Robert De Niro Sued by Former Female Assistant for Harassment, Gender Discrimination

October 3, 2019 Updated: October 5, 2019

Longtime actor Robert De Niro has been sued by a former assistant who accused him of harassing her and giving her “stereotypically females [sic] duties.”

The lawsuit was filed after De Niro sued the woman, Graham Chase Robinson.

The ex-assistant said in the suit that she was hired by De Niro in 2008 to be his executive assistant. She was 25 at the time.

She said De Niro talked to her in a “hostile, abusive, and intimidating manner” and referred to her using demeaning names, including at least one expletive.

At one point, she said, he made a crude remark suggesting she could become pregnant by using sperm from a male coworker. She also said he asked her to scratch him on his back and that he watched as a friend slapped her on the butt.

“Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores,” states Robinson’s complaint, which was filed on Oct. 3 in New York federal court. “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.”

“De Niro made vulgar, inappropriate, and gendered comments to Ms. Robinson. He 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,” the complaint stated.

“Ms. Robinson’s position became increasingly intolerable, and over the years she announced her intent to resign multiple times,” states the complaint. “De Niro responded with both a carrot and a stick—he made promises to induce to her stay and threatened repercussions if she left.”

de niro
Robert De Niro attends as Campari sponsors Opening Night of the 57th New York Film Festival in New York City on Sept. 27, 2019. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Campari)

Robinson is seeking $12 million, noting that De Niro’s personal net worth is estimated to be above $300 million.

De Niro has not responded to the suit.

De Niro filed a suit against Robinson in August, claiming she watched 55 episodes of “Friends” over four days and used the company’s credit card to buy expensive meals adding up to over $12,000 at just one of the restaurants. De Niro owns Canal Productions.

According to the suit, Robinson left the company in April as executives became increasingly concerned about “corporate sabotage.”

Robinson, whose salary was at $300,000 a year, allegedly rarely showed up at the office and liked to watch Netflix during work hours, according to the suit, reported Variety.

“Watching shows on Netflix was not in any way part of or related to the duties and responsibilities of Robinson’s employment and, on information and belief, was done for her personal entertainment, amusement and pleasure at times when she was being paid to work,” the suit alleged.

He sought $6 million in the suit.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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