The longtime personal assistant suing Robert De Niro took the stand Friday to testify in her civil discrimination lawsuit, saying the “Taxi Driver” actor gave a clear example of his chronic mistreatment when he angrily yelled at her during his own testimony earlier this week.
Graham Chase Robinson appeared before a Manhattan federal jury that is weighing claims from each side against the other. She says De Niro do demeaning “domestic” tasks below her station and is seeking $12 million for gender discrimination; he initially sued her, seeking $6 million for allegedly stealing airline miles and slacking off on the job.
De Niro testified on Tuesday, becoming agitated and testy under questioning from Robinson’s lawyer – and at one point, addressing her directly and saying: “Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” He apologized on the spot, but has not appeared in court since.
Robinson’s lawyer asked her how common it was for De Niro to lash out, and she answered: “He yelled at me two days ago,” referring to the outburst.
Robinson also testified that De Niro asked her to do inappropriate things like scratch his back, and expected her to answer her phone during off-hours and other duties outside the scope of her job.
Robinson was given the title of vice president of production and finance at De Niro’s imprint Canal Productions, though De Niro had testified that her duties never changed. Her 2019 lawsuit was in response to a previous action De Niro filed accusing her of embezzlement, stealing frequent-flyer miles and spending excessive amounts of time watching “Friends” on Netflix while on the job.
Also Friday, the jury heard testimony from De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen, who butted heads with Robinson over a townhouse redecoration and other domestic matters. Chen said she believed Robinson was romantically interested in De Niro and “wanted to be the lady of the house.”
“She’s crazy,” Chen said, according to the Associated Press.
Robinson, 41, denied on the stand having any interest in pursuing an intimate relationship with the actor, now 80.
The same jury will also decide whether Robinson is liable in De Niro’s suit against her. The entire case is expected to last two weeks.