge was blasted by De Niro's spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, after the hearing. "Mr. De Niro does not have a drug problem," Rosenfield told the News. "Drug tests are not necessary." De Niro, 57, claims that Hightower, 48, fractured one of his ribs in a skirmish aboard the yacht of Latin singer Marc Anthony last May. The judge ended up praising both parties before the end of Tuesday's hearing for their having settled some of their issues by themselves, reports the New York Post, though she also ordered a mental-health expert to meet with both parents and help resolve the custody battle.

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