Tiffany Chen does not have time for haters. Chen, girlfriend of Robert De Niro and mother of his seventh child, has spoken out at length for the first time since De Niro unwittingly dragged her into the spotlight. The mother to newborn baby girl Gia is explaining her feelings on what it felt like to receive so much criticism after the news about the couple went viral.

About those critics, she said, “Some of the things they said, I have a pretty thick skin … some of the things I would see was like ‘Oh, they’re so tired,’ or ‘They’re this’ or ‘They’re that’ or ‘They look somber’ or ‘They’re not happy’.”

“I mean they said those things, it was a little frustrating to see sometimes,” she admitted to Gayle King for “CBS Mornings.” “I’m like, ‘Mind your own business a bit, and if you want to say something, don’t always attach what you think in your mind is the story, you don’t know us, you don’t know what happened in somebody’s life.”

She added, “People were saying all sorts of nasty things about, you know, my appearance and me being angry. And I’m just kind of like, ‘This is, like, the happiest time in my life.'”

Chen also explained that the reason onlookers may have believed she looked unhappy or somber was because she developed Bell’s palsy, a neurological condition that affects the muscles on one side of the face, immediately after giving birth to her daughter.

She revealed that she noticed something was off immediately after undergoing a C-section with baby Gia – she recalled feeling a sharp pain behind her ear. Doctors shrugged it off, chalking it up so fluid retention that happens during pregnancy, but she wasn’t convinced.

When she was able to get up and shower after giving birth, she recognized that something with her face was definitely off, but initially attributed it to all the meds she had in her system because of the C-section. However, she noted, “When I got home it was just like everything is falling in on itself.”

By the time she made her way beck to the hospital her face had “completely dropped,” she described. One doctor suggested Bell’s palsy, but others didn’t think so, because in the vast majority of cases, the condition only affects one side of the face. For her, her entire face had dropped in perfect symmetry.

Her face was affected so much that there was a time she had to physically hold her lip up with her hand and manipulate her mouth into making certain noises so she could communicate.

As for De Niro, she said, “He was very sweet, he tried to say that he didn’t see any difference, he didn’t see any changes, he was like ‘No, you look fine, maybe you look a little stern,’ and I’m like ‘Really? My whole face is melted on itself,’ but he was very strong, very supportive.”

While the martial arts instructor, who met De Niro training on a movie set, wasn’t too bothered by her appearance, one thing that did bother her was the limits it put on connecting with her daughter.

“What bothered me was that I couldn’t smile at the baby in the beginning, I couldn’t give her kisses,” she said.

She added, “The thing I did worry about was ‘What if it didn’t get better?’ Was my kid going to get made fun of for having the weird-looking mom? That’s the only time, like, vanity comes into play. It’s how it affects the child.”

As the weeks after the birth have gone on, Chen’s condition has continued to improve.

She still has a few noticeable symptoms, and while she didn’t say specifically, it is known that Bell’s palsy can make one’s eyes sensitive, which could be the reason behind her current trademark sunglasses.

Despite some of the struggles she’s faced in entering into a very public relationship with a much older man and welcoming a child with him, it seems like she doesn’t have any complaints about her life now.

“She’s made (life) more fun,” she said of raising their daughter.

Tiffany Chen does not have time for haters.

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