Robert De Niro and former assistant Graham Chase Robinson — who each filed lawsuits against each other — will face off in court as the dueling claims go to trial.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, De Niro made the preemptive first strike in August 2019 when the Raging Bull actor sued Robinson for binge-watching Friends on the job and pilfering frequent-flier miles. Two months later, Robinson filed her own lawsuit, accusing De Niro of “gender discrimination and retaliation.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The dueling claims, which were largely expected to settle, are now set to go to trial on Monday in New York federal court, with De Niro set to take the stand after opening statements. He will testify against accusations that he oversaw a toxic workplace in which he underpaid Robinson, subjected her to vulgar comments, and assigned her domestic duties like buttoning his shirt and washing his sheets despite her lofty executive title.”
The Complaint Against Robert De Niro Says That the Actor “Clung to Old Mores”
Oscar winner Robert De Niro is known for his iconic roles in movies such as The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Heat, Angel Heart (pictured), Meet the Parents, and many more. The complaint filed against De Niro reads that “Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores.” The Hollywood Reporter reports, “Robinson was employed by De Niro and Canal Productions from 2008 to 2019, rising from his executive assistant to director of productions and then vice president of production and finance. Her responsibilities, which kept her on the job around the clock, included running an array of errands for De Niro, his family and Canal’s office.”
Despite being paid $300,000 annually — about twice the average salary of a U.S. vice president — Robinson claims that she was underpaid and continued to do domestic chores, like redecorating De Niro's leased townhouse (De Niro claims she volunteered). It's around this time that De Niro's girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, became suspicious of Robinson. “It all seemed very jealous and territorial,” Chen said at a deposition.
Usually Hollywood work disputes like this are settled out of court to avoid having an actor of De Niro's caliber testify, which could lead to unfavorable news headlines. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Jurors will assess all of De Niro’s claims concerning Robinson’s personal use of Canal’s funds and her transfer of the company’s flyer miles.” Opening statements begin Monday after jury selection.