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Entertainment

Former aide recounts workplace feuds during De Niro trial

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

  • Graham Chase Robinson continued on the witness stand in his $12 million sex discrimination case against Robert De Niro.
  • She and a colleague could be heard comparing notes on De Niro’s current and former partners in secret audio she took.
  • His testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

It seems there isn’t a single woman in Robert De Niro’s orbit that his former executive assistant hasn’t fought with.

Graham Chase Robinson continued on the witness stand Monday in his $12 million sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the two-time Oscar winner and his company Canal Productions in Manhattan federal court, detailing his 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 that De Niro verbally abused her, relegated her to “stereotypical tasks like housework” and paid her less than male employees because she was a single career woman who had no family to support. needs. De Niro denied the allegations, calling them “nonsense.”

De Niro retaliated by filing 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, expensive restaurants and grocery shopping fine with his company’s American Express Gold card. The “Cape Fear” actor also said she spends her days watching Netflix despite claiming to be overworked. In court documents, Robinson denied these allegationsreported the New York Times.

The jury in this trial will decide both suits at the same time, and jurors have already heard one ventilation of dirty laundry in the case.

In secret audio recordings played in court by Robinson, he and a colleague could be heard comparing notes about De Niro’s current and past love interests.

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

“Tiffany,” he replies. “She’s a fucking psychopath. I figured it out in about two minutes. She thought she was Mrs. De Niro the whole time. Every time she talks to him on the phone, she’s mad at him.”

The ex-wife doesn’t fare much better in the employee rankings.

In the recording, Robinson called Hightower a “fucking crazy person” and “the devil you knew” who would “bully” and look down on her.

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

Robinson said she thought Chen was jealous of her relationship with the “Raging Bull” actor and wanted her out of the couple’s lives.

When Chen complained that she was getting sick because of a mold problem in the actor’s Upper Eastside home, De Niro’s lawyers aim to show that Robinson dragged his feet in mitigating the problem health. Instead of fulfilling his obligations to his employer’s girlfriend, he can be heard on recordings played in court calling Chen a “sociopath” suffering from Munchausen syndrome – a psychological condition in which the sufferer manufactures the illness.

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

The ambitious assistant hoped to leverage her position as the actor’s well-paid manager to launch a career in film development and production, but she believed Rosenthal was holding her back.

De Niro’s lawyers showed the jury a list listing all the slights she suffered at the hands of Rosenthal.

Her complaints range from not being recognized in the Tribeca productions in which she participated to vague statements, such as “Vendetta against me” and “Attack me.”

Robinson testified Friday that she heard De Niro call Rosenthal a “bitch” and an “asshole.”

The executive assistant, who enjoyed lavish perks like free plane travel, $15,000 Christmas bonuses and a Rolex watch – compliments of De Niro – on her birthday, must also defend herself against the counter -lawsuit from the “Taxi Driver” actor, claiming she stole from him and breached her fiduciary duty to his company.

De Niro’s lawyers sought Monday to demonstrate that Robinson used her company’s perks for her personal gain, including traveling to London at the actor’s expense so she could pitch her own film project to a producer there -down.

His testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

Gn entert

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