Reports of Robert De Niro’s testimony in a civil trial involving dueling lawsuits between him and a former employee have largely focused on the actor’s booming voice.
The New York Post described a “bellowing” and “blustery” De Niro who begrudgingly confessed that he had asked Graham Chase Robinson to scratch his back before erupting, “You got me!”
It was the second day of De Niro’s time on the stand following his production company’s lawsuit against Robinson, who started working for him as an assistant in 2008 before becoming Canal Productions’ vice president of production and finance, claiming that she misused company funds and slacked off on the job. Robinson responded to the 2019 suit with a lawsuit of her own, claiming that De Niro harassed her and discriminated against her on the basis of gender. The trial, which began on Monday and is expected to last two weeks, addresses both suits.
The back-scratching requests likely happened twice, De Niro admitted, when he had an itch he couldn’t reach. “OK, twice?” he testified. “You got me! I’m saying this is nonsense.”
“It was never done with any disrespect,” he added.
Robinson has claimed that De Niro made “gratuitous unwanted physical contact” and treated her as his “office wife.” De Niro has said that Robinson watched Netflix during her work hours and converted millions of frequent flyer miles for her own use.
“Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” he shouted on Tuesday, according to the Post. He acknowledged that it was possible that he once asked Robinson to have a martini from Nobu delivered to him via Uber at 11 p.m.
De Niro also defended his tone. “I’ve raised my voice,” he testified. “I don’t yell. You wanna dispute that? That’s one thing I don’t do.”