Robert De Niro is going to war with a longtime employee who is suing the 76-year-old for gender discrimination and wage violations after years of subjecting her to bizarre behavior and verbal abuse.
Graham Chase Robinson claims she began working for De Niro’s production company, Canal Productions, in 2008 as an executive assistant and “forced to resign” in April after rising to the position of vice president of production and finance.
In the lawsuit, Robinson alleges the following:
- De Niro left her threatening voicemails for not picking up his calls, saying “you’re f—ing history” and calling her a “bitch” and a “brat.”
- For years, Robinson claims she was victim of “gratuitous unwanted physical contact” and sexually-charged comments directed at her.
- De Niro treated her as his “office wife” and made her do “stereotypically female duties, like housework,” while denying her overtime pay. He would also make her scratch his back, button his ties and prod him awake when he was sleeping.
- De Niro “urinated during telephone calls” with Robinson and would greet her wearing only his “pajamas or a bathrobe.”
- De Niro stood idly by when his friend slapped Ms. Robinson on the butt.
- De Niro would make jokes about his Viagra prescription
- De Niro asked her to “imagine me on the toilet.”
- De Niro suggested that Ms. Robinson could get pregnant using sperm from her (married) male co-worker
The suit summarizes the Oscar winner’s behavior as follows:
“Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores. He does not accept the idea that men should treat women as equals,” the suit says. “He does not care that gender discrimination in the workplace violates the law. Ms. Robinson is a casualty of this attitude.”
De Niro and his production company sued Robinson in August for $6 million after accusing her of watching 55 episodes of “Friends” during a 4-day period and used the company credit card to for lavish lunches and frequent flyer miles.
Robinson claims De Niro’s lawsuit was brought on only after she threatened to sue him.
Soooo, why didn’t Robinson just quit instead of rising up the ranks? She claims that De Niro held his influence over her head and would give her a bad recommendation if she left.
We’ll keep you posted on any unravellings.
[h/t Page Six]