A former assistant recounts workplace disputes at De Niro’s trial

Tiffany Chen and Robert De Niro.
Stefan Cardinale – Corbis/Getty Images

  • Graham Chase Robinson continues to take the witness stand in the $12 million sex discrimination case against Robert De Niro.
  • She and her co-workers can be heard comparing notes about De Niro’s current and former associates in the secret audio recording she captured.
  • Her testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

It seems there wasn’t a woman in Robert De Niro’s orbit that his former executive assistant didn’t butt heads with.

Graham Chase Robinson continued her testimony Monday in the $12 million gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the two-time Oscar-winning actor and his company Canal Productions in Manhattan federal court, detailing her feuds with his ex-wife, Grace Hightower. His current girlfriend Tiffany Chenand his business partner, Jane Rosenthal, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises.

Robinson, who worked for De Niro from 2008 to 2019, claims so De Niro He verbally abused her, referred her to “stereotypical duties such as housework” and paid her less than male employees because she was a single working woman and had no family to support. De Niro denied the allegations, calling them “all nonsense.”

De Niro responded with a countersuit against the former executive assistant, claiming she stole five million frequent flyer miles from him and racked up thousands of dollars in unauthorized taxi fares, overpriced restaurants and upscale grocery stores on his company’s American Express Gold card. The ‘Cape Fear’ actress also said she spent her days watching Netflix while claiming to be overworked. In court documents, Robinson He denied these allegationsreported the New York Times.

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The jury in this trial will decide on both claims at the same time, and the jurors have already heard a decision Airing dirty laundry In this case.

In secret audio recordings Robinson made in court, she and her co-worker can be heard comparing notes about De Niro’s current and past love interests.

“Who do you think is worse, Grace or Tiffany?” Robinson asks actor’s accountant Michael Tash.

“Tiffany,” he answers. “She’s a psychopath. I figured it out in about two minutes. I thought she was Mrs. De Niro from the beginning. And every time she gets off the phone with him, she’s mad at him.”

The ex-wife isn’t much better at rating employees.

In the recording, Robinson referred to Hightower as a “fuckin’ crazy person” and “the devil she knows” who “bullied” her and stared at her.

Robinson did testify last Friday that she immediately clashed with Chen, the actor and martial arts expert who moved in with De Niro in the fall of 2018.

Robinson said she believes Chen was jealous of her relationship with the “Raging Bull” actor and wanted to cut her out of the couple’s life.

When Chen complained that she was getting sick because of a mold problem at the actor’s Upper East Side home, De Niro’s lawyers aimed to show that Robinson was slow to alleviate the health problem. Instead of fulfilling her obligations to her employer’s friend, she can be heard on recordings played in court describing Chen as a “sociopath” suffering from Munchausen syndrome – a psychological condition in which the affected person feigns illness.

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Tribeca Chairman Rosenthal, De Niro’s business partner, was also the target of Robinson’s wrath.

The aspiring assistant was hoping to parlay her position as a highly paid actress into a career in film development and production, but she thought Rosenthal was holding her back.

De Niro’s lawyers showed the jury a list of all the indignities she suffered from Rosenthal.

Her complaints range from not being recognized in Tribeca productions she assisted in to ambiguous phrases, such as “Vendetta against me” and “Picks on me.”

Robinson testified Friday that she heard De Niro refer to Rosenthal as a “whore” and a “cunt.”

The executive assistant, who enjoyed lavish perks like free air travel, a $15,000 birthday bonus, and a Rolex watch — homage to De Niro — on her birthday, must also defend herself from a lawsuit filed by the “Taxi Driver” actress who claims she… She stole from him and violated her fiduciary duties to his company.

De Niro’s lawyers on Monday sought to show that Robinson used her company benefits for personal gain, including traveling to London with payment from the actor so she could pitch her own film project to a producer there.

Her testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

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