Robert De Niro’s ex-employee is suing him for gender discrimination and sexual harassment. In August, De Niro’s company sued the former employee for watching too much Netflix at work and charging frivolities on the company’s credit card. One of the most celebrated actors of his time, De Niro’s formidable career has spanned four decades, with roles in iconic films including Raging Bull, Wag The Dog, Meet The Parents, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Godfather Part II - the film that snagged him an Oscar win.
Not limited to on-screen talent, De Niro has tackled capital ventures, such as co-founding the film studio TriBeCa Productions, the Tribeca film festival, and investing in the loan-out company, Canal Productions. Canal Production’s former employee, Chase Robinson, started as De Niro’s personal assistant and quickly climbed the ladder to the position of Vice President of Production & Finance. After a decade-long tenure working for the Taxi Driver actor, Robinson quit amid accusations of dishonesty.
Following Robinson's departure, De Niro’s company filed a lawsuit against Robinson for 6 million dollars. Allegedly, Robinson binged a staggering number of episodes of Friends, Arrested Development, and Schitt’s Creek on the company’s Netflix account - while on the clock. De Niro’s company claimed they were also seeking repayment of Robinson’s personal use of the company’s frequent flyer miles and Uber rides. Now, Robinson has filed a lawsuit of her own against De Niro.
According to Deadline, Robinson has filed a 12 million dollar lawsuit against De Niro for gender discrimination, harassment, and violating labor laws. Filed in the New York Federal court, the lawsuit is seeking a verdict by a jury. Allegedly, Robinson intended to file her complaints before she quit the company. Upon quitting, Robinson labeled the suspicions against her erroneous, and De Niro refused to sign her hand-written resignation. De Niro’s former employee claims she was subjected to unwanted physical contact and verbal abuse. The lawsuit details why Robinson is seeking damages:
[De Niro] would joke with Ms. Robinson about his Viagra prescription. De Niro smirked to Ms. Robinson about his young paramour, who was around Ms. Robinson’s age. He does not accept that men should treat women as equals. He does not care that gender discrimination in the workplace violates the law. As the allegations against Robert De Niro’s frequent professional collaborator Harvey Weinstein make clear, much work remains to be done before quality is reached.
As of this writing, it remains to be seen how the lawsuit against Robinson, and the lawsuit against De Niro, will play out. The legal drama arrives on the eve of De Niro’s highly anticipated films, The Irishman and Joker. Itself riddled with controversy, Joker is slated to hit theaters this weekend.
De Niro is notorious for ill-regarded behavior. The actor has made headlines for snapping at the press, using foul language on live TV, and clashing with co-stars. De Niro’s attorney, however, maintain’s the actor’s innocent in these particular allegations. Since the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, many allegations have come to light regarding various instances of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, as well as physical and emotional abuse. We'll keep you updated on the lawsuit between Robinson and De Niro as it continues to develop.