The following statement from attorney Tom Harvey on behalf of Robert De Niro is in response to claims by Stefania Grassi made publicly, privately and on social media regarding the short film Ellis.

“The idea that two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro provided Oscar winner Eric Roth with a script from an unknown Italian writer so that Mr. Roth could use it to write the 14-minute short film, “Ellis,” about Ellis Island and early immigrants experience is not only preposterous, it is libelous.

Mr. De Niro’s office does not accept scripts and even if someone hands him a script directly or through a friend, the material is thereafter sent on to his agent. Mr. De Niro never read any script from this unknown writer and never passed any such script to Mr. Roth.”

As far as “Ellis” is concerned, the French artist JR approached Mr. De Niro’s partner, Jane Rosenthal, about the project, who arranged for JR and Mr. Roth to collaborate on the film and along the way Mr. De Niro volunteered his time because he believed strongly in the project and the work of JR.

I think it is safe to assume that neither Mr. De Niro nor Mr. Roth needs to lift a part of unknown Italian writer’s screenplay for a 14 minute short.”

And that’s that.