Robert De Niro’s former assistant has received a text calling her a ‘disgusting little beast’ amid their fiery civil trial – and her lawyer believes it was sent by one of the star’s children.
Representing Graham Chase Robinson, Attorney Andrew Macurdy read the angry message aloud to Manhattan Federal Court Monday morning before jurors were brought in.
‘The message read: “You disgusting little beast,’ Macurdy said. ‘You have nothing better to do with your pathetic life than destroy an 80 year-old man’s life…
Robinson, 41, was also branded a ‘scumbag’ in the abusive screed, which came a week into the sensational civil suit which has made headlines around the world.
Graham Chase Robinson arrives at Manhattan Federal Court Monday. Before jurors were brought in, her lawyer told the court she’d received an abusive text shortly before the hearing began – and suggested it may have been sent by one of her former employer Robert De Niro’s children
Longtime assistant Robinson is suing De Niro for $12 million in damages, alleging gender discrimination. The Oscar-winning actor has denied the accusations and counter-sued for $6 million, claiming Robinson misused company benefits.
As their trial resumed on Monday, Robinson’s lawyer Macurdy said the explosive text she received shortly before taking to the stand again this week had come from an unknown number.
But he flagged an iPhone feature which shows a possible identity for anonymous senders – and said the suggested name was that of one of De Niro’s children.
The suspected sender was not named. De Niro has seven children by four women.
De Niro’s lawyer Richard Schoenstein said his team had ‘no idea’ where the text had come from.
‘Certainly we will instruct our clients not to contact the plaintiff,’ he added.
Judge Lewis J Limon didn’t take any further action in response to the text allegations, saying the court had also received evidence of emails which were ‘very derogatory about Mr De Niro’.
‘Unfortunately this case has attracted a lot of attention,’ he said.
The Taxi Driver star was not in court to hear that one of his offspring had been accused of abusing Robinson. DailyMail.com has contacted his representatives for comment.
Monday’s shocking revelation came before the eight jurors hearing the civil case were seated to see the resumption of Robinson’s cross-examination.
De Niro is pictured leaving court last Thursday. Robinson, his former executive assistant, has sued him for $12 million alleging sexual discrimination and retaliation. He denies those allegations and has counter-sued Robinson for $6 million
De Niro erupted in rage at Robinson on the stand last week, shrieking ‘Shame on you,’ despite denying he’d ever shouted at her
Robinson previously painted a picture of De Niro as a creepy boss who made her scratch his back and who would scream abuse at her.
The Killers of the Flower Moon star denies the allegations and claims Robinson stole five million air miles from his company account – Canal Productions – just before she left in April 2019.
Last week De Niro denied claims he was an abusive boss, only to scream at Robinson across the court moments later, screeching: ‘Shame on you, Chase Robinson!’
The actor subsequently apologized.
Robinson began working for Canal in 2008, having started out as an executive assistant on a salary of $75,000, but eventually rose to the role of vice president of production and finance, on a $300,000 salary at the time of her departure in April 2019.
During Monday’s hearing she admitted that she was the only staff member in the Canal Productions office who earned more than $100,000.
The court was also told of other perks enjoyed by Robinson, including $15,000 bonuses, a long with lavish Christmas and birthday gifts which included an eight-day holiday to Hawaii in 2018.
Robinson had 23 days annual holiday and paid sick leave, alongside days off when Canal’s New York office was closed, which it often was on Fridays, the court heard.
De Niro’s lawyer Schoenstein showed jurors receipts detailing how Robinson had transferred 999,000 of the actor’s air miles to her own account on four separate occasions between January and March 2019.
De Niro is pictured in Manhattan November 3. Robinson’s case against him continues
She is said to have used those four million miles – as well as another million which have not been itemized – on travel to London, Glasgow, Spain, Los Angeles and New York, usually flying business class.
Schoenstein quizzed Robinson over whether she understood that the miles were intended only for work travel, but she answered: ‘That is not correct’.
Robinson claimed the travel freebies were permitted ‘compensation’ among the verbally-agreed terms of her employment.
The court also heard extracts of phone calls between Robinson and other Canal Productions colleagues from some 40 hours of audio she had secretly taped.
Schoenstein played extracts which showed Robinson speaking about her dislike for De Niro’s girlfriend, TIffany Chen, as she helped them with their move to an Upper East Side townhouse in 2019.
During a March 2019 phone call with De Niro’s accountant, Michael Tasch, Robinson slammed Chen as ‘f***ing nuts’ and ‘drunk on power’.
Along with other employees, Robinson was tasked with organizing tradesmen to deal with a mold problem in the celebrity couple’s townhouse.
The court saw emails from Chen asking Robinson to make the issue ‘a priority’ because it was affecting her children’s health – which Robinson forwarded to other employees saying she felt ‘targeted’ by Chen’s demands.
During the phonecall with Tasch, Robinson went further, claiming Chen had ‘Munchausen syndrome’ – an condition where someone fakes their own sickness.
Under cross-examination, Robinson agreed with Schoenstein’s statements that she believed Chen was ‘having an adverse affect on Mr De Niro’, and that ‘she might be jealous of (Robinson’s) relationship with Bob (De Niro)’.
Several more phone calls were played to the court showing Robinson slate Chen – before Schoenstein highlighted that Robinson ‘did not have a single recording on the phone with Chen herself’.
The relationship between the two women became so strained that De Niro removed Robinson from the townhouse project, and she proposed working for him from another country, the court heard.
On Friday, Robinson broke down in tears while recalling the ‘creepy’ and ‘disgusting’ moment the Hollywood icon asked her to scratch his back.
She said the request made her feel ‘physically uncomfortable’ and claims De Niro says he asked her to rub him because he preferred ‘the way you do it.’
De Niro scoffed at the back-scratching claim and other assertions, saying he always treated Robinson with respect and never with ‘disrespect or lewdness.’
The trial continues on Tuesday with further cross examination of Robinson before her mother takes to the stand.