Robert De Niro’s ongoing civil trial has been filled with a series of colorful one-liners. “You got me!” he exploded, after admitting that he had twice asked his former employee Graham Chase Robinson to scratch his back when he had an itch he couldn’t reach. In his testimony this week, he described Robinson’s accusations of harassment and gender discrimination as “all nonsense,” but acknowledged that he may have asked her to have a late-night martini delivered to him from Nobu.
On Thursday, De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen joined the fray. While on the stand, according to the Independent, she discussed a text she sent to a then employee of Canal Productions, De Niro’s company where Robinson worked as vice president of finance and production after rising from her role as his assistant beginning in 2008.
“The whole situation has become very Single White Female,” Chen wrote. She was discussing how Robinson had gone into the couple’s home and allegedly unplugged all of her electronics.
In the courtroom, Chen elaborated on what she meant by this reference to the 1992 erotic thriller: a woman who is “obsessive, crazy, and dangerous.”
Robinson, Chen testified, dreamt of dating De Niro herself. “I believed she lived her whole life as a fantasy,” Chen said.
The trial, which began on Monday and is expected to last two weeks, addresses two lawsuits that Robinson and De Niro filed against each other. In 2019, De Niro accused Robinson of using company resources for personal purposes, including the use of over $125,000 in frequent flyer miles and a Netflix account that the suit alleged she repeatedly accessed during work hours. In short order, Robinson responded with a suit of her own, claiming that De Niro subjected her to repeated sexist remarks and “gratuitous physical contact.”
In Chen’s view, the dispute was romantic in origin. She testified that Robinson had an “imaginary intimacy” with De Niro and that Chen urged him to get rid of her. Robinson, she said amid a stream of angry remarks, was “obsessive, psychotic and dangerous.”
In other texts displayed in court, Chen described Robinson to De Niro as a “straight up Nasty B****” and wrote “her possessive manner over the house makes me very uncomfortable.”
When asked if she had written these messages, Chen was just as direct. “Yeah,” she testified. “I wrote it.”