“He Yelled at Me Two Days Ago”: Robert De Niro’s Former Assistant Takes the Stand

At the beginning of Robert De Niro’s civil trial this week, the actor’s testimony attracted attention for its volume and bluster. He’s in court over two lawsuits, one claiming that he was an irascible boss who discriminated against his former employee Graham Chase Robinson based on her gender, and the other, filed by his company Canal Productions, alleging that Robinson diverted company time and resources to her own ends. In his defense, De Niro shouted on Monday, “This is all nonsense!”

It was this sort of remark, Robinson testified on Thursday, that came to characterize her time working for De Niro. When asked by her lawyer how often he lashed out at her, the AP reported, Robinson replied, “He yelled at me two days ago.” 

Continuing her testimony on Friday, Robinson elaborated on her experiences with De Niro. After becoming his assistant in 2008, she went on to work as Canal’s vice president of finance and production. She testified that these jobs entailed being on call 24/7 and 365 days a year, according to Variety. By the time she left her role in late 2018, she said that he had twice called her a “bitch.”

It was “very difficult to have him call me that,” Robinson said, and “it was very demeaning [and] incredibly hurtful to hear that from your boss.”

Earlier this week, De Niro exclaimed “You got me!” after admitting that he asked Robinson to scratch his back on two occasions when he couldn’t reach an itch. On the stand, Robinson took offense to the tenor of these “creepy” and “disgusting” requests. “I like the way you do it,” she remembered him saying.

The trial is expected to last another week.

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