Actor Robert De Niro tells jury in his ex-assistant’s lawsuit: ‘It’s all nonsense’

Are you talking to him?

Robert DeNiro testified Monday in New York in a trial stemming from a lawsuit by a former personal assistant who accused the actor of being an abusive boss. De Niro, who seemed annoyed at times, kept himself from exploding during a dissection of his interactions with her before finally blurting out, “This is all bullshit!”

The two-time Oscar-winning actor known for his performances in blockbuster films such as “The Deer Hunter” and “Raging Bull” was the first witness in the trial arising out of the employment litigation of Graham Chase Robinson. Robinson, who worked for De Niro from 2008 to 2019, was paid $300,000 a year before leaving as vice president of production and finance.

Woman, charged with everything from decorating De Niro’s Christmas tree to taking him to the hospital for years when he fell down the stairs, sued him for $12 million in damages for severe emotional distress and reputational damage. Robinson said he refused to give her a recommendation to find another job when she left in 2019 after repeated clashes with his girlfriend.

Graham Chase Robinson leaves federal court on October 30, 2023 in New York.  (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Graham Chase Robinson leaves federal court on October 30, 2023 in New York. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

But when Robinson’s lawyer asked him if he considered her a conscientious employee, he smirked.

“Not after everything I’m going through now,” he said.

De Niro raised his voice almost to a scream twice during his testimony. It happened once when he defended the interactions his girlfriend had with Robinson, saying, “We make decisions together.”

The second time it happened was when Robinson’s lawyer tried to suggest that De Niro harassed his client early in the morning to take him to the hospital in 2017.

“That was the one time I broke my back falling down the stairs!” snapped De Niro angrily. Even in this case, he added, he placed calls to Robinson, got to bed at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. after the accident, but later called her at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.

Judge Lewis J. Liman repeatedly explained to De Niro the rules of testimony and that there are limits to what he can say.

“Can I have a question?” De Niro asked in one interview with Robinson’s lawyer. The request was denied.

He insisted that he treated Robinson well even after he bought a five-bedroom townhouse in Manhattan and had Robinson oversee some of the preparations for him to move in with his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen.

“It’s not like I’m asking her to go in there and scrape the floor and mop the floor,” he said. “So it’s all nonsense!”

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