Robert De Niro says he wants Graham Chase Robinson, who is countersuing him, to "return my air miles" in ongoing civil trial
Robert De Niro claims his former employee, whom he is currently facing off with in court, stole 5 million of his frequent-flyer miles.
The actor, 80, took the stand on Monday and Tuesday for the ongoing trial in New York City regarding his company Canal Productions and his former assistant, Graham Chase Robinson.
On Tuesday, De Niro continued to be questioned by Robinson’s legal team, and the topic of SkyMiles came into conversation. As part of the lawsuit, De Niro claimed Robinson stole 5 million Delta SkyMiles from him and has yet to return them. (Delta SkyMiles are valued at roughly 1.16 cents per mile, meaning this is worth around $60,000.)
When Andrew Macurdy, Robinson’s attorney, questioned De Niro about the fact that he approved Robinson’s access to transfer miles, as seen in an email displayed in the courtroom, he admitted, “Maybe that was my mistake. I trusted her. But she took 5 million miles. That I didn’t authorize.”
De Niro, who said the understanding was that Robinson, now 41, would take “1, maybe 2 million” miles, said, “I wanted those SkyMiles to be able to be used by my kids.” He added, “For obvious reasons, [the kids] were my priority,” referring to his seven children.
When questioned further about the miles, the actor said Robinson made no attempt to give back the miles she had taken. “She didn’t give them back when she was asked to,” De Niro said, adding, “Not even negotiate, like, ‘Let me give some of it back.’ Nothing.”
De Niro added, “That’s all I’m asking … return my things, return my air miles.”
After Robinson’s team asked all of their questions, De Niro’s attorney Laurent Drogin took over questioning about the “five, 999,000-mile transfers.” De Niro claimed Robinson asked him to sign a “preposterous” letter of recommendation that she wrote before he was aware of the missing SkyMiles, and prior to any gender discrimination accusations he was aware of.
Robinson’s attorney Brent Hannafan said in opening statements Monday in regards to the claim about stolen miles: “She didn’t use a dime that she hadn’t been authorized to spend. … She didn’t transfer a mile that she wasn’t granted.”
After Robinson left her position at De Niro's company in 2019, the company filed a $6 million lawsuit against her. They claimed she binge-watched TV while on the clock and inappropriately used "her employer’s fund for her personal gain." They alleged she stole cash, gift cards, computers and camera equipment too.
She responded with a $12 million countersuit, alleging that De Niro and Canal Productions violated the New York City Human Rights Law. Robinson claimed De Niro directed sexist remarks at her and gave her "stereotypically female job duties that were inconsistent with her job title."
De Niro, on the stand, admitted that he "berated her" while she worked for him. But, he said, "Every little thing she’s trying to get me on is nonsense."
While De Niro concluded his testimony, the trial is expected to continue through next week. Along with De Niro and Robinson, the jury is expected to hear from De Niro's lawyer Tom Harvey, his accountant Michael Tasch, several employees who worked with Robinson at Canal between 2008 and 2019, and Tiffany Chen, De Niro's girlfriend since 2018.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.