- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Robert De Niro admitted Tuesday he’d “berated” his former assistant and claimed she lacked “common sense” when overusing his frequent flyer miles, forcing his children to dig into their own pockets to pay for flights.
“There were no written rules, but there were unwritten rules,” the Oscar winner said on the stand in Manhattan Federal Court. “It’s called the honor system. There were the rules of common sense.”
On Monday, the Oscar winning actor dismissed the $12 million lawsuit from Graham Chase Robinson, calling the entire ordeal “nonsense.” But the long-time employee claims she suffered years of abuse working for the “Goodfellas” star.
De Niro admitted Tuesday he may have called Robinson a “brat” and a “a f—ing spoiled brat” during her time working for him, when he claims she used millions of his frequent flyer miles for personal trips.
“I berated her,” the star said. “I wasn’t abusive, I was annoyed.”
As a result of the alleged overuse of the miles, “The Deer Hunter” actor’s children were left to pay for their own flights.
“It started affecting my kids,” he said. “That was an issue for obvious reasons.”
Robinson worked for De Niro between 2008 and 2019 and is seeking damages for emotional distress and harm to her reputation.
It was revealed in court Tuesday that the professional relationship began to deteriorate in 2018 when De Niro bought a townhouse on the Upper East Side to move in with his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, who felt Robinson wasn’t up to snuff in her handling of the luxury pad.
“Chase wanted to resign, said she had another offer or something,” De Niro said in court. “I was going through a divorce. I had children. I had a lot going on. I had the holidays coming up. It was not the right time for a change.”
He requested Robinson stay on for at least two years in exchange for a bump in her $300,000 salary, which she agreed to, emails presented in court showed.
The documents showed that in March 2019, the uneasy relationship between Chen and Robinson came to a head when mold popped up in the townhouse and the actor’s girlfriend didn’t like the way the assistant handled the situation.
In April 2019, Robinson officially resigned. Two months later, she asked De Niro to sign a pre-written recommendation for the London School of Economics, which he refused to do, claiming she’d made false claims about her past work in the letter.
“I said there’s no way I can sign this,” De Niro recounted. “I did feel it was so preposterous. I was afraid she would take this email and use it for other purposes.”