Robert De Niro’s back-scratching behavior is 'creepy’, says his former assistant

A former top executive assistant to Robert De Niro said the actor was „creepy” when he insisted on scratching his back.

NEW YORK — Robert De Niro’s former top executive assistant said it was „creepy” that the actor insisted on scratching his back, an example of his controlling and abusive behavior before he quit her job in 2019, she testified Friday. York Civil Inquest.

In a full day of testimony, Graham Chase Robinson became emotional several times as he said the trauma left him unemployed and depressed before he stopped working for De Niro in 2019 after 11 years.

„I had an emotional and mental breakdown. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t run. I was overwhelmed,” she told jurors in Manhattan federal court. „I felt like I had hit rock bottom.”

Despite applying for 638 jobs, she said I was suffering from anxiety and depression and hadn’t worked in four years.

„I don’t have a social life,” he said. „I feel so humiliated, ashamed, so judged. I feel so victimized in a way. … I lost my life. I lost my career. I lost my financial freedom. I lost everything.”

Robinson, 41, is seeking $12 million in damages from De Niro, 80, for sexism and retaliation. De Niro has asked a jury to award him $6 million for breach of fiduciary and fiduciary duty.

Robinson said his back had been itching for years, until he once mildly protested and suggested to De Niro that there was a device he could use instead.

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„I like the way you do it,” De Niro told her.

He described the comment as „creepy” and „disgusting”.

During testimony earlier in the week, De Niro said he always treated Robinson with respect and was never „disrespectful or rude.”

„Chase Robinson, shame on you!”, before taking to the court. He immediately apologized for the revelation.

As part of his duties, Robinson helped De Niro navigate a complicated love life that at one point included a wife, an ex-girlfriend and a new girlfriend that the world still didn’t want. Learn about

In her testimony, Robinson portrayed De Niro as sexist in his language toward female employees and discriminatory in how he paid them.

De Niro’s testimony was cut short on cross-examination when De Niro’s attorney confronted her that the actor’s highest-paid employee was a woman and, like Robinson, a man who worked at Canal Productions, one of De Niro’s companies. She was paid less than a third of the $300,000 salary she earned before she left.

Robinson testified about several instances during which he described De Niro, who rose to fame and two Oscars over the past five decades in films such as „Raging Bull,” „The Deer Hunter” and the new Martin Scorsese film „Killers of the Flower Moon.” Angrily at her, and sometimes abusive.

„He was yelling that he couldn’t find some gift,” Robinson said. „He was cursing left and right.”

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He then called her an expletive and hung up, she said.

„I found it incredibly offensive… especially when you’re trying to do your job,” she said.

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