Robert De Niro Dismisses Lawsuit from Ex-Assistant: ‘It’s All Nonsense,’ Says Actor
Robert De Niro, the iconic two-time Oscar-winning actor known for his roles in renowned films like “The Deer Hunter” and “Raging Bull,” took the stand in a New York City courtroom on Monday, where he testified in a trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by his former personal assistant, Graham Chase Robinson.
Robinson accused De Niro of being an abusive boss, seeking $12 million in damages for severe emotional distress and reputational harm.
Robinson had worked for De Niro from 2008 to 2019, serving as his vice president of production and finance and earning an annual salary of $300,000.
Her responsibilities ranged from holiday decorating to being there in times of need, such as escorting De Niro to the hospital.
During the trial, De Niro appeared visibly frustrated at times but maintained his composure.
He vehemently denied Robinson’s allegations, dismissing them as “nonsense.”
Robinson claimed that her decision to quit in 2019, following clashes with De Niro’s girlfriend, was met with a refusal by De Niro to provide her with a job reference.
De Niro acknowledged aspects of their working relationship, including listing Robinson as his emergency contact and assisting with greeting cards for his children.
However, he became visibly agitated when questioned about his opinion of Robinson’s work ethic. “Not after everything I’m going through now,” he retorted.
The courtroom proceedings saw De Niro raise his voice on two occasions.
First, he defended his girlfriend’s interactions with Robinson, stating they made decisions together.
The second instance came when Robinson’s lawyer suggested that De Niro had bothered his assistant early in the morning for a hospital visit 2017, which De Niro vehemently denied.
De Niro’s attorney portrayed Robinson as condescending, controlling, and abusive, stating that she always played the victim.
Robinson’s attorney, in contrast, alleged that De Niro had been verbally abusive, at times using sexist language, and suggested that the tension arose when De Niro’s girlfriend became jealous of Robinson’s close working relationship with the actor.
The trial has garnered significant attention, shedding light on the complexities of employer-employee relationships, especially in high-profile settings.
As the case unfolds, it remains to be seen how the jury will assess the conflicting testimonies and evidence presented in court.