Robert De Niro is facing a lawsuit seeking $12 million in damages from a former employee of his company, Graham Chase Robinson. She is accusing the actor of “gratuitous unwanted physical contact,” making “sexually charged comments,” and treating her as his “office wife,” NBC News reports. The lawsuit is another chapter in the legal battle between the pair — DeNiro’s company, Canal Productions, sued Robinson in August for “breaching her fiduciary duties.
According to Robinson, De Niro was angered after he discovered she was considering a discrimination lawsuit against Canal following her departure as vice president of production and finance. The new complaint reveals that Robinson believes that De Niro’s original lawsuit was a retaliation to his discovery of her planned suit and comprises “false allegations” designed to damage her reputation and stall her legal battle.
“Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores. He does not accept the idea that men should treat women as equals. He does not care that gender discrimination in the workplace violates the law. Ms. Robinson is a casualty of this attitude.”
Robinson claims De Niro called her a “brat” and a “b*tch” and witnessed her being sexually assaulted by his friend, The Guardian reports. De Niro also reportedly joked with Robinson about his Viagra prescription, suggested that she could get pregnant using the sperm of her married male co-worker, and asked her to perform “demeaning duties” such as buttoning his shirts, scratching his back, vacuuming his apartment, and washing his bed sheets.
De Niro’s company is also accused of underpaying Robinson based on her gender. The complaint suggests that De Niro once implied that male breadwinners are more deserving of higher pay than women who don’t have children.
(2/2) Robinson says De Niro routinely subjected her to creepy and abusive behavior, including leaving her voicemails threatening “you’re *bleeping* history” and calling her a “b****.”
????Do you think she has a case? pic.twitter.com/syOr7xW84W
— The Talk (@TheTalkCBS) October 3, 2019
As for De Niro’s original complaint, he suggests that Robinson was abusing the expense accounts of his company to pay for hotel and restaurant bills. In addition, he claims she spent “astronomical amounts of time” watching Netflix during work hours, including a marathon of 55 Friends episodes during a four-day period back in January.
De Niro is a frequent critic of President Donald Trump and declared “F*ck Trump!” during the 2018 Tony Awards broadcast. More recently, CNN interviewer Brian Stelter asked De Niro how he would respond to Fox News, which often targets De Niro, and he again went on a profanity-laced outburst.
“F*ck ’em!” De Niro responded before repeating the phrase and drawing a gasp from the CNN studio. He quickly apologized while looking off-camera.