Opening up. Tiffany Chen revealed that she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy after welcoming her daughter, Gia Virginia Chen-De Niro, with boyfriend Robert De Niro. Scroll below for more on her current condition and symptoms. 

What Is Bell’s Palsy? 

Tiffany, 45, began experiencing the symptoms of Bell’s palsy after giving birth to Gia on April 6.

Bell’s palsy is “a condition that causes sudden weakness in the muscles on one side of the face,” per Mayo Clinic. Most of the time, “the weakness is temporary and significantly improves over weeks.” 

Symptoms include facial drooping, drooling, jaw pain and headaches. Recovery from Bell’s palsy usually occurs within a period of six months. The cause of the condition is currently unknown. 

What Are Tiffany Chen’s Bell’s Palsy Symptoms?

Tiffany, a martial artist, shared that she first felt numbness inside her mouth after her daughter’s arrival

“When I went home, I started to feel like … my tongue felt strange,” she told Gayle King in a clip from CBS Mornings released on Thursday, July 13. “It felt a little tingly, just starting to get a little bit numb. And then I realized my face just felt weird. I didn’t know what the feeling was that I was having. It felt weird.”

Robert De Niro walks red carpet with girlfriend Tiffany Chen
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Tiffany noticed more changes to her appearance when she looked in the mirror at home. 

“When I got home, it was like everything was starting to just fall down on itself. Like, my face was melting on itself,” she explained. “And then a week after giving birth, that was when it all hit. And I called my doctor, and I … was trying to eat.”

She further explained facing difficulties using utensils and speaking.

“I went to put a fork of food in my mouth, and everything came out,” she said. “I couldn’t eat. And then I was starting to slur. So, I said, ‘There’s something really going on here.’”

Tiffany was advised to go to the hospital and was admitted right away. 

“I lost all facial function the minute I got into the hospital,” she said. 

Since then, Tiffany has worn sunglasses during red carpet appearances with Robert, 79, including the premiere of Kiss the Future on June 7. The pair also stepped out together on June 17 at the Tribeca Festival. 

The couple were first romantically linked in 2021. In addition to baby Gia, Robert is also a dad to six other children from past relationships: Drena, Raphael, Aaron, Julian, Elliot and Helen.