Robert De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen called the actor’s former assistant “psychotic” in heated testimony in his ongoing discrimination trial.
Chen, 64, took a stand to lambast De Niro’s former collaborator Graham Chase Robinson, who she said had an “imaginary intimacy” with the Oscar winner.
De Niro, 80, is being sued by Robinson for alleged gender discrimination while she worked at his company Canal Productions from 2008 to 2019. Her $12 million lawsuit was filed four years ago, shortly after De Niro sued her for misusing the company’s accounts.
On the fourth day of the trial Thursday, Chen admitted that she pressured De Niro to fire Robinson after their relationship broke down over issues including meals on his private jet and renovations at their Manhattan townhouse.
Her testimony came after jurors were shown a series of hostile email and text exchanges between Chen, Robinson and De Niro days earlier, including a 2 a.m. email from Chen to the actor that said: ” If you keep her (Robinson), we’ll both have problems’.
Tiffany Chen (pictured in August) testified on Thursday about her disapproval of her boyfriend Robert De Niro’s former assistant, describing her as “obsessive, psychotic and dangerous.”
De Niro, who leaves court after testifying on Tuesday, is accused of subjecting his assistant to years of abusive language and misogyny
Graham Chase Robinson (pictured leaving court on Tuesday) claims De Niro treated her like his “office wife” while she worked at his company Canal Productions
Robinson began working for De Niro in 2008 as his assistant and eventually rose to vice president of Canal Productions. She reportedly had a salary of $300,000 when she resigned in April 2019.
Chen’s hostility toward Robinson came through clearly in her testimony when she compared the former assistant to the main character of the 1992 hit “Single White Female,” they say The Independent.
This included Chen agreeing to describe Robinson as “obsessive, psychotic and dangerous.”
Two days earlier, her boyfriend De Niro became visibly angry and upset on the witness stand, something echoed by Chen, who appeared upset that their intimate text exchanges were revealed in court.
It came amid questions about whether she had forced an ultimatum on De Niro to fire Robinson in 2018, a year before her resignation, which included texts saying: “I won’t be happy until you tell me that she is looking for a replacement.” . “Keeping her with me is just a slap in the face.”
When asked if she wrote the lyrics, she replied: “Yes, I wrote them.”
The court noted that their relationship deteriorated after De Niro and Chen moved into a new townhouse in 2018, the same year De Niro split from his ex-wife Grace Hightower.
The court heard Robinson had a perceived lack of respect for the couple’s plans, which led to a 2019 text from Chen to De Niro that said: “Your possessive behavior towards the house makes me very uncomfortable. “
“Her sense of entitlement is based on this imagined intimacy she has with you,” the text continues. “She thinks she’s your wife and has decided to be the lady of the house.”
Chen’s disapproval of Robinson’s attitude at the time included another text message in March 2019 that said she was “fed up with Chase’s bulls***.”
Asked if she thinks Robinson believes she is in a relationship with De Niro, Chen said: “I think she knows she doesn’t have a relationship, but that makes her angry because she’s pursuing it.”
“She definitely believes she is responsible for everyone,” Chen added.
De Niro and Chen met on the set of The Intern in 2015. Several of the couple’s private text and email exchanges were heard in court this week
In her lawsuit, Robinson alleged that De Niro humiliated her with menial tasks like scratching his back and claimed she wasn’t paid as much as a male employee who she said had similar duties.
De Niro testified Tuesday that Robinson asked to be paid the same as his longtime coach, which he refused because he “traveled with me for 40 years and left his family to be with me for a long time.” to be”.
He said, “She’s jealous of him.”
Additional texts from Chen appeared to acknowledge this disagreement, telling the Oscar winner, “If you keep her, you and I will have problems at some point because you allowed her to be disrespectful to you and now says.” tell you what she’s going to do and what her job is.’
Chen also texted Michael Kaplan, another Canal Productions employee who testified at the trial, claiming that Robinson had sneaked into her bedroom and unplugged her electronic devices.
In the text, she described the situation as a “very single white woman,” citing the film. In her statement, she expanded on her thoughts, saying she was describing a character who was “obsessed, crazy and dangerous.”
She said Robinson had a personality like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide,” which would turn De Niro around in an instant and “confuse the situation.”
Chen felt that her behavior towards the couple was because she dreamed of being with the actor, adding: “I believed that she was living her whole life as a fantasy.”
“If her fantasies interfere with my personal life… I will give her a hard time,” she added. “She was attached to the control she thought she had in this dynamic.”
Chen was questioned about a dispute over meals on a private jet in early 2019, shortly before her resignation, as she and De Niro returned from a vacation in Antigua.
After learning that Robinson had specifically asked flight attendants not to serve food on the flight, Chen texted De Niro: “I’m worried that her evil alter ego will cause serious problems in the future if she doesn’t do it now is called.”
“She’s a mean, insecure, territorial girl and her behavior hasn’t just affected me, it does it to everyone in your life in different ways.”
Robinson reportedly appeared unmoved as Chen attacked her from the witness stand, similar to when De Niro lost his temper during his testimony on Tuesday.
In a surprising moment on the witness stand, the Oscar-winning actor confronted his accuser, telling a stunned courtroom: “Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” Thank God! I’m sorry.’
She claims in her lawsuit that De Niro treated her like an “office lady” and forced her to perform menial tasks, including washing his sheets and scratching his back. Robinson also claims she was paid less than a male employee who she said had similar duties.
She is seeking $12 million in damages for severe emotional distress and defamation of reputation.
Her million-dollar lawsuit was quickly launched after De Niro’s Canal Productions filed an initial lawsuit in August 2019 accusing her of improper expenses, including transferring over $450,000 worth of airline miles from the company to her personal account.
She is also accused of spending tens of thousands more on personal items, food and travel, and spending her days watching Netflix.
Both lawsuits are expected to be decided in the same trial, which is expected to last two weeks.