(VitalNews.org) – Actor Robert De Niro appeared in court in New York City on Monday and testified at a trial against him launched by a former personal assistant who is accusing De Niro of abusive behavior as a boss.
The two-time Oscar-winner, who has appeared in blockbuster hits such as “Raging Bull” and “Goodfellas, showed signs of irritation in court earlier this week. De Niro appeared to be irritable and holding back from erupting as his interactions with his former assistant were dissected. At one point, the actor shouted, “This is all nonsense!”
The case was brought against De Niro by Graham Chase Robinson, who worked as De Niro’s personal assistant from 2008 to 2019, commanding a salary of $300,000 a year. Robinson was specifically De Niro’s production and finance vice president and handled an array of tasks for De Niro over the years, from transporting him to the hospital after a major fall to decorating the actor’s Christmas tree during the holidays.
Robinson is suing De Niro for reputational harm and emotional distress while working under the actor and is asking for $12 million in damages. After Robinson repeatedly clashed with De Niro’s girlfriend, she quit. De Niro then refused to provide Robinson with a good reference in order to find another job.
De Niro testified throughout the afternoon on Monday, raising his voice multiple times, and defending the interactions that took place between Tiffany Chen, his girlfriend, and Robinson. De Niro’s girlfriend claims she was suspicious of Robinson and believed the former assistant behaved too much as if she were De Niro’s wife.
Before the actor’s testimony, Robinson’s attorney argued that his client has been unsuccessful at obtaining a new job since 2019 and that she is afraid even to leave her house, accusing De Niro of yelling nasty remarks at her and demonstrating other inappropriate behavior. The lawyer also argued that Robinson never had any romantic interest in her employer, while De Niro’s defense team argued she was always treated well.
De Niro and his company, Canal Productions, are countersuing Robinson and will provide testimony from other employees in defense of the actor.
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