NEW YORK – Robert De Niro testified Monday in New York Metropolis at a trial arising from a former private assistant’s lawsuit accusing the actor of being an abusive boss. De Niro, who regarded grumpy at occasions, stopped himself from erupting when dissecting his interactions along with her earlier than lastly blurting out, “That is all nonsense!”
The 2-time Oscar-winning actor, identified for his performances in blockbuster movies equivalent to “The Deer Hunter” and “Raging Bull,” was the primary witness in a trial arising from lawsuits over the employment of Graham Chase Robinson. Robinson, who labored for De Niro between 2008 and 2019, was paid $300,000 yearly earlier than quitting as his vice chairman of manufacturing and finance.
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The lady, who for years was charged with the whole lot from adorning De Niro’s Christmas tree to taking him to the hospital when he fell down the steps, has sued him for $12 million in damages for extreme emotional misery and reputational injury. Robinson stated he refused to offer her a reference to search out one other job when she give up in 2019 after repeated clashes together with his girlfriend.
De Niro, 80, testified for a lot of the afternoon, agreeing that at one level he had listed Robinson as his emergency contact and relied on her to assist with greeting playing cards for his kids.
However when a lawyer for Robinson requested him if he thought-about her a conscientious worker, he scoffed.
“Not after the whole lot I am going by means of proper now,” he stated.
De Niro twice raised his voice virtually to a shout throughout his testimony. It occurred as soon as when he defended the interactions his girlfriend had with Robinson by saying, “We make choices collectively.”
The second time occurred when Robinson’s lawyer tried to recommend that De Niro harassed his consumer early within the morning in 2017 to take him to the hospital.
“That was the time I cracked my again falling down the steps!” De Niro snapped angrily. Even in that case, he added, he delayed calling Robinson, going to mattress at 1 or 2 a.m. after the accident, however later calling her at 4 or 5 a.m.
Choose Lewis J. Liman repeatedly defined the principles of testimony to De Niro, explaining that there have been limits to what he might say.
“Can I ask a query?” De Niro requested in a dialog with Robinson’s lawyer. The request was rejected.
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He insisted that he handled Robinson properly even after he purchased a five-bedroom townhouse in Manhattan and had Robinson oversee some preparations so he might transfer there together with his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen.
“It is not like I am asking her to go outdoors and scrape and mop flooring,” he stated. “So that is all nonsense!”
Correspondence between De Niro and Chen proven to jurors confirmed that Chen turned more and more suspicious of Robinson’s motives, saying she believed Robinson was behaving as if she have been De Niro’s spouse and believed she was “imaginary intimacy” had with De Niro.
“She felt one thing was up and possibly she was proper,” De Niro stated in protection of his girlfriend’s suspicions.
In opening statements previous De Niro’s testimony, lawyer Andrew Macurdy stated Robinson has been unable to get a job and has been afraid to go away her dwelling since leaving the De Niro job.
He stated De Niro typically yelled at her and referred to as her soiled names, in habits in step with sexist feedback he made about ladies usually.
Macurdy stated the issues between them arose when Chen turned jealous that De Niro relied on Robinson for thus many duties and that they communicated so properly.
He stated his consumer has by no means had a romantic curiosity in De Niro.
“None,” he stated. “There was by no means something romantic between the 2.”
De Niro’s lawyer, Richard Schoenstein, stated Robinson was handled very properly by De Niro “however at all times thought she deserved extra.”
He described De Niro as “sort, affordable, beneficiant” and instructed jurors they’d understand that in the event that they heard the testimony of others employed by De Niro’s firm, Canal Productions, which sued Robinson.
Schoenstein described Robinson as “condescending, demeaning, controlling and abusive” and stated, “She at all times performed the sufferer.”