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‘You’re effing history:’ jury hears Robert De Niro’s expletive-filled voicemail to assistant in $12M lawsuit

By Jake Beardslee · October 31, 2023

In brief…

  • Robert De Niro is being sued by his former assistant Graham Chase Robinson for $12 million
  • Robinson alleges gender discrimination and inappropriate comments by De Niro during her employment
  • De Niro denies the allegations and is defending himself in court
  • The trial began with jury selection and is expected to last two weeks with both sides presenting their cases
Robert De Niro is facing a $12 million lawsuit from a former assistant alleging gender discrimination and harassment during her employment.  Rhododendrites/Wikimedia

Robert De Niro took the stand in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday as his trial against his former assistant Graham Chase Robinson got underway. Robinson is suing De Niro for $12 million, alleging he subjected her to gender discrimination and inappropriate comments during her time working for him from 2008 to 2019, according to The New York Post.

Robinson claims De Niro made her do “stereotypically female” tasks like putting away his clothes and scratching his back. She also alleges he would make lewd jokes about his Viagra prescription. De Niro denies the allegations and testified in his own defense yesterday.

De Niro’s production company Canal Productions originally sued Robinson in 2019, claiming she misused company funds by spending on personal trips and electronics. They allege she “loafed during work hours” binge watching TV shows. Robinson fired back with her own lawsuit two months later, claiming she was forced to resign after complaining about De Niro’s behavior.

As evidence, Robinson provided the court with over a dozen voicemails and text messages from De Niro. In one voicemail, De Niro is heard yelling profanities and threats at Robinson for not answering her phone. Robinson also presented texts exchanged between De Niro and his girlfriend Tiffany Chen where Chen complained about Robinson’s behavior in the workplace.

De Niro and Robinson each have 20 hours to make their case over the next two weeks. Robinson’s lawyer Brent Hannafan said in a statement “her discrimination and retaliation claims are compelling and the evidence supporting them is clear.” If found liable, the 80-year-old actor could have to pay $12 million in damages to his former assistant. Both De Niro and Robinson are expected to continue testifying this week as the trial moves forward.