Allegations of Uncomfortable Demands and Discrimination by Robert De Niro Detailed by Former Assistant

by Gabriel Martinez
De Niro trial

The ex-chief aide to Robert De Niro described feelings of unease when the actor required her to scratch his back, citing this as one instance of conduct she deemed manipulative and harmful during her tenure. Her allegations came to light on Friday during her emotional deposition in a New York court, where she delineated her experiences prior to resigning in 2019 after an 11-year period.

During her extensive testimony, Graham Chase Robinson frequently showed visible distress, relating how the adverse experiences she sustained under De Niro’s employment culminated in severe personal and professional consequences.

Describing the depth of her turmoil, she expressed to the jury, “My emotional and psychological well-being deteriorated. My appetite vanished, sleep eluded me, and I couldn’t even engage in exercise. I was engulfed by a sense of overwhelming despair,” Robinson conveyed in the Manhattan federal courthouse. “It felt as though I had reached my lowest point.”

Robinson divulged her ongoing struggles with anxiety and depression, highlighting that despite her efforts to apply for numerous positions, she has been unable to secure employment for the past four years.

In a counterstatement, Robert De Niro addressed his former assistant’s lawsuit, dismissing the claims as unfounded.
The actor vociferously rebuked his ex-assistant, who has brought a lawsuit against him, with an outburst in court.
In her account, Robert De Niro’s ex-aide alluded to his courtroom eruption as indicative of his tendency toward aggressive behavior.

“My personal life has been nonexistent,” she lamented. “The humiliation, the sense of embarrassment, and the judgment I feel have profoundly affected me. … It’s as if I’ve lost my very existence. My career, my financial autonomy, I’ve forfeited everything.”

Currently, Robinson, aged 41, is pursuing damages amounting to $12 million from De Niro, aged 80, on the grounds of gender-based discrimination and retaliatory conduct. Conversely, De Niro is requesting $6 million from her on allegations of breach of loyalty and fiduciary duty.

Robinson recalled multiple occasions over the years when she acquiesced to De Niro’s requests for back-scratching until she once gently objected, hinting at an alternative. His response, as per her testimony, was to insist on her method, a comment she characterized as both “creepy” and “repugnant.”

Throughout the trial, De Niro refuted the allegations, including the back-scratching incident, maintaining that he always interacted with Robinson respectfully and without any improper conduct.

Furthermore, he contended that he never raised his voice at her, a claim that seemed contradictory when he shouted in the courtroom, “Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” for which he immediately expressed regret.

Robinson detailed responsibilities that demanded her availability at all hours, which involved assisting De Niro with a complex personal life, juggling relationships with a wife, a former girlfriend, and a new romantic interest that he wished to keep private.

In her testimony, Robinson depicted De Niro as using sexist language towards female staff and engaging in discriminatory payment practices.

The cross-examination challenged her assertions, with De Niro’s attorney pointing out that the highest-paid employee under the actor was a woman and that a male employee at De Niro’s Canal Productions earned significantly less than the $300,000 salary Robinson received prior to her departure.

She recounted various instances where De Niro allegedly lashed out at her in anger, occasionally with expletives, such as a Christmas incident in 2017 where a frustrated De Niro berated her over the phone for mislaid gifts, using profanity and then abruptly disconnecting the call.

Robinson conveyed the emotional pain of these interactions, stating, “It was incredibly hurtful … especially when you’re simply attempting to fulfill your work duties.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about De Niro trial

What accusations has Robert De Niro’s former assistant made against him?

Graham Chase Robinson, Robert De Niro’s former assistant, has accused the actor of engaging in ‘creepy’ and controlling behavior, including demanding she scratch his back. She testified to suffering emotional and mental breakdowns as a result of her work environment, leading to her resignation in 2019. Robinson is seeking $12 million in damages for gender discrimination and retaliation, while De Niro has filed a counterclaim for $6 million citing breach of loyalty and fiduciary duty.

What emotional impact did the alleged behavior have on De Niro’s former assistant?

Robinson claims to have been left with severe anxiety and depression following her employment with De Niro, which has rendered her jobless for four years despite numerous job applications. She described feeling humiliated, embarrassed, and judged, stating she lost her career, financial independence, and essentially her entire life as she knew it.

How did Robert De Niro respond to the allegations made by his former assistant?

Robert De Niro has denied the claims of inappropriate behavior, insisting he always treated Robinson with respect and never acted lewdly. His reaction to the back-scratching claims and other allegations during the trial was of disbelief, and he has made a counterclaim against Robinson for breach of loyalty and fiduciary duty, demanding $6 million.

Was there any evidence presented that contradicted the former assistant’s claims?

During cross-examination, De Niro’s attorney highlighted that the actor’s highest-paid employee was a woman and that a male employee at Canal Productions, like Robinson, was paid less than a third of her $300,000 salary. This was brought up to question Robinson’s allegations of gender discrimination and pay disparity.

What specific incidents did Robinson cite as examples of De Niro’s alleged misconduct?

Robinson cited several incidents during her testimony, including times when De Niro lost his temper, using profanity and screaming at her over trivial matters like misplaced presents. She also mentioned having to manage De Niro’s complicated personal life as part of her job, which added to the strain she experienced.

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NewsJunkie101 November 6, 2023 - 4:36 am

Isnt it strange how all these famous ppl end up in court for stuff you’d never expect, crazy world.

MovieBuffed November 6, 2023 - 6:46 am

This is rly sad to hear but we gota remember theres always two sides to every story, right?

DramaticPause November 6, 2023 - 7:16 pm

Every time you turn around theres another celeb trial, it’s like Hollywood’s own reality show only more legal stuff and less glam.

LegalEagle November 6, 2023 - 8:55 pm

gender discrimination is a serious issue, hope justice is served whichever way it leans

Jenny34 November 7, 2023 - 12:55 am

wow I cant believe De Niro could do somthing like that, always seemed like a decent guy on screen


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