Actor Robert De Niro’s girlfriend didn’t mince her words on the witness stand Thursday, describing his former assistant – who is suing him for alleged mistreatment of his boss – as… “obsessive, psychotic and dangerous.”
Tiffany Chen, who has a 6-month-old child with the Oscar-winning actor, hurled several insults at Graham Chase Robinson as she testified in Manhattan federal court about the former assistant’s 11-year employment with De Niro.
“She was very strange from the beginning and was always uncomfortable to be around,” Chen said, later describing her as “mean and bitchy.” “She was a hot mess. Her schedule was off all the time,” she added. according to People.
Chen’s testimony came on the fourth day of the civil trial, where eight jurors are tasked with derailing the validity of two lawsuits over Robinson’s employment. Robinson accuses De Niro in a $12 million gender discrimination lawsuit of mistreating her and subjecting her to unwanted physical contact, a strenuous work schedule, verbal harassment and vulgar comments. She quit her job as vice president of production and finance at De Niro in 2019 after an alleged dispute with Chen.
De Niro and his company also filed a lawsuit against Robinson, arguing that she used the company card for personal vacations and other expenses. That lawsuit also alleges that Robinson watched Netflix for work and transferred nearly $450,000 in frequent flyer miles to her personal account after she was terminated. Both De Niro and Robinson have denied the allegations made against them.
Earlier this week, De Niro testified about his workplace policies, which included organizing his travel and organizing his schedule. Chen also testified that Robinson had to do “everything” De Niro asked of her, but stressed that all of his demands were “within the bounds of professional reason.”
“He would manage her and she would delegate it to other people,” Chen said, according to People.
While Chen said she tried to get along with Robinson when they first met in 2018, their relationship became strained over the years. One of those reasons, Chen said in text messages shown in court, was that she believed Ronbinson had an “imagined intimacy” with De Niro and that she was the actor’s wife.
“This whole situation has become very Single white woman“,” Chen wrote in a text message shown in court, referring to the main character in the 1992 psychological thriller.
The Independent reported that when asked to elaborate, Chen said she was referring to a woman who was “possessed, crazy and dangerous.” “She was attached to the control she thought she had in this dynamic.”
However, De Niro testified Tuesday that the job wasn’t always glamorous. He admitted that he made Robinson his emergency contact, asked her to scratch his back in a hard-to-reach place, called Robinson a “spoiled brat” and once asked her out for the night Nobu Martini. Still, De Niro insisted he was never abusive toward Robinson.
“She indicates that she is standing on her knees in front of the building and scrubbing the floor,” he said Tuesday. “There was never any indecency, disrespect or craziness that you meant to imply.”