The celebrities who treated their staff really badly. Allegedly.

Celebrities, they're just like us! The only difference is they pay people to be at their beck and call as their personal assistants, and sometimes, they treat these people rather badly

Robert De Niro is the latest in a long line of celebrities to be accused of some not-so-great behaviour when it comes to how he allegedly treats his staff. We've rounded up some of the worst offenders, starting with the claims made against The Godfather actor.

Robert De Niro.

Robert De Niro at Cannes Film Festival 2023. Image: Getty.


Robert De Niro's former assistant has won $1.26 million in her lawsuit against the Hollywood actor's loan-out company, Canal Productions, over claims of gender discrimination and retaliation.

While De Niro was not found personally liable in the case, the assistant – known as Ms Robinson – alleged that she was abused, demeaned, underpaid and treated like De Niro's "office wife".

Ms Robinson worked for the actor for 11 years, beginning as his personal assistant in 2008, before being promoted to vice president of production and finance at his company.

She quit in 2019 and sued for "emotional distress and reputational harm", claiming to have been subjected to "vulgar, inappropriate and gendered comments" and being allocated "stereotypically female" tasks.

She accused Robert of having her complete duties like buttoning his shirt and washing his sheets, despite this (obviously) not being in her job requirements.

Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga at the 95th Annual Academy Awards. Image: Getty. 


Lady Gaga's former assistant, Jennifer O’Neil, filed a lawsuit in 2011 claiming she was owed payment for 7,168 hours of overtime. In the filing, O'Neil claimed she had to be at the pop star's service from the "earliest waking hour" and her responsibilities included "ensuring the promptness of a towel following a shower and serving as a personal alarm clock" for the singer. 

O’Neil alleged that due to the 'Paparazzi' singer's demanding schedule, she was unable to take breaks "or even, at times, sleep".

Gaga vehemently denied her ex-assistant claims. "[O’Neil is a ] f**king hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn," the singer said.


"She slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking YSL to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission," she continued. 

"She thinks she’s just, like, the queen of the universe… And, you know what, she didn’t want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I’m the queen of the universe every day."

Lady Gaga and Jennifer eventually reached a settlement.

Christian Bale.

 Christian Bale in 2022. Image: Getty.


Christian Bale's former publicist Harrison Cheung did not pull any punches in his biography Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman.

"If Christian was away filming on location, I would take care of his five pets, along with stray possums in the backyard as a special request," he wrote in the 2012 book.

"I would do anything from sniffing Christian’s armpits for B.O. right before he hit the red carpet to making emergency sock runs if Christian was all out of clean ones."

Cheung later spoke about how his experience working for the actor led to him starting trauma therapy. "My therapist would describe my condition as post-traumatic stress disorder," he told the Daily Mail

Lindsay Lohan.

After getting arrested in 2012 for a nightclub fight and being bailed out by her assistant Gavin Doyle, Lindsay kicked him out of her car. 

After the altercation, Gavin tweeted at his boss: "After bailing you out last night I HOPE and PRAY you get the help you so desperately need. We are ALL rooting for you." 

Naomi Campbell.

Naomi Campbell at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival. Image: Getty. 


Naomi Campbell was accused of throwing a phone at her assistant in 2000, and ended up pleading guilty to assault. In another altercation, an assistant claimed that the supermodel "grabbed her by the arms and threw her down on a couch".

This was just the beginning. 

In the following years, Campbell was accused of throwing another phone, slapping her assistant's face, and smacking an assistant in the head with her BlackBerry.


By 2007, Naomi was sentenced to community service after assaulting her New York maid. The maid had to get stitches after Naomi threw a phone at her head over a missing pair of jeans.

Marilyn Manson. 

No celebrity's treatment of their assistant will compare to metal frontman Marilyn Manson's alleged behaviour.

Marilyn Manson once described a painting he'd done that was inspired by his tour assistant Jonathan Pavesi. 

"He was a really weak-willed kid who was probably 18 when I met him, and I put him through hell. He had to wash paint out of the crack of my ass and clean up my vomit," the singer said.

"At one point, when he was working with me, he would get really mad because I would have physical altercations with him when I was coming on and off stage sometimes. I told him I would pay him $100 if I ever hit him unintentionally, and then I got drunk one time and laid $500 on the table and beat the shit out of him."

It's unclear if the metal singer was being purposefully controversial in this description of how he treated his staff. Manson has since been accused of physical assault, grooming and brainwashing, along with sexual assault and misconduct by a range of people, including actress Evan Rachel Wood.

 Feature image: Getty.

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