Robert De Niro Accuser Cites Courtroom Outburst as Example of His Abuse

How common was it for Robert De Niro to yell at this one-time assistant? “He yelled at me two days ago,” Graham Chase Robinson told a courtroom on Thursday, according to The Associated Press, referring to De Niro’s outburst on the stand earlier this week. When her attorney asked the actor about whether he made her scratch his back, he insisted he was “never weird or creepy” and then turned to his accuser. “Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” he chided.

Robinson worked as De Niro’s chief personal assistant for more than a decade. After she resigned from De Niro’s Canal Productions in April 2019, the business sued her for $6 million, alleging embezzlement and slacking off on the job. He claims she stole 5 million air miles points from him and that she binge-watched Friends on Netflix when she should have been working. She countersued De Niro for $12 million for severe emotional distress and reputational harm. She has also alleged sexism, saying she was paid less than male counterparts. As the legal actions have entered into the testimony phase this week, both sides have shown frustration with one another.

Robinson’s testimony lasted only about half an hour on Thursday. She’s expected to spend much of Friday on the witness stand.

A portion of Thursday was dedicated to De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen’s testimony. Chen told the jury she felt Robinson was in love with the actor. In emails she wrote to De Niro that were shown in court, she described Robinson as a “mean, insecure, territorial girl” who “thinks she’s your wife.” She described Robinson as allegedly having a “demented imaginary intimacy” with the actor. Chen also gave her opinion of Robinson to the court: “She’s crazy.”

Robinson, who told the court she was not romantically interested in De Niro, worked for De Niro between 2008 and 2019, during which time she rose from executive assistant to vice president of production and finance. Although her salary increased from $75,000 to $300,000, De Niro told the court, during his testimony, that her job duties remained the same.

Those duties, Robinson said, included making herself available at unreasonable hours to tend to De Niro’s needs. She testified that she’d typically receive her first phone call of the day from De Niro between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. and get her last one between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. On average, she claimed her called her five to 10 times a day. She claimed she was so nervous about missing his calls, she’d bring her phone into restrooms with her and wouldn’t visit places with poor cell coverage. The actor previously said he’d called her only during “civilized hours” but also acknowledged he’d called her twice during her grandmother’s funeral.


On Thursday, she said the funeral wasn’t the only time he called her at an inappropriate time. She claimed he also called her when she was taking her mother to the ER and one time when she took a friend’s daughter out for her 21st birthday. On the latter occasion, De Niro requested she bring him a martini from the restaurant. When she did, “He was in his pajamas and slippers,” she told the court — and he still called her that night at 1 a.m.

On Monday, De Niro said under oath that Robinson’s claims against him were “all nonsense.” He described her duties as scheduling, arranging travel, and making purchases for him for his loved ones. On Tuesday, when asked if he’d yelled at her for not waking him in time for a meeting, he assented somewhat. “Yeah, fine, I berated her,” he said. But he tempered the description of his temper: “I’ve raised my voice. I don’t yell. You wanna dispute that? That’s one thing I don’t do.” He said he was “never abusive” but said it was possible he described Robinson as “spoiled,” “a brat,” or a “bitch.”