Pop Culture

Robert De Niro accused of gender discrimination in counter suit by ex-employee

In August, Robert De Niro’s company Canal Productions filed a $6-million lawsuit against a former employee, accusing her of embezzling money and binge-watching Netflix during work hours.

Canal’s former “vice president of production and finance” Graham Chase Robinson was accused of spending “astronomical amounts of time” watching Netflix while on the job, including 55 episodes of Friends during a four-day period in January.

Robinson resigned from her position at Canal Productions in April amid concerns about alleged “corporate sabotage.”

READ MORE: Robert De Niro’s company sues ex-employee for allegedly binge-watching ‘Friends’ at work

Now, Robinson has filed her own complaint, accusing De Niro of gender discrimination and fostering an abusive working environment for women, according to Variety.

In her $12-million lawsuit, Robinson claims that De Niro used sexist language and called female employees “c—s” and “b–ches.”

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She also alleges that he referred to her as his “office wife.”

“Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores,” according to the lawsuit, obtained by Variety.

“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.”

Robert De Niro says ‘f***’em’ when asked about Fox News criticism on CNN

Robert De Niro says ‘f***’em’ when asked about Fox News criticism on CNN

In the lawsuit, which also names Canal Productions, Robinson says she was underpaid compared to her male colleagues and given “female duties like housework.”

She alleges that the actor joked to her about his Viagra prescription and asked her to imagine him on the toilet.

Robinson accuses De Niro of gratuitous unwanted physical contact.

“Among other things, De Niro would direct Ms. Robinson to scratch his back, button his shirts, fix his collars, tie his ties and prod him awake when he was in bed,” the suit reads.

“De Niro also stood idly by while his friend slapped Ms. Robinson on her buttocks.”

Robinson says she submitted her resignation in April and her legal representation told De Niro’s team that she was contemplating a lawsuit regarding De Niro’s alleged discrimination and wage violations.

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“Ms. Robinson’s position became increasingly intolerable, and over the years she announced her intent to resign multiple times,” the complaint states.

“De Niro responded with both a carrot and a stick — he made promises to induce to her stay and threatened repercussions if she left.”

The lawsuit says that Canal Productions’ lawsuit against her was “replete with ‘clickbait’ allegations that falsely characterize Ms. Robinson as a loafer, a thief and a miscreant. Now, when her name is Googled, these allegations pop up on the screen. The results have been devastating to Ms. Robinson. Her reputation and her career have been destroyed.”

READ MORE: Robert De Niro goes off on Donald Trump, swears on live TV

De Niro’s suit against Robinson accused her of racking up extensive restaurant and hotel charges and using the Taxi Driver actor’s frequent flyer miles for her personal trips. It also alleged Robinson made $8,923.20 in unauthorized charges at Dean & Deluca and Whole Foods, which are both upscale grocery stores, over a two-year period.

Robinson’s suit denies those claims and alleges that De Niro had personally approved the transactions in question.

‘The Irishman’ trailer

‘The Irishman’ trailer

She also denies that she “binge-watched” Netflix episodes during work hours.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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De Niro’s lawyer, Tom Harvey, denied the allegations in a statement to ET Canada. “The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd,” Harvey wrote.

—With a file from ET Canada

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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