Robert De Niro’s Ex-Assistant Graham Chase Robinson Received Creepy Text, Lawyer Says
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Robert De Niro’s former assistant, who is currently entangled in a contentious civil trial with the Oscar winner, received a blistering text over the weekend. And her lawyers say the message came from a member of De Niro’s family.
“You disgusting little beast,” the Sunday text message sent to Graham Chase Robinson, which was reviewed by The Daily Beast, said. “You have nothing better to do with your pathetic life than destroy an 80-year-old’s life for money. You peice [sic] of shit.”
The text message then slammed Robinson for the timing of the trial, which comes just four months after De Niro’s 19-year-old grandson was found dead in a Manhattan apartment of an accidental overdose. “Sickening hopefully you and your family will suffer like you have made so many suffer,” the text added.
While the message was not signed, Robinson’s lawyers told Judge Lewis Limon on Monday they believed it was sent from De Niro’s stepdaughter. Andrew Macurdy, who brought up the message before Robinson took the stand, explained that when his client received the text, her iPhone provided a suggestion on who may have sent the message. The suggestion was the name of De Niro’s daughter, he said.
“We Googled the number, and it did return back a connection to that individual’s social media,” Macurdy said in court. (The Daily Beast reviewed a screen grab of the message, which showed the suggested contact as De Niro’s stepdaughter.)
Macurdy then asked the judge to order De Niro’s family and associates not to contact his client anymore, calling the issue “very serious, particularly given the timing that Ms. Robinson is on the stand, and certainly, in the context of other inadvertent contacts from other associates of the defense side.”
The judge seemed to agree, calling the no-contact request “appropriate.” De Niro’s lawyer, Richard Schoenstein, said in court Monday that he knew “nothing about the message, and it’s the first time it’s being raised.” He said he had not been contacted over the weekend about the message and does not have any idea where it originated.
Still, Schoenstein said, he would not object if Limon asked him to relay instructions to his clients not to contact Robinson. The judge then instructed that De Niro and his company have no contact with Robinson “whatsoever,” adding that “if anybody on either side, frankly, brings tomy attention items like you’ve brought to my attention, I’ll make sure that we look into them.”
“I will note that earlier in the case, I received some emails that were very derogatory about Mr. De Niro,” the judge added. “Unfortunately, the case has attracted some attention. But what you’ve told me is potentially a very serious matter.”
The legal teams for De Niro and Robinson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A rep for De Niro’s stepdaughter also did not respond.
The conversation came just before Robinson’s second day on the stand, where she previously detailed how she was subjected to derogatory comments and uncomfortable requests from De Niro during her employment. Robinson is seeking $12 million in a gender discrimination lawsuit where she alleges De Niro was an abusive boss before she quit in 2019.
On Tuesday, Robinson described how De Niro berated her on the phone “about a scheduling thing” after he got into a fight with his wife in 2016. “He screamed at me and then hung up and then called me back,” Robinson said, according to Insider. “He said, ‘You’re being a bitch,’” she added. “It was common.”
De Niro and his company also filed a lawsuit against Robinson, alleging that she used the corporate cards to fund her personal vacations and other expenses. The lawsuit also claims Robinson transferred almost $450,000 in frequent-flier miles to her personal account after she left her job. Both De Niro and Robinson have denied the allegations.
“She implies that she’s out in front of the building on her knees, scrubbing the floor,” De Niro said on the stand last week. “There was never any lewdness, or disrespect, or weirdness that you’re trying to imply.”
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