Temperamental left-wing actor Robert De Niro reportedly yelled at his former personal assistant in court this week. Why? Because he took issue with her assertion that his behavior and requests while they worked together had bordered on abusive.
“Graham Chase Robinson [the assistant] watched with her lawyers while De Niro’s anger built as attorney Andrew Macurdy pelted him with accusations his client made about De Niro’s behavior toward Robinson as she served his needs, large and small, from 2008 until her resignation in 2019,” The Guardian reported.
This isn’t the first time he’s faced these sorts of accusations.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 15, 2023
According to the paper, Robinson, 41, is seeking $12 million in damages for the “emotional distress and reputational harm” she suffered working under De Niro for $300,000 per year.
Asked by Robinson’s attorney in court whether he’d ever called her names, De Niro fessed up to some of it.
“Yeah, fine, I berated her,” he said, according to People magazine.
That he certainly did, according to the allegations, which are that he had called her “petulant,” “snippy,” a “b—h,” and a “f–king spoiled brat.”
“I’ve raised my voice. I don’t yell. You wanna dispute that? That’s one thing I don’t do,” De Niro added while in court.
He was also asked whether he’d ordered Robinson to scratch his back, but this time he cried foul.
“Every little thing she’s trying to get me on is nonsense! Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” he reportedly yelled in court, after which he later apologized for the outburst.
— 1010 WINS (@1010WINS) November 1, 2023
The tragic irony is that it appears De Niro is merely reaping what he’s sown.
People magazine notes that after Robinson left her job as his assistant in 2019, his company sued her alleging she’d “excessively binge-watched Netflix shows while working, charged personal meals and groceries to the company’s credit card and inappropriately used ‘her employer’s fund for her personal gain’ including De Niro’s frequent flyer airline miles.”
But it was after De Niro’s company filed suit that SHE countersued alleging that he’d violated New York City’s Human Rights Law with his bad behavior.
In the suit, she claimed “that the actor [had] directed sexist comments at her, assigned her ‘stereotypically female job duties that were inconsistent with her job title,’ and paid her less than male employee Dan Harvey,” People notes.
De Niro was not pleased by the mention of Harvey, his personal trainer.
“What does Dan Harvey have to do with her? God knows why she felt like she should make the same [salary]. Dan Harvey has been here for 40 years. He has been with me, left his family, never complained. She is jealous of him?” he said in court.
“Give me a break with that nonsense… For her to use that is so ridiculous,” he added, referencing her claims of a gender pay disparity.
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) March 17, 2022
He was just as indignant when asked if he’d sometimes urinated while on the phone with Robinson.
“Give me a break with this nonsense. You got us all here for this?” he said in typical De Niro fashion.
Robinson also reportedly claimed he’d called her twice during a family member’s funeral, but he countered by arguing that he hadn’t known she’d been at a funeral.
According to The New York Times, Robinson further claimed De Niro had treated her like an “office wife” by making her wash his bedsheets.
Moreover, while Robinson started out as De Niro’s executive assistant, she was later elevated to vice president of production and finance at his company. There was just one problem.
“Despite her promotions, Mr. De Niro continually referred to her as his assistant, she claimed in the lawsuit, assigning her duties that were inconsistent with her job descriptions, such as vacuuming his apartment and mending his clothing,” the Times notes.
The Times also notes that the jury deliberating the case “will consider two specific claims under New York City’s Human Rights Law: for gender discrimination and retaliation.”
“The retaliation claim revolves around a dispute between Ms. Robinson and Mr. De Niro’s current girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, as they worked together in 2018 and 2019 to prepare a townhouse on the Upper East Side for the couple to live in,” according to the paper.
One of Robinson’s attorneys revealed in court that after Chen complained to De Niro that Robinson perhaps had romantic feelings for him, she — Chen — sent an email to Robinson stripping her of her duties, including her work on the townhouse. Robinson reportedly resigned from her post shortly thereafter.
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