Left-wing Hollywood star Robert De Niro’s former personal assistant has won her lawsuit against the temperamental actor.
As previously reported, former assistant Graham Chase Robinson sued De Niro and his production company for $12 million in damages for the “emotional distress and reputational harm” she’d suffered working under him for $300,000 per year.
She filed the lawsuit after, following her resignation in 2019, the company first preemptively sued her alleging she’d “excessively binge-watched Netflix shows while working, charged personal meals and groceries to the company’s credit card and inappropriately used ‘her employer’s fund for her personal gain’ including De Niro’s frequent flyer airline miles,” as reported by People magazine.
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According to the Associated Press, jurors in a Manhattan federal court found on Thursday that the actor’s company is liable for $1.2 million for “subjecting her to a toxic work environment.”
“While the jury found De Niro was not personally liable for the abuse, it said his company, Canal Productions, engaged in gender discrimination and retaliation against former assistant Graham Chase Robinson and should make two payments of $632,142 to her,” the AP reported.
The jury also ruled in Robinson’s favor by squashing the company’s lawsuit against her.
Robinson was reportedly thrilled by the rulings.
“Not only did Ms. Robinson win her case against Canal but the jury completely vindicated Ms. Robinson by finding De Niro’s claims against her to be without merit,” her attorney, David Sanford, told The Daily Beast in a statement.
Ironically, De Niro was just as pleased.
“He is absolved. He is not liable for anything that was charged against him at all. There’s a modest award against the company. But, you know, they were looking for $12 million,” his attorney, Richard Schoenstein, told the AP.
All this comes roughly a week after De Niro lost his cool in court, yelling at Robinson over her allegations that his behavior and requests, while they worked together, had bordered on abusive.
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“Graham Chase Robinson [the assistant] watched with her lawyers while De Niro’s anger built as attorney Andrew Macurdy pelted him with accusations his client made about De Niro’s behavior toward Robinson as she served his needs, large and small, from 2008 until her resignation in 2019,” The Guardian reported.
Asked by Robinson’s attorney in court whether he’d ever called her names, De Niro fessed up to some of it.
“Yeah, fine, I berated her,” he said, according to People magazine.
That he certainly did, according to the allegations, which are that he had called her “petulant,” “snippy,” a “b—h,” and a “f–king spoiled brat.”
“I’ve raised my voice. I don’t yell. You wanna dispute that? That’s one thing I don’t do,” De Niro added while in court.
He was also asked whether he’d ordered Robinson to scratch his back, but this time he cried foul.
“Every little thing she’s trying to get me on is nonsense! Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” he reportedly yelled in court, after which he later apologized for the outburst.
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In her lawsuit against him, Robinson also claimed “that the actor [had] directed sexist comments at her, assigned her ‘stereotypically female job duties that were inconsistent with her job title,’ and paid her less than male employee Dan Harvey,” People notes.
De Niro was not pleased by the mention of Harvey, his personal trainer.
“What does Dan Harvey have to do with her? God knows why she felt like she should make the same [salary]. Dan Harvey has been here for 40 years. He has been with me, left his family, never complained. She is jealous of him?” he said in court.
“Give me a break with that nonsense… For her to use that is so ridiculous,” he added, referencing her claims of a gender pay disparity.
He was just as indignant when asked if he’d sometimes urinated while on the phone with Robinson.
“Give me a break with this nonsense. You got us all here for this?” he said in typical De Niro fashion.
Robinson also reportedly claimed he’d called her twice during a family member’s funeral, but he countered by arguing that he hadn’t known she’d been at a funeral.
According to The New York Times, Robinson further claimed De Niro had treated her like an “office wife” by making her wash his bedsheets.
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