Celebrity Assistants Who Revealed Dark Secrets

The following references allegations of sexual misconduct, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. 

When you think of life as a celebrity assistant, you imagine a world of glitzy Hollywood events, lavish trips, and gorgeous clothes, right? Well, in a lot of cases, it is. Many celeb assistants have opened up about how much they love their jobs working with the rich and famous. Take Kim Kardashian's former right-hand woman Stephanie Shepherd, for example. When she was still working for the Kardashian-Jenners, she experienced plenty of super luxurious perks — but never forgot she was on the clock, of course. "I think everyone thinks this job is super glamorous — and I can't lie, it is. Truly, this family is so much fun, and we go to some amazing places and do some incredible things," Shepherd told Refinery29 in 2017 of her envy-inducing job inside the Kardashian-Jenners' inner circle. "But don't forget that when you're an assistant, with all of that glamour comes schlepping the bags and the suitcases and taking the fall when the car doesn't show up or the flight is delayed or something goes wrong," she added.

But while there are plenty of examples of famous faces getting along swimmingly with their assistants — Blake Lively even stepped out mere days after giving birth to attend her assistant's wedding day — there are also sadly plenty of examples of the employer/employee relationship turning oh-so-sour. And that's made for plenty of secrets-spilling from the assistants who know all the juicy ins and outs of our favorite stars.

Naomi Campbell's former assistants' horror stories

It's no secret (anymore, at least) that British supermodel Naomi Campbell isn't exactly the nicest boss to her assistants. Campbell has repeatedly been called out by her employees, with one of the most famous testimonies coming from Georgina Galanis. Back in 1998, Galanais filed a lawsuit claiming Campbell became physical with her while they were on a work trip in Canada. Amongst the shocking allegations Galanis brought to light, per BBC News, she alleged that Campbell grabbed her by the throat and even hit her with a phone. In 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty to assault.

But that's hardly the only time one of Campbell's assistants spoke out about their time on the model's team. In 2006, Amanda Brack appeared on "The Tyra Banks Show" to make her own shocking allegations about her former employer, claiming Campbell attacked her multiple times and spat at her. "She got really, really upset and slammed her Blackberry in my face," Brack, who also filed a lawsuit against Campbell, claimed at the time (via The Register). The two parties settled things in court the following year, per Metro.

While things have been a little quieter when it comes to Campbell's relationship with her assistants since then, her team still makes headlines — albeit for far less salacious reasons. In 2019, Campbell set social media ablaze when she had one of her assistants fan her as she posed for photos at the Met Gala.

Taryn Manning was charged with assaulting her assistant

In another case of assistants speaking out against their abusive employers, Holliann Hartman took a leaf out of Naomi Campbell's assistants' books in 2012 when she came forward with accusations against actor Taryn Manning. Hartman — who served as Manning's assistant as well as her makeup artist — alleged that she was physically attacked by the "Orange Is the New Black" star, per USA Today. Hartman even claimed she'd been choked by Manning during one particular altercation. Manning — who could have ended up in an orange jumpsuit for real — was ordered to stay away from Hartman after the allegations came to light, while the former's attorney said in a statement, "They had a late-night argument that turned into a bit of a physical altercation."

Hartman, who had been close friends with Manning for a number of years before the altercation, made the decision to forgive the actor for the attack and, because of their close relationship, didn't want to see her prosecuted. As a result, Manning was ordered to carry out just one day of community service following the incident and told by the judge that she had to stay out of trouble for six months to avoid a more severe punishment, per TMZ.

Britney Spears' assistant's take on the conservatorship

Britney Spears' former longtime assistant and friend, Felicia Culotta, spoke out about her notoriously controversial conservatorship on a couple of occasions, but one of the most shocking came when she pretty much confirmed what fans already knew — that Britney's conservatorship had seemingly driven a wedge between her and her inner circle. Culotta, who had been by Britney's side since the start of her fame in the late 1990s, got very candid in the 2021 documentary "The New York Times Presents: Controlling Britney Spears," claiming she felt Britney's dad, Jamie Spears, had pushed her out of Britney's life. "It slowly became where I wasn't allowed by her side and wasn't allowed to have a conversation without other people present, which was very odd," Culotta said, suggesting those involved in the conservatorship left Britney isolated. "I don't have any way of getting in touch with her at this point. All the numbers that I have [for her] are now changed," she explained (via Page Six).

Culotta also shared a story about how Britney apparently gave out $100 bills to those in need early on in her fame, though Britney accused her of lying. In a since-deleted tweet (via Newsweek), the pop star wrote, "I wish I could go inside the heads of people like my dad and her and really try to understand why people lie and make up such things like that !!!"

Courtney Love apparently wanted a hacker for an assistant

When Courtney Love looks for an assistant, she doesn't just look for an assistant. She looks for a hacker, too. Well, that's according to her former assistant, Jessica Labrie. Back in 2012, Labrie got very candid about what working for Love was really like, claiming she was allegedly asked to find someone to do illegal things during her employment. Love had apparently asked her to find a computer hacker and send out fake legal correspondence, among other things. Per The Fix, Labrie sued Love for what she supposedly asked her to do for her, claiming in court documents that she had been subjected to harassment and discrimination while working for Love.

