Robert De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen blasted his former assistant Graham Chase Robinson while giving testimony on the fourth day of the actor’s ongoing civil trial.
Robinson, who worked for De Niro for 11 years until 2019, and the 80-year-old “Flowers of the Killer Moon” star are in court over the assistant’s civil lawsuit accusing the Oscar winner of gender discrimination during her employment at his production company Canal Productions. Robinson has alleged the actor repeatedly used “vulgar, inappropriate, and gendered comments” in addition to overworking and underpaying her in her $12 million lawsuit.
Chen, who shares 6-month-old daughter Gia with De Niro, spoke out about her relationship with Robinson, who she first met in 2018, as she took the stand in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
“She was very strange from the beginning and always uncomfortable to be around. I was killing her with kindness,” the 45-year-old martial arts instructor said, according to People magazine.
Chen described Robinson as being “mean-spirited and b—-y” while she worked for De Niro. “She was a hot mess. Her schedule was off all the time,” she added.
Chen’s remarks came after text messages between her and Robinson from October 2018 were screened before the court, per People.
In one text, Chen wrote, “Who the hell are you?!?! We need to repopulate the planet with your DNA… you guys have such a great dynamic and chemistry it comes across so nicely in everything you two do together…. He speaks so glowingly of you and it’s nice to see that even his most complimentary moments have done you justice.”
Chen told the court that the texts were “largely sarcastic” and part of her attempts to maintain an amicable relationship with Robinson.
Robinson began working for De Niro as an executive assistant in 2008 when she was 25. She was promoted and later resigned from her job as vice president of production and finance in 2019, according to court documents previously obtained by Fox News Digital.
Following Robinson’s resignation from Canal Productions, De Niro sued her for $6 million. The lawsuit accused Robinson of improper use of the company credit card, watching TV on company time and stealing frequent-flier miles for personal trips.
Robinson’s lawyer, Alexandra Harwin, partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp, said De Niro invented claims to “ruin” her client’s reputation in a statement shared with Fox News Digital at the time.
“It is completely illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who complain about workplace discrimination,” Harwin said. “But this is exactly what Robert De Niro did to Ms. Robinson, inventing claims to ruin her reputation and humiliate her because he knew she was going to expose his behavior.”
When De Niro testified in court on Tuesday, he stated that there were no written rules for those who worked for him because he relied on the “rules of common sense.” De Niro said that he promoted Robinson at her request, but he added that her duties didn’t change.
During her testimony, Chen was asked if Robinson was required to “whatever” De Niro asked of her during her employment. “Within professional reasoning, yes.” Chen responded. “He would direct her and she would delegate to other people.”
Chen also refuted claims made by Robinson’s attorneys that the former assistant had to perform duties for the couple that extended beyond her job description. She alleged that Robinson did the tasks of her own volition.
“She wanted to be everywhere with him shopping, so she came with when he said, ‘Let’s go pick out plants,’” Chen said. “She volunteered [to help him shop for gifts] on her own.”
Chen also doubled-down on a text that she sent to De Niro in which she wrote that Robinson had an “imaginary intimacy” with the actor and said that the employee “thinks she’s your wife.”
“I think that’s what she was striving to be…. She’s crazy,” Chen testified, according to People. “She was attached to the control she felt she had in this dynamic…. If her fantasy is going to infringe on my personal life and she was in the office, of course I’m going to [acknowledge the behavior]. It’s too weird.”
Chen claimed that Robinson’s behavior would change completely if De Niro wasn’t present, describing it as a “complete flip.”
“When he’s not in the room, [it’s a] Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [situation],” she said, per People. “When Bob’s not there, she has another face.”
During her acquaintance with Robinson, Chen told the court that she “went back and forth from recognizing she had serious mental health issues to just feeling bad for her.”
Chen and De Niro first met in 2015 while the actor was filming “The Intern.” Chen appeared in the film as a tai chi instructor. The pair, who welcomed a baby earlier this year, claims they didn’t begin dating until years later after his tumultuous divorce from Grace Hightower.
Fox News Digital’s Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.
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