But that wasn't the only bombshell claim Labrie made. TMZ reported that same year that Labrie was supposedly preparing to write a tell-all book about her time working with the Hole lead singer (with the punchy working title "Get Me a Xanax"), and pitched a concept that accused Love of allegedly not being quite as sober as she publicly claimed. Though it doesn't seem the tell-all ever actually hit the shelves for one reason or another, Labrie claimed in the proposal that Love was allegedly still using cocaine and at least two drugs she had a prescription for. However, Love was quick to deny the hard drugs allegation. Hitting back, she said she's no fan of cocaine but did confirm that she had been given a prescription for Xanax. Per Radar Online, the two reached an undisclosed settlement in 2014.

Lil Wayne was sued for assault by his assistant

In late 2022, Lil Wayne, Young Money Entertainment, and Signature Flight Support were all sued by Wayne's former assistant, Andrew Williams, after he made some bombshell allegations about the notorious rapper. In legal documents, the former assistant accused Wayne of multiple things, including both assault and battery, while also alleging Wayne had caused him what he described as emotional distress, per Radar Online. The legal filing also included the record label Wayne founded, Young Money Entertainment, and Signature Flight Support for breaching his assistant contract when letting him go from his role. As for why all three were named in the lawsuit? Williams alleged that he'd been punched in the face by Wayne while they were flying together on a private jet when he attempted to stop an altercation between Wayne and the plane's pilot.

But not so fast — at least according to Wayne, that is. The rapper responded to the lawsuit in December 2022 by claiming the whole thing was a result of self-defense, per Radar Online. He also denied his former assistant's claim that he had been hurt by him during the jet incident and slammed Williams' take that he'd been let go from his job wrongfully. As of January 2023, the litigious situation between the two is still yet to be resolved in court.

Amber Heard was accused of spitting in her assistant's face

Actor Amber Heard's personal life has been dissected publicly thanks to her high-profile legal dramas, with one of the most famous being her notorious 2022 defamation trial with her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. As part of that trial, her former assistant Kate James testified, and she made some pretty shocking allegations about what being in Heard's presence when she worked for her from between 2012 and 2015 was really like. James claimed in court that Heard would often scream at her and allegedly used illegal drugs, according to Radar Online. But James wasn't quite done there, as she also accused Heard of spitting in her face during her employment.

But that was hardly the first time James made some dark allegations about her former employer. Two years earlier, James spoke out against Heard in another trial, this time when Depp took on British tabloid The Sun over an op-ed piece Heard had written for the outlet. That time, Variety reported that James accused Heard of purportedly sending her abusive messages early in the morning on more than one occasion. James also claimed Heard took her personal story of being a sexual assault survivor and used it as her own.

When she took the stand in 2022, Heard spoke out against James' allegations and overall character. Per Radar Online, Heard told the court that her former assistant was not easy to work with. "[James'] behavior was horrible," she stated.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

What happened between Robert De Niro and his assistant?

Another star who isn't immune to serious allegations from their former assistant? None other than Robert De Niro. Per NBC News, Graham Chase Robinson accused the actor of allegedly touching her without her permission and making lewd comments while in her presence. Not only that, but Robinson purported she was asked to do tasks she wasn't expecting while working for the "Meet The Parents" star, including household chores and even scratching him on the back. Really. As for what De Niro had to say about the allegations? He made it pretty clear he wasn't about to co-sign on his former assistant's take on events, with his lawyer telling Us Weekly, "The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd."

But that wasn't the only drama in this litigious situation, as Robinson's allegations came as part of a countersuit. De Niro's Canal Productions had actually filed a lawsuit against Robinson that same year, accusing her of not doing her job properly. Amongst the unprofessional things she was accused of doing? The company alleged Robinson had a tendency to buy things using her company card and also supposedly enjoyed watching TV while she was supposed to be working. De Niro also speculated, per TMZ, that Robinson had only made her allegations in retaliation for the initial lawsuit. As of this writing, the two parties are still in the thick of their legal battle. 

An assistant made shocking claims against Mariah Carey's team

Lianna Shakhnazaryan took Mariah Carey to court in 2021, claiming she'd experienced battery and sexual harassment while under the employment of the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas. She alleged that Carey's former manager Stella Bulochnikov (who fans will likely remember from the short-lived E! reality series "Mariah's World") had treated her extremely poorly while she was part of Team Carey, as, among the disturbing allegations Shakhnazaryan made, she claimed Bulochnikov had sat on her, called her names, and even peed on her, per Variety. As for Carey's supposed involvement? The assistant alleged that Carey had apparently seen some of the abusive behavior happening, but was complicit in allowing it to go on.

Carey clearly didn't agree with Shakhnazaryan's take on what happened during her employment, though. Carey filed her own lawsuit against Shakhnazaryan, according to TMZ, which included allegations she had supposedly filmed private videos of her she allegedly blackmailed the singer with. The pop star also claimed Shakhnazaryan was no A+ Executive Assistant when it came to her work either, accusing her of allegedly raking up quite the hefty bill using Carey's finances. Page Six later confirmed that the two had settled their $3 million lawsuit, though the terms of the settlement are still being kept under wraps to this day. 

It turns out the life of a celebrity assistant isn't always as glamorous as it looks — even if you're working for one of the most glam stars on the planet.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